Is There a Connection Between Good Sleep and Visual Health?

  • By:Dr. Katie Dugan

What is happening with your eyes when you are asleep? It is important to give your body a chance to rest at the end of a long day. Even though you are relaxing, there is quite a bit of activity happening in the brain and eyes.

Rapid Eye Movement at Night

The brain moves through several stages while you are sleeping, eventually reaching the deepest phase of sleep known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM). During this time, the eyes are moving around in quick motions, unlike any way that your eyes move while you are awake. In fact, these small movements are the fastest movements that occur in the human body!

When you first fall asleep, non-REM sleep happens. Most adults will enter the REM phase within about 90 minutes, with several cycles of REM throughout the night. The REM phases get longer and longer with each repetition during the night. The first REM cycle might only last 10 minutes, but the final cycle can last as long as an hour.

REM and Your Health

It has been found that REM sleep is associated with many aspects of your health. The National Sleep Foundation reported that REM sleep impacts mood, learning, and memory. If someone lacks REM sleep, then it could have a negative impact on brain functioning, as well as physical and emotional health.

If you aren’t getting enough sleep at night, then the lack of REM could have a domino effect on your overall health. Visual health might be one thing that is impacted by your sleeping patterns. It is important that you give your eyes time to rest at night. Poor sleep habits could lead to spasms, dry eyes, and red eyes.

Maintaining good sleep habits might be one of the best things that you can do to improve your physical and mental health. Do you want to learn about other habits that impact your vision? Schedule an eye exam with our experienced team for personalized recommendations. We are here to help! You can call our Temecula office at (951) 302-1331 or our Murrieta office at (951) 600-9226.

Posted in: Eye Health