Did you know that some of your habits before bedtime could be damaging your eyes, disrupting your sleep, and putting your overall health in jeopardy? Here are a few tips to make sure you get plenty of restful sleep. Dr. J. Michael Witherington OD has been a trusted resource for eye health in Ft. Myers for over two decades, providing comprehensive eye care services to the South Florida community from a state-of-the-art eye care center. OptiExpress provides comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.
Getting high-quality sleep every night is essential for good eye health and good overall health. Chronic sleep deprivation can put you at risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and stroke — all of which can significantly damage the eyes. Everyone has a pre-bedtime regimen, but some habits are better than others. If you want the best quality sleep, to protect your eye health, and ensure optimal overall health, here are a few things to consider before hitting the sack.
Do: Always remove your contact lenses.
Regardless of whether you have standard contacts or long-wear, you should never leave any contact lenses in before going to sleep. Even breathable contact lenses restrict some airflow from the eyes, and limiting the amount of oxygen your eyes can access.
Sleeping while wearing contacts leaves your eyes vulnerable to infection, dry eyes, and corneal scratching/scarring. So, rather than risk permanent eye damage, remove your contacts before bed.
Don’t: Start smartphone scrolling.
It’s tempting to check social media feeds and watch videos on our smartphones or tablets at bedtime, but it’s a terrible habit. Looking at digital media at bedtime can throw you off of your sleep cycle because of the blue light exposure. This causes the brain to signal that it’s still daylight, inhibiting the release of melatonin and making sleep difficult.
Do: Snuggle up with a good book.
Not all reading is created equal. Although you might be reading text on your smartphone, the distraction and LED light cause sleep disruptions if done right before bed. However, books are another story altogether!
Reading books before bedtime is a fantastic gateway for sleep. Only six minutes of reading a book (or other material printed on paper) can reduce stress levels by nearly 70 percent, more than herbal tea or calming music. Reading also engages the imagination and strengthens mental acuity.
Reading books at night does not have any negative effects on vision; you just have to make sure the light is comfortable and the text isn’t so small that it causes eye strain. If you find reading at bedtime causes headaches or bothers your eyes, it’s probably time for an eye exam, whether you wear corrective lenses or not.
OptiExpress specializes in comprehensive eye health in Ft. Myers. If you need a full eye exam or one-hour onsite lab services, please visit our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral eye care center. If you have any questions about our services, please visit our contact page today!