How To Make Eyes Look Less Tired
“If you’ve ever been awake past midnight and tried to read something on your smartphone with both hands, or if you’ve ever accidentally fallen asleep while watching TV, you know how annoying it can be when your eyes look tired even though they’re technically wide open. The culprit is sleep inertia; that feeling of grogginess and disorientation you experience after waking up from deep sleep or napping. It happens because our brains have trouble processing all those sudden changes in light and sound—like turning off the lights at night or switching on a bright screen right before bed—and so we spend a few seconds adjusting to them like a slow-motion car crash.
But there are ways to prevent this from happening. One quick trick is to keep some coffee ice cubes in your freezer. Spend a few minutes gently rubbing an ice cube under your eyes, along your brows, across the bridge of your nose, and from the outer corners of your eyes to your temples. (Or use some warm washcloth.) This should wake you up enough to get out of bed without resorting to a full cup of joe. You could also take caffeine pills to help you stay alert during the day. But what about when you want to go to bed? Keep reading!
The key to fighting sleep inertia is to fight its causes, not just symptoms. So, instead of trying to force yourself to fall asleep quickly by drinking more water, or taking over-the-counter cold medicines to reduce nasal congestion (which helps induce drowsiness), you need to relax and allow your body to wind down naturally. That means getting rid of distractions as much as possible, including phone notifications, loud noises, etc., and practicing good sleeping habits. For example, avoid alcohol within three hours of going to bed and avoid nicotine products such as cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Also, make sure you eat well and exercise regularly, and don’t skimp on sleep. If you aren’t getting enough shut-eye, then you may actually need to adjust your diet or lifestyle.
Now let’s talk about another cause of tired eyes and fatigue: lack of proper nutrition. According to the National Sleep Foundation, one major reason why people suffer from chronic sleep deprivation is due to their diets. And here’s where you come in. While you probably already know that eating foods rich in vitamins C and E will boost your immune system and protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease, these nutrients are also essential for healthy vision. Vitamin E protects your retina from damage caused by free radicals, which are molecules formed when oxygen interacts with certain chemicals. These free radicals are linked to age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and other diseases affecting the eyes and central nervous system. As mentioned earlier, vitamin C fights inflammation and has antioxidant properties. Researchers believe that vitamin C might play a role in repairing damaged cells and protecting DNA from oxidation, but more research is needed to confirm this effect. Finally, vitamin B6 supports normal brain function, nerve transmission and blood sugar control.
So, next time you feel sleepy, reach for a glass of orange juice, or whatever else suits your fancy. Not only will it give you a lift, it’ll also provide your eyes with the nutritional support they need to see clearly through the evening. Better yet, drink a glass of OJ immediately upon waking up.
Sleepy eyes aren’t the only part of the face affected by poor sleep quality. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that patients who had difficulty falling asleep reported problems with memory, concentration, mood, energy levels and work performance. In addition, people who experienced frequent awakenings throughout the night were two times more likely to develop diabetes than those who slept eight hours per night. Other studies show a link between insomnia and obesity, headaches, hypertension and depression.
And speaking of headaches…
Headaches are often confused with yawning, but they are very different conditions. Yawning comes from muscle spasms, whereas headaches are caused by constricting blood vessels. Headaches occur when muscles around the head tighten up, causing increased pressure on small arteries and veins near the skull. Nerve signals to the brain become blocked, resulting in pain. There are many types of headaches, ranging from mild to debilitating. Some common triggers include stress, dehydration, menstrual cramps, migraine attacks, sinusitis, allergies, low blood sugar and tight clothing. Treatment options vary depending on the type of headache. For most cases, simple relaxation techniques can relieve tension and anxiety. Acute headaches can sometimes be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. Overuse of aspirin can result in gastrointestinal bleeding complications. People suffering from severe migraines should consult a doctor.
Eyes are sensitive organs, and so are susceptible to injury, infection and dryness. Taking care of them requires a combination of rest, hydration and medication. Here are some tips for making your eyes happy.
Protect Your Lashes From Sun Damage
Your eyelids act as shields when sunlight hits your eyes. However, too much sun exposure will permanently darken lashes and increase fine lines around the eyes. To avoid damaging your lachrymal glands, wear sunglasses that block UV rays and apply sunscreen every day. Consider using a daily moisturizer that contains SPF 15 sunscreen.
Use Eye Cream With Care
Most cosmetics contain preservatives that can irritate the delicate skin surrounding the eyes. Always test new formulas on a small patch of facial skin first. When choosing an eye cream, pay attention to active ingredients such as antioxidants, peptides, amino acids and minerals. Many creams now offer triple action by addressing dark circles, puffiness and wrinkles. Moisturizers containing hyaluronic acid plump up the skin and diminish the appearance of bags under the eyes. Antioxidants neutralize harmful substances called free radicals. Peptides stimulate collagen production. Amino acids improve moisture retention. Vitamins A, C and E strengthen the cornea and conjunctiva. Choose a product that’s pH balanced, meaning it doesn’t alter the natural acidity of the skin. You should also consider whether the cream feels heavy or greasy, since extra oil makes your eyes sweat and swell.
Clean Your Eyelids Daily
To keep bacteria from building up on your eyelids, wet each eye with clean water several times a day to dilute secretions and discharge. Use cotton swabs instead of dirty tissues to clean underneath the eyelashes. Never share makeup remover pads or cotton applicators, and toss any old mascara wand away. Don’t store mascara in containers lined with plastic foam — the material leeches into your eye cream and adds toxins. Instead, opt for jars made of glass, ceramic or metal.
Wear Comfortable Contact Lenses
You may think that wearing uncomfortable contact lenses won’t affect your vision, but it does. Even minor discomfort can distract your eyes and impair focusing ability. Try soft contacts instead of rigid ones. Ask your optometrist about lenses designed specifically to minimize lens fogging. Switch to disposable lenses whenever possible, and rotate them once a week to ensure maximum comfort.
Take Extra Steps Against Dry Eyes
Dry eye syndrome affects millions of Americans, especially women. About 60 percent of postmenopausal women suffer from the condition. Symptoms include burning, stinging, grittiness, redness and itchiness. Causes range from meibomian gland dysfunction to Sjögren’s syndrome. Prevent itchy eyes by avoiding hot showers, washing your face less vigorously, using gentle cleansers and applying petroleum jelly to your eyes before bedtime. Avoid dust, pollen, cigarette smoke and windblown sand. Wear sunglasses and hats. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and limit salt intake. See a doctor when your problem persists longer than six weeks.
Although eyesight loss is rare among adults today, it’s important to follow your physician’s advice for maintaining vision health. Regular checkups and screenings are particularly crucial because early detection allows doctors to catch problems before they become serious.”