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The Link Between Sleep and Eye Health

Canadians are suffering from an epidemic of inadequate sleep and it is causing some serious health related consequences. According to an article by the CBC nearly 60 percent of Canadian adults feel tired most of the time, and only get an average of 6.9 hours of sleep each night as oppose to the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night. Even more disturbing is the fact that 30 percent of Canadian adults are getting less than 6 hours of sleep each night and as many as 40 percent of Canadian children are not getting the recommended amount of sleep they need. Elementary school children require between 10 and 12 hours of sleep each night. Children who receive less than this are unable to function properly, which in turn hurts their ability to learn.

Inadequate amounts of sleep causes much more than circles under your eyes and has been linked to a variety of health problems including decreasing the overall health of your eyes and potentially creating vision problems. Studies have shown that our eyes need at least five hours of sleep each night in order to properly replenish themselves so they can work at their full potential.

Short term side effects of inadequate sleep include eye spasms, which are involuntary eye twitches that originate in your eyelids. Eye spasms are not painful and they do not damage your vision but they can be disruptive. In the long term inadequate sleep can cause serious damage to your vision including severe eye strain. This strain can cause blood vessels in your eyes to rupture, creating vision and other problems. Chronic inadequate sleep can alsu cause dry eyes, which can cause pain, sensitivity to light, itching, redness and blurred vision.

Keep your eyes healthy by making time to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. For more information on the relationship between sleep and eye health, or to book an appointment, contact Market Mall Optometry today at 403.286.4884 and visit

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