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Understanding REM Sleep How It Benefits Your Eye Health

Understanding REM Sleep How It Benefits Your Eye Health

Have you ever woken up from a deep sleep feeling refreshed and energized, and noticed that your eyes feel clear and bright? This is likely due to the fact that you experienced Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, which is an important phase of the sleep cycle that benefits both your overall health and your eye health. REM sleep is characterized by rapid eye movements, irregular breathing, and a high level of brain activity. During this phase of sleep, your body and brain are actively working to restore and repair various functions that are essential to your health and well-being.

The Benefits of REM Sleep For Eye Health

One of the primary benefits of REM sleep is its ability to improve your eye health. Here are some ways that REM sleep can benefit your eyes:

  1. Supports tear production
    One of the most important functions of REM sleep is its ability to support the production of tears. Tears are essential for keeping your eyes lubricated and healthy, and they also help to flush out any irritants or debris that may accumulate on the surface of your eyes throughout the day. During REM sleep, your eyes move rapidly behind closed eyelids, which stimulates tear production and helps to maintain the health of your tear film. This is especially important for individuals who suffer from dry eye syndrome or other conditions that can impact tear production.
  2. Improves visual memory
    REM sleep is also important for improving your visual memory, which is the ability to remember and recognize visual images and patterns. Visual memory is essential for tasks such as reading, driving, and navigating your environment. During REM sleep, your brain actively processes and consolidates visual memories, which helps to improve your ability to recall and recognize visual information. This can have a significant impact on your overall visual acuity and perception.
  3. Reduces the risk of eye diseases
    Studies have also shown that individuals who get adequate amounts of REM sleep are at a lower risk for developing certain eye diseases, such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). These conditions are often associated with a buildup of pressure in the eyes or damage to the retina, which can be exacerbated by poor sleep habits. By promoting healthy tear production and supporting visual memory, REM sleep helps to reduce the risk of these conditions and protect the health of your eyes.
  4. Enhances eye movement control
    Finally, REM sleep is important for enhancing your ability to control your eye movements, which is essential for activities such as reading, tracking moving objects, and maintaining visual focus. During REM sleep, your brain processes and consolidates information related to eye movements, which helps to improve your ability to coordinate and control the movement of your eyes. This can have a significant impact on your overall visual performance and quality of life.

If you are having trouble getting enough REM sleep, there are several strategies you can try to improve your sleep habits. These may include establishing a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, reducing screen time before bed, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.

Sleep Well For Healthy Eyes

REM sleep is a crucial phase of the sleep cycle that benefits both your overall health and your eye health. By supporting tear production, improving visual memory, reducing the risk of eye diseases, and enhancing eye movement control, REM sleep helps to promote healthy vision and protect the long-term health of your eyes. By prioritizing your sleep and taking steps to ensure that you are getting enough REM sleep each night, you can support your overall health and enjoy the many benefits of healthy, clear, and bright eyes.

Another important part of maintaining optimal eye health is your regular eye exam. Regular adult eye exams monitor your eye health, but they are also an important part of maintaining your overall health. If you want to protect your eye health and your overall health, or if you are concerned that poor sleep is impacting your vision or eye health, book an adult eye exam at Market Mall Optometry in Calgary NW. Our staff will check for any abnormalities and we will ensure you are informed and educated about your eye health and any developing conditions. To schedule an eye exam, call Market Mall Optometry at 1-403-286-4884 or fill out the online contact form.


Q: How often should I have an eye exam?
A: Adult eye exams are recommended once every two years, once a year for those over 65.

Q: What should I expect at an eye exam?
A: A standard eye exam includes:

  • Assessment to test colour deficiency
  • Measurement of depth perception
  • Measurement of the pressure inside of your eyes
  • Measurement of your existing glasses prescription
  • A review of any health concerns you may have or that may be in your family history
  • Examination of your eyes with and without the help of lenses 
  • Full assessment of the health of your eyes 
  • Retinal photo to assess the health of the back of your eyes 
  • Optometrist-determined prescription

Q: Are comprehensive eye exams uncomfortable?
A: A comprehensive eye exam is non-invasive so you will not feel any pain or discomfort for the duration of the exam.

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