What Do Your Eyes Do When You Sleep?

Sleep is a very critical function you need for survival. Not only this, it is vital to our health and wellbeing. A night of sound sleep helps your brain function properly and keeps you on task with work, home life, and relationships. It is a state of recovery that allows you to relax after a typical day’s events. It is a common perception that our body simply shuts down when we go to sleep, but this is not the case. Our body is doing a lot that we don’t know about when we are asleep.

 

What Is Rapid Eye Movement?

 

You might wonder what happens to your eyes when you doze off. When your body shuts down during sleep, your eyes move during what’s called a rapid eye movement phase. This is the time when you are dreaming. Generally, there are five stages that your eyes go through when you sleep. This includes:

 

Stage 1:

 

This is the stage in which you are getting into sleep. Your eyes are opening and shutting, and you can be easily aroused during this stage. Your muscle tone becomes slow, and your eyes move slowly under your eyelids.

 

Stage 2:

 

Next, your eye movement slows down, and your brain starts producing waves that send signals to your eyes and body, putting you into a deep sleep. Your body temperature and heart rate also begin to drop.

 

Stage 3:

 

This is the first phase of deep sleep. In this phase, the slowest waves are generated with small, fast pulses. This stage is marked with no eye movements or muscular activity. People who sleepwalk and talk during their sleep or tend to wet their beds do so in this stage.

 

Stage 4:

 

Delta waves, known as slow waves, are produced in this stage as well. In this stage, your body recovers completely from the entire day’s activities and the tiredness you experienced. This is the stage in which your body is refreshed. If any disturbance occurs during this stage, people become irritated, lazy, and tired. Like stage 3, there is no muscle activity or eye movement in this stage as well!

 

REM Stage

 

This is the last stage of sleep you go into before you circle back to stage 1. There is intense brain activity in this stage, and you are likely to have clear and vivid dreams. The brain activity in this stage is the same as that of a person who is awake. Hence, your eyes race, and there is muscle activity.

 

Rapid eye movements during this stage are due to some unknown reason. Your closed eyes are not sending any information to your brain. This phase is marked with a memory forming or memory saving phase. Your body saves the memories of your previous day. This stage can be passed through multiple times during your sleep. Your brain takes almost 30 seconds to understand that you need to wake up from a disturbing dream.

 

How Does Light Affect Your Eyes During Sleep?

 

Even when you are asleep, your eyes can sense light. This is the reason that we wake up in the sunlight or bright light. Furthermore, light makes a person more alert and interferes with the sleep cycle. The light from mobile devices, laptops, televisions, and other screens can be detrimental to our sleep. These devices emit blue light, almost the same as sunlight, waking you up and keeping you from reaching a deep state of rest.

 

Contact Your Local Opthalamologist to Schedule Your Eye Appointment

 

Is it time for your annual eye exam? Contact a trusted Palmdale eye doctor to schedule an appointment.

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