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Understanding the mystery of Sleepy Eyes

24 May 2023
Understanding the mystery of Sleepy Eyes

Have you ever woken up to find those tiny crusty particles in the corners of your eyes? We've all experienced it at some point or another. But what exactly causes this phenomenon, and should you be concerned about it?

Let's unravel this morning mystery together!

Understanding the Science:

When we sleep, our bodies undergo various restorative processes, and our eyes are no exception. While we slumber peacefully, our eyes produce tears that help keep them moist and nourished. However, during sleep, tear production decreases due to the prolonged eyelid closure. Consequently, any excess tears present in our eyes tend to evaporate.

The Formation of Sleep in Your Eyes:

As the tears evaporate, they leave behind residual particles and proteins, resulting in the formation of the colloquially known "sleep" or "eye gunk." These tiny particles can accumulate in the corners of our eyes and along the lash line, leading to the crusty sensation when we wake up.

Normal and Natural:

It's essential to note that having sleep in your eyes upon waking up is a completely normal and natural occurrence. It's your body's way of clearing away excess tears and debris that may have built up during the night. So, there's no need to worry—sleepy eyes are typically harmless and temporary.

Tips for Managing Sleepy Eyes:

While sleepy eyes are harmless, you may prefer to minimize their presence or alleviate any discomfort associated with them. Here are a few simple tips to manage this morning phenomenon:

  1. Gentle Eye Cleansing: Use a clean, damp washcloth or a sterile eye-cleansing pad to gently wipe away the sleep from your eyes. Ensure you don't rub your eyes vigorously to prevent any potential irritation.
  2. Warm Compresses: Applying a warm compress to your closed eyes for a few minutes can help loosen the dried particles, making them easier to remove.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Adequate hydration is crucial for maintaining overall eye health. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body and eyes well-hydrated.
  4. Avoid Touching Your Eyes: Try to resist the temptation to touch or rub your eyes excessively, as this can introduce additional dirt and bacteria, potentially causing irritation or infection.
  5. Ask us at Outlook Eye Centre: If you consistently experience excessive sleep in your eyes or have persistent eye discomfort, it's advisable to consult an optometrist. We can assess your eye health and provide personalized recommendations and guidance.


The occurrence of sleep in your eyes upon waking up is a fascinating and normal part of our body's natural processes. Understanding the causes behind it can help alleviate any concerns and allow you to embrace this unique morning ritual. Remember to take good care of your eyes through proper hygiene, hydration, and regular eye check-ups.

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