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1218 S. Telegraph Rd., Monroe, MI 48161
Home » What's New » A Look Behind Sleeping Eyes

A Look Behind Sleeping Eyes

Have you ever wondered what your eyes do when you finally close them after a long day of visual processing and stimulation? Let's take a closer look at what happens behind your closed lids when your head hits the pillow.

Firstly, once your eyes are closed, they do continue to function in a limited fashion with the ability to sense light. This explains why a bright light being switched on or the sun rising in the morning can wake you up, while lying in a dark room will help you sleep.

During sleep your eyes don't send visual data or information about images to your brain. In fact, it takes almost 30 seconds for the connection between your eyes and your brain to reboot when you wake up. This is why it's often difficult to see complete and clear images when you first wake up.

Our bodies pass through five phases of sleep known as stages 1, 2, 3, 4, (which together are called Non-REM) and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. During a typical sleep cycle, you progress from stage 1 to 4 then REM and then start over.  Almost 50 percent of our total sleep time is spent in stage 2 sleep, while 20 percent is spent in REM sleep, and the remaining 30 percent in the other stages. During stage 1, your eyes roll slowly, opening and closing slightly; however the eyes are then still from stages 2-4 when sleep is deeper.

During REM sleep, your eyes move around rapidly in a range of directions, but don’t send any visual information to your brain. Scientists have discovered that during REM sleep the visual cortex of the brain, which is responsible for processing visual data, is active. However, this activity serves part of a memory forming or reinforcing function which aims to consolidate your memory with experiences from the day, as opposed to processing visual information that you see. This is also the time when most people dream.

As for your eyelids, they cover your eyes and function as a shield protecting them from light. They also help preserve moisture on the cornea and prevent your eyes from drying out while your body is resting.

In short, while your eyes do move around during sleep, they are not actively processing visual imagery. Closing your eyelids and sleeping essentially gives your eyes a break. Shut-eye helps recharge your eyes, preparing them to help you see the next day. 

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To Our Visionary Eyecare Family of Patients,

As we all work together during the COVID-19 pandemic, please know that we are committed to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our patients and staff. Your safety and well-being is always our top priority.

In an effort to do all we can to insure everyone’s safety, we are following the CDC’s recommended health and hygiene guidelines in our office as we begin to take care of our patients.  We want to let you know we are now following these safety policies and procedures in our office.

-You are required to wear a mask, otherwise your appointment will be rescheduled.

-Please do not bring anyone else with you unless you need additional assistance.  Minor children may have only one parent or adult with them for their appointment.

-If you or a family member are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or are not feeling well, please reschedule your appointment.

-Upon arrival in our parking lot, please phone us at 734-243-0370 and we will let you know when it is safe to enter.  You will be the only person allowed in unless you need assistance or the patient is a minor child.

-All staff and patients will have their temperatures screened upon entering the building.  You will be asked a few health questions.  You will be asked to hand sanitize with the provided hand sanitizer.  The office is arranged to maintain Social Distancing.

-All patient contact areas, waiting area, exam rooms and equipment, optical dispensary and frame samples will be disinfected after each patient contact.

-High touch areas such as door handles, front check in counter and restrooms will be disinfected every 1-2 hours or after every patient contact.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.  Let us know if you have any questions.

The Doctors and Staff of Visionary Eyecare