Do you often wake up looking like you haven’t slept at all? Do you get comments such as “Wow, you look tired!” when you arrive at the office? Tired looking eyes are actually a very common problem – many people find that their eyes look tired even after a great night’s sleep. Read on to discover three possible causes for your tired looking eyes and some easy, inexpensive remedies to perk them up.
1. Lack of Sleep
This is probably the most obvious cause of tired looking eyes. While you rest, fluid is drawn out of your blood and into your body tissues to repair and nourish them. When you wake up, the fluid is sent back into the bloodstream within a few minutes. When your sleep pattern is interrupted, the fluid becomes “stuck” in the tissues, causing a condition known as periorbital edema, or “swelling around the eyes”.
Lack of sleep also causes your skin to appear paler than usual. The area around your eyes is filled with tiny blood vessels that become visible under pale skin, giving you the dreaded dark circles.
How do I fix it?
If your tired looking eyes are caused by a lack of sleep, the solution is to get more rest. Avoid oversleeping to compensate, since it can worsen the problem. The average adult needs seven to ten hours of sleep in order to wake up feeling – and looking – refreshed.
If you’re having trouble falling as asleep try following this list of sleep tips to help you fall asleep:
2. Fluid Retention
If you had takeout or salty pretzels last night and woke up with puffy eyes, chances are you are experiencing fluid retention due to overconsumption of sodium. Other conditions that can also increase fluid retention include pregnancy, hormonal variations and alcohol consumption.
How do I fix it?
Although it may seem counterintuitive, drink plenty of pure water to help flush out the extra fluid from your tissues. Here is a short list of proven do-it-yourself remedies you can try:
• Apply tea bags (green or black) to your eyelids, cover with a cloth and leave them on for a few minutes. The caffeine and tannin contained in the tea help to constrict blood vessels and act as natural diuretics to flush out extra liquid
• Apply cold spoons to your eyelids
• Place cool cucumber slices on your eyelids – cucumber is a diuretic and its astringent properties help reduce puffiness
• Sleep with several pillows to reduce the accumulation of fluid in the eye area
• Wash your face with cold water as soon as you wake up to reduce swelling
• Avoid excess sodium consumption
Hidden allergies and intolerances are a common cause of tired looking eyes. Allergies cause puffiness, redness and itchiness around the delicate eye area. Histamine, a protein released during allergic reactions, causes inflammation and fluid retention.
How do I fix it?
Take an antihistamine such as REACTINE® (cetirizine hydrochloride) to relieve your allergy symptoms. If the swelling disappears, you are likely experiencing allergic symptoms caused by exposure to an environmental trigger or a certain food. Try these steps to improve puffy eyes:
• Ask your doctor to test you for common allergies (food and environment)
• Vacuum your house thoroughly on a regular basis, taking extra care around sleeping areas
• Use anti-allergy bed sheets
• Use anti-allergy eye drops such as VISINE®
• Keep pets away from sleeping areas
There are many more causes of tired looking eyes; however, the three causes listed above are very common, and the tips provided can help to reduce the appearance of puffiness and unsightly dark circles. You can also make adjustments to your daily routine: eat more fruits and veggies, get more exercise, and reduce the amount of time spent in front of TV and computer screens. Lastly, always remember that the area surrounding the eyes is very delicate and needs to be treated with special care.