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Most days, when our eyes are tired from working or studying, the obvious choice is to just sleep it off and then get back to the grind the next day. While sleep is important to our overall eye health, we should also make sure that we’re getting enough of it and that we support our eyes with adequate vitamins and minerals.
Being aware of the basics of eyecare and its relationship with sleep is paramount. Here are some tips on how to prevent common eye problems through nourishment.
Make an effort to eat healthy. A lot of vitamins and minerals that our eyes need are available through food, but we also need to make a conscious effort to include them more frequently in our daily meals. If you’re unsure where to start, you may refer to this quick rundown of nutrients that could keep the eyes healthy as well as food sources that might help:
- Lutein. Our retinas and maculas depend on lutein as it acts as a filter to protect our eyes from sunlight damage. Adequate intake of lutein helps prevent loss of vision caused by common eye problems like age-related macular degeneration and cataract. You can get lutein from eggs, corn, and squash as well as green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, kale, and broccoli.
- Vitamin A and beta carotene. Vitamin A is key to eyesight development and it’s crucial that we get enough of it from infancy through adulthood to keep our eyesight as sharp as possible. Apart from seeing well in the light, it is also with the help of vitamin A that we’re able to use our night vision. Beta carotene, on the other hand, acts as a precursor to vitamin A and without it, our bodies won’t be able to synthesize vitamin A that our eyes need to help prevent vision loss. Add color to your meals and snacks by eating orange and yellow fruits and vegetables–think oranges, bell peppers, and carrots–to boost your beta carotene supply. You can also get vitamin A from dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheeses, and protein sources like eggs and beef.
- Vitamin C. One of our immune system’s best buddies, vitamin C defends our eyes from infections and illnesses. It also plays an important role in the creation of collagen, which gives our corneas and sclera structure. Stock up on citrus fruits like oranges, dalandan, strawberries, and pineapples, and include them in your vitamin C supply rotation.
- Vitamin E. This antioxidant fights free radicals to minimize damage to healthy eye cells, which in turn, helps delay age-related macular degeneration. It’s also found in many vegetables and citrus fruits, as well as in peanut butter.
- Omega-3. Omega-3, specifically the DHA type, isn’t just a heart care staple—it’s great for the eyes, too. These healthy fats help us prevent dry eyes and possible irritation by keeping our eyes lubricated. It also helps patients with diabetes to avoid diabetic retinopathy, an eye disease where the vision is blurred due to the deterioration of the retinas. Omega-3 is found in fatty fish like tuna, sardines, and salmon. You can also get it from peanuts, lentils, legumes, and most types of seeds and nuts. Such make for healthier snack alternatives, too.
- Zinc. Zinc helps protect our eyes from cell damage by promoting balance between antioxidants and free radicals in the eyes. It is also important in the production of melanin, a pigment that protects the eyes. Beef up your diet with food sources like eggs, pork, beans, chickpeas, and oysters to get your fill of zinc.
Take an eye food supplement. Yes, being able to get nourishment from food is great. On the other hand, not everyone has the same access to ingredients nor the time to prepare meals as often as they want. If you’re facing the same dilemma, you can augment your daily nutrition with a food eye supplement like ClearSight.
ClearSight is made with the blend of eye vitamins lutein, omega-3, beta carotene, vitamin E, and zinc to nourish the eyes. Taking one softgel capsule of ClearSight every day helps prevent common eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts. It is also approved by the FDA and may be purchased without a prescription.
Reduce screen time before bed. Our brains release the hormone melatonin as a signal to the rest of the body to get ready for sleep and rest. Also known as the sleep hormone, our body’s melatonin production peaks when in the dark, hence, we get more sleepy as the night wears on. However, prolonged exposure to blue light can disrupt our melatonin production and trick our minds to stay awake at the expense of proper sleep. Reducing screen time before you go to sleep can help ease your eyes and your body into rest mode. Turn down the lights at home as your bedtime approaches and limit your screen time, say an hour before you go to sleep. A lot of smartphones are equipped with a sleep mode feature to help users be more mindful of their bedtime and turn off notifications so that you can enjoy uninterrupted sleep. There are also settings and third-party apps that are able to change the brightness and warmth of the display according to your custom schedule. Just because you’re minimizing screen time doesn’t mean you can’t use your gadgets to build better sleep habits.
Create a bedtime routine that actually gets you sufficient sleep. Dark circles and puffy eyes are dead giveaways of sleep deprivation, but lack of sleep could have worse effects on eye health when prolonged. Sleep deprivation robs your eyes of the opportunity to recover properly, which can increase the risk of common eye diseases like glaucoma. It can also cause dryness, which can lead to eye infections. But the thing with sleep is that it doesn’t come by easily for some people. Whether it’s occasional insomnia, shift work, or stress that keeps you up at night, you can take little steps to develop better sleep habits. It can be easier said than done but sticking to a reasonable bedtime and getting up when your alarm goes off is a good place to start. You can also learn meditation techniques and calming exercises that you can do before going to bed. As you train your body to sleep better, you can also enlist the help of melatonin supplements. Nightol is an affordable melatonin supplement that is tested safe for daily use and is approved by the FDA. Taking one to two capsules of Nightol 45 minutes before bedtime can help supplement the natural melatonin produced by your body so you can sleep easier and faster and still wake up naturally the next day.
Get your eyes checked. We normally see friends and family get their eyes checked when they need eyeglasses or to treat an eye infection but our eyes hold more information about our overall health than that. Aside from visual acuity and peripheral view precision tests, there are eye exams that clue in doctors on the health of the brain, liver, and heart. Get your eyes checked at least once a year to rule out any issues and ask your doctor for professional advice on eyecare.
It’s always recommended to seek your doctor’s advice before including any supplements in your diet. With this in mind, Nightol and ClearSight partnered with KonsultaMD to help extend free consultations for those who may need to talk to professionals about eye health, sleep hygiene, or mental health concerns.
Visit the official website of Nightol and ClearSight to learn more. Follow Nightol and ClearSight on Facebook to stay updated on news about eyecare, sleep care, and upcoming live Q&A sessions with experts in the field.
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