Bill Harvey: Wake from your sleep

Since ‘ditching the dairy,’ I was convinced that both my rosacea and the quality of my sleep improved. No more cheese dreams, either. So, I was surprised to learn last weekend that eating cheese before bedtime does not cause nightmares or more vivid dreams. Indeed, dairy products rich in tryptophan may help people sleep longer, as well as be more likely to remember any dreams they do have. 

I believe that our understanding of sleep still has a long way to go and the influence of sleep upon eye health is greatly underrated. All too often, dry eye is associated with medications, such as the contraceptive pill or some anti-anxiety medicine, while rarely is an underlying sleep disturbance identified as a concern. And try finding serious publications on the impact of recreational drugs on the tear film. Next week, we publish a CPD article looking at the menopause and its association with dry eye disease, one that appears to be strong. The assumption is that the damage is caused by hormone fluctuations, but nowhere does anyone link the problem with the inevitable sleep disturbances experienced during menopause.  

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