After a restful nights sleep everyone wakes to sleep in their eyes. Some people think this is from the work of the Sandman who sprinkled sand into their eyes to bring about sleep and good dreams. These people are nuts.
Sleep in your eyes has been called eye crusties, sleep sugar, eye goop, sleep dust, eye boogers and eye gunk. It tends to stick to the corners of your eyes and can get into the hairs of your eye lashes as well.
Everyone gets it and some people get more than others. And some souls like me have this eye junk all day long.
During the day a small organ of your eye called the plica semilunaris secrets a sticky goop that helps to collect foreign material from your eyes and cleans it away before it can cause any damage to the cornea. Some of the debris that gets collected is dust, dirt, pollen, dead skin and blood cells, smoke and other air pollutants.
Blinking during the day helps remove the mess and the liquid evaporates or drains away into the back of your throat or into your sinus cavities. But during the night when you are lying down this rheum, known as gound, builds up behind your closed eyes and presents itself the next morning as the familiar sleep in your eyes.
If a person is suffering from allergies or has an eye infection (conjunctivitis), the eye can be welded shut by the over production of rheum. I remember having an eye infection and I would wake up and I couldn’t open by eyes as they were glued shut. A warm facecloth applied to my eyes would loosen up the gunk and I then could wash the rest of it out. Then it was off to the doctor for some eye drops.
If you have such an over abundance of gound that it glues your eyes shut you should immediately seek out medical attention because any infection could cause serious damage to your eyes.
Most people can clean out the eye boogers while they are in the shower, but a damp facecloth or cotton ball can also be used.
Sleep in Your Eyes All Day
Make sure you are getting a good supply of vitamin A (milk, eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe and peaches, for example). Try to eliminate any possible sources of irritation from bright lights, take frequent breaks from your computer monitor and use an air cleaner to remove contaminates from the air in your house or office. Clean your contacts properly and change them according to their schedule.
The sleep in your eyes is necessary to protect your eyes from being scratched by whatever the wind is blowing at you during the day. Let the Sandman do his job.