is it OK to wear your glasses while sleeping?
Questions And Answers

What Happens If I Sleep with My Glasses On?

(Last Updated On: December 31, 2022)

Wearing glasses is so commonplace that it’s easy to forget we’re wearing them. This can increase the risk of falling asleep wearing glasses or choosing to sleep in them.

Before going to sleep, always take the time to remove your glasses. Sleeping in glasses won’t impact your prescription, but you’ll face an avoidable risk of eye injury and damage to your spectacles. The lenses may be scratched or broken in bed, and the frames may be twisted out of shape.

These guidelines don’t only apply to prescription eyeglasses. If you wear contact lenses, these should be removed before bed. Sunglasses, too, aren’t designed for wearing while we sleep.

Can You Wear Glasses to Sleep?

Some 75% of the world’s population requires some vision correction, and most wear eyeglasses. Given the importance of sleep, this raises a question: is it OK to wear your glasses while sleeping?

The short answer is that we should all remove our spectacles – or alternative vision correction methods, such as contact lenses – before retiring for the night. If you wholly rely on glasses to see, this can wait until you are ready to close your eyes for the last time.

This doesn’t mean that eyeglasses and sleep are not connected. A study published in Chronobiology International explains how wearing amber lenses in spectacles blocks the blue light emitted by screens at night, improving sleep quality.

As is often the case, these steps should be taken as part of a sleep hygiene routine before retiring for the night. If you’re still asking, “is it good to sleep with glasses on?” the answer is a firm no.

Can I Sleep in Contact Lenses?

Contact lenses are a popular alternative to glasses for many people. It’s arguably even more critical that contacts are removed before bed.

Contact lenses must be kept clean to fulfill their purpose and shouldn’t be worn if your eyes are dry, sore, or itchy. Keeping inappropriate lenses in your eyes overnight is likelier to result in this outcome.

Some contact lenses can be worn overnight as they’re designed this way. These are usually disposable, though, intended to be removed and tossed away in the morning. If in doubt, take out your contacts before getting into bed, ideally as soon as your eyes grow tired.

If you wear contacts longer than intended, you risk scratching your cornea. Much like glasses, contact lenses should be stored in a specialist case overnight. Use a clean and fresh solution to ensure that your contacts are ready for wearing the following day again.

can you wear glasses to sleep?

Can I Sleep in Sunglasses?

Situations may arise where you wish to sleep in a pair of sunglasses. Perhaps the most obvious example would be while taking a nap outdoors, either on vacation or relaxing in your backyard on a summer’s day.

In theory, a short nap in sunglasses isn’t a problem. You’re unlikely to roll around in such a scenario, so the likelihood of breaking the glasses or injuring the eyes is minimal. A caveat to sleeping in sunglasses remains, though.

As the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology explains, a scientific consensus is yet to be reached on how much sunglasses protect the eyes from the sun’s UV rays. As a result, sleeping in sunglasses may risk permanent damage.

Some people may also wear prescription sunglasses indoors to protect their eyes from bright light or screen glare. In these instances, consider switching to amber lenses by day and an eye mask overnight.

Why is it Bad to Wear Glasses While Sleeping?

As established, glasses should always be removed before you get into bed at night.

It’s advisable to keep your glasses in a case for their protection, but within easy reach, in case you need to react urgently to something that arises overnight.

To be clear, wearing glasses while sleeping won’t impact your prescription. Your vision will not improve or deteriorate by keeping your glasses on overnight.

The reasons to remove your glasses at bedtime revolve around comfort and safety.

Risk of Eye Injury

The most obvious concern involving sleeping in glasses is an eye injury. Few of us remain stock-still while we’re sleeping. If you’re prone to tossing and turning, you could knock your glasses off your face and cause harm to the eyes.

Imagine rolling over in your sleep and knocking the glasses from your face. One of the frames could still be pointing upward, though. If you’re wincing now, we don’t blame you. The thought of being poked in the eye gives anybody pause for thought.

It’s unlikely, but the lenses from your glasses could also fall out while you sleep. If this is the case, they may crack or shatter. Once again, if this happens on your pillow, you face a potentially painful outcome.

Even if your eyes escape injury, the rest of your face may not be quite as lucky. Glasses frames that push into the skin can leave an imprint, and broken glasses can also cut, scrape, and cause unsightly blemishes all over the face.

Damage to Glasses

Above, we have pointed out potential injuries that could arise from glasses breaking or becoming misshapen overnight. This is saying nothing of the possible frustration and danger that occurs when prescription spectacles are no longer fit for purpose.

Our example of misshapen frames is a common complaint from people that sleep in their glasses. Plastic frames may snap, and even metal frames require tiny screws that could be lost at night.

Consider the lenses of your glasses too. Most modern spectacles lenses are coated with scratch-resistant material, designed to survive an impact fall to the ground. Constant grinding or wear and tear can render your glasses unwearable, though.

Fashionable glasses and frames are often an expensive investment and one that you’ll be keen to make last as long as possible. Taking your spectacles off before you climb into bed and placing them in a protective case or drawer is a key component.

I fell asleep with my glasses on

Potential Discomfort

Even if you’re fortunate enough to avoid injury to your eyes or damage to your glasses, it’s undeniable that sleeping in glasses is likely to be just plain uncomfortable. This will usually be enough to rouse and wake you from rest, leading to broken sleep.

Light sleepers will suffer from this most of all. Picture the scene – you’re just starting to drift off when you feel the frame of your glasses dig into your face. Annoyed, this wakes you, so you turn over to sleep on your other side – then the same thing happens.

Sleeping on your back isn’t enough to spare you from these frustrations. Ignoring that you’ll invariably move in your sleep, the weight of the glasses may feel prominent when you’re trying to relax and succumb to slumber.

You may be lucky enough to endure any discomfort from sleeping in glasses if your spectacles are extremely lightweight or you’re tired enough to ignore the presence of these foreign objects. For most of us, glasses are a barrier to a good night’s sleep.

I Fell Asleep with my Glasses On

If you wear glasses throughout your waking life, you may accidentally doze off wearing them occasionally. For example, if you take a light nap on a commuter train, you’re unlikely to take off your glasses first. Equally, you may fall asleep in a chair through sheer exhaustion.

No harm will be done to your eyesight if you fall asleep wearing glasses. While it’s advisable to remove any spectacles before climbing into bed at the end of the day and resting your head on a pillow, don’t panic if you nod off while still wearing them.

If you fall asleep wearing glasses, it can be discombobulating when you first wake up. The lenses will likely be steamed up, restricting vision, and the frames will be bent out of shape.

You may also have an ‘imprint’ of your glasses on your face caused by the frames pressing into your face while sleeping. This will appear as a red, slightly angry mark on the skin. This should pass within the hour. If not, book an allergy test. According to Contact Dermatitis, allergies to nickel in spectacle frames are comparatively commonplace.

There’s nothing to gain and plenty of potential drawbacks to sleeping wearing glasses. Keep your glasses close to the bed – you never know when you may need to react quickly in the night and see what you’re doing. Keep the spectacles away from your face when trying to relax, though.