is it OK to wear your glasses while sleeping?
Sleep Safety

What Happens If I Sleep with My Glasses On?

Last Updated on: 30th September 2023, 08:37 am

Wearing glasses is so common that it’s easy to forget we’re wearing them. This means we may fall asleep wearing glasses or choose to sleep in them for convenience.

Before going to sleep, 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, shouldn’t be worn 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, 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 rely on glasses to see, this can wait until you’re ready to close your eyes for the last time. This doesn’t mean that eyeglasses and sleep aren’t connected.

A study 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 no.

Can I Sleep in Contact Lenses?

It’s 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 will likely have a negative outcome.

Some contact lenses can be worn overnight as they’re designed this way.

These are usually disposable, intended to be removed and thrown away in the morning. If in doubt, remove your contacts before bed, preferably as soon as your eyes tire.

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 solution to ensure your contacts are ready for usage the following day.

can you wear glasses to sleep?

Can I Sleep in Sunglasses?

Situations may arise where you wish to sleep in a pair of sunglasses. The most obvious example is 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, so the likelihood of breaking the glasses or injuring the eyes is minimal. A caveat to sleeping in sunglasses remains.

As the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology explains, consensus is yet to be reached on how much sunglasses protect the eyes from the sun’s UV rays.

Consequently, 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. If so, 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 be removed before you get into bed.

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

Few of us remain 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. 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 so, they may crack or shatter. Once again, if this happens on your pillow, you face a painful outcome.

Even if your eyes escape injury, the rest of your face may not be as lucky. Frames that push into the skin can leave an imprint, and broken glasses can cause cuts and scrapes.

Damage to Glasses

Misshapen frames are a common complaint from people who sleep in their glasses. Plastic frames may snap, and even metal frames require tiny screws that could be lost at night.

Most modern spectacle 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.

Fashionable glasses and frames are often expensive and one that you’ll be keen to make last as long as possible. Take off your spectacles before bed and place them in a protective case or drawer.

I fell asleep with my glasses on

Potential Discomfort

Even if you’re fortunate enough to avoid injury to the eyes or damage to your spectacles, it’s undeniable that sleeping in glasses is likely to be uncomfortable.

This will usually be enough to rouse and wake you from rest, leading to broken sleep.

You’re just starting to drift off when you feel the frame of your glasses dig into your face. Annoyed, this awakens you, so you sleep on your other side. Unfortunately, the same thing happens.

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

You may be fortunate enough to endure such discomfort from sleeping in glasses if they’re lightweight or you’re tired enough to ignore their presence.

I Fell Asleep with my Glasses On

If you wear glasses throughout your waking life, you may doze off wearing them occasionally.

For example, you won’t take off your glasses if you take a light nap on a commuter train. 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.

If you fall asleep wearing glasses, it can be discombobulating when you first wake up. The lenses will likely be steamed up, 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.

Don’t wear spectacles when you’re about to go to sleep. Keep your glasses close to the bed because you never know when you may need to react quickly to go to the toilet or exit the building.