Skip to main content
Home » What's New » A Look Behind Sleeping Eyes

A Look Behind Sleeping Eyes

Have you ever wondered what your eyes do when you finally close them after a long day of visual processing and stimulation? Let's take a closer look at what happens behind your closed lids when your head hits the pillow.

Firstly, once your eyes are closed, they do continue to function in a limited fashion with the ability to sense light. This explains why a bright light being switched on or the sun rising in the morning can wake you up, while lying in a dark room will help you sleep.

During sleep your eyes don't send visual data or information about images to your brain. In fact, it takes almost 30 seconds for the connection between your eyes and your brain to reboot when you wake up. This is why it's often difficult to see complete and clear images when you first wake up.

Our bodies pass through five phases of sleep known as stages 1, 2, 3, 4, (which together are called Non-REM) and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. During a typical sleep cycle, you progress from stage 1 to 4 then REM and then start over.  Almost 50 percent of our total sleep time is spent in stage 2 sleep, while 20 percent is spent in REM sleep, and the remaining 30 percent in the other stages. During stage 1, your eyes roll slowly, opening and closing slightly; however the eyes are then still from stages 2-4 when sleep is deeper.

During REM sleep, your eyes move around rapidly in a range of directions, but don’t send any visual information to your brain. Scientists have discovered that during REM sleep the visual cortex of the brain, which is responsible for processing visual data, is active. However, this activity serves part of a memory forming or reinforcing function which aims to consolidate your memory with experiences from the day, as opposed to processing visual information that you see. This is also the time when most people dream.

As for your eyelids, they cover your eyes and function as a shield protecting them from light. They also help preserve moisture on the cornea and prevent your eyes from drying out while your body is resting.

In short, while your eyes do move around during sleep, they are not actively processing visual imagery. Closing your eyelids and sleeping essentially gives your eyes a break. Shut-eye helps recharge your eyes, preparing them to help you see the next day. 

!side icons

Book Appointment ▸ Click to Call ▸ Take Me There ▸

!badges

Greensboro, NC Locations

Friendly Shopping Center
Appointment Form
Call 336-221-3559 ▸
Take Me There

Four Seasons Mall
Appointment Form
Call 336-814-2224 ▸
Take Me There

Hanes Mall
Appointment Form
Call 336-715-3360 ▸
Take Me There

Raleigh, NC Locations

Triangle Town Center
Appointment Form
Call 919-710-8864 ▸
Take Me There

Crabtree Valley Mall
Appointment Form
Call 919-710-8854 ▸
Take Me There

Berkeley Mall
Appointment Form
Call 919-709-3656 ▸
Take Me There

Greensboro, NC Locations

Friendly Shopping Center
Call 336-221-3559 ▸
Four Seasons Mall
Call 336-814-2224 ▸
Hanes Mall
Call 336-715-3360 ▸

Raleigh, NC Locations

Triangle Town Center
Call 919-710-8864 ▸
Crabtree Valley Mall
Call 919-710-8854 ▸
Berkeley Mall
Call 919-709-3656 ▸

Friendly Shopping Center

Call 336-221-3559 ▸

Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro

642 Friendly Center Road
Greensboro, NC 27408
  • 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Appointment Form
Take Me There

Welcome to Fox Eye Care Group

Call 336-814-2224 ▸

Four Seasons Town Center, Greensboro

330 Four Seasons Town Center
Greensboro, NC 27407
  • 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Appointment Form
Take Me There

Welcome to Fox Eye Care Group

Call 336-715-3360 ▸

Hanes Mall, Winston-Salem

3320 Silas Creek Pkwy
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
  • 9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Appointment Form
Take Me There

Welcome to Fox Eye Care Group

Call 919-710-8864 ▸

Triangle Town Center, Raleigh

5959 Triangle Town Blvd
Raleigh, NC 27616
  • 10:00am-7:00pm
  • 10:00am-7:00pm
  • 10:00am-7:00pm
  • 10:00am-7:00pm
  • 10:00am-7:00pm
  • 10:00am-7:00pm
  • 1:00pm-5:00pm

Appointment Form
Take Me There

Welcome to Fox Eye Care Group

Call 919-710-8854 ▸

Crabtree Valley Mall, Raleigh

4325 Glenwood Ave
Raleigh, NC 27612
  • 10:00am-7:00pm
  • 10:00am-7:00pm
  • 10:00am-7:00pm
  • 10:00am-7:00pm
  • 10:00am-7:00pm
  • 10:00am-7:00pm
  • 1:00pm-5:00pm

Appointment Form
Take Me There

Welcome to Fox Eye Care Group

Call 919-709-3656 ▸

Berkeley Mall, Goldsboro

611A North Berkeley Blvd.
Goldsboro, NC 27534
  • 10:00am-7:00pm
  • Closed
  • 10:00am-7:00pm
  • Closed
  • 10:00am-7:00pm
  • 10:00am-4:00pm
  • Closed

Appointment Form
Take Me There

Our Locations