Want to know why we wake up with bits of sleep in our eyes?

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  • You learn something new everyday

    Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

    Six o’clock in the morning, wipe the sleep from my eyes…‘ Craig David sings. And we know the feeling.

    But before you even think about getting that large morning coffee, there’s one thing that needs to be dealt with – the little bits of sleep that have been physicalised in the corner of your eyes.

    We say ‘needs to be dealt with’, but unless you’ve got a severe case of conjunctivitis, it’s not really that much of a problem. It’s just a strange side effect of a deep sleep.

    But what is it? And where did it come from? Well, apparently it’s to do with our tears (sort of).

    Our eyes have a protective layer, a mixture of mucus, our watery tears, and meibum – an oily substance made up of cholesterol and fatty acids, which stops us from constantly crying. Which is pretty helpful, particularly when you’re running low on waterproof mascara.

    Usually, this combination of fluidy eye protection is kept at a liquid consistency when at normal temperature. But as soon as your body temperature cools, the substance turns waxy and white and collects in the corner of your eyes.

    And here, sleepyheads/eye gunk/morning cornea crust is created. Minds. Blown.

    So there you have it – it has nothing to do with the Sandman sprinkling sand in your eyes after all.

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