Dark Circles and Sleep (Guest Post)

For those who have trouble sleeping, the paranoia of looking noticeably tired increases. People suffering periods of bad sleep worry that they will develop dark circles around the eyes. Yet while a lack of sleep can cause darkness around the eyes, this isn’t the case for everyone and not the sole reason for dark circles.  In fact, there are times when I’ve had a week of deep restful sleep, only for someone to remark that I look very tired.  And there are other times when I have hardly slept at all and run into someone I know who remarks on how well I look. So if those dark half moons are caused by lack of sleep, then why do they not disappear after we sleep solidly for 8 hours? And how come some people sleep less than you or I and don’t suffer from dark circles under the eyes?

The truth is that lack of sleep will give the majority of people puffy eyes, which will reduce in appearance as the day continues. The eyes may also appear slightly bloodshot and dimmer in color. But if you suffer permanently from dark circles under your eyes no matter how much you sleep, this condition is likely to be caused by one of a number of factors outside of sleep.

Bags Vs. Dark Circles

The sensitive skin around our eyes becomes baggier as we age and some people experience fatty/fluid deposits under the eyes commonly known as ‘bags’.  It is said that bags are hereditary and DNA determined, but research has shown that diet plays a big role in how predominant bags become and how young they are developed. Bags are entirely different to dark circles. Some people have bags that are the same colour as the skin, and others prone to dark circles naturally develop darker bags. The bottom line is that with age we all experience a sagging of the skin around the eyes and cosmetic surgery is the only permanent cure for this.

Dark circles on the other hand, in the majority of cases, are hereditary. Skin type, colour and the shape of a person’s face also contribute to how predominant dark circles appear. For example, if you have deep-set eyes or a larger than average nose, dark circles will be more noticeable. However, it should be noted that if you are predisposed to dark circles, consistently poor sleep will accentuate their appearance, and the less you sleep the harder it will become to reverse the condition.

Possible Causes of Dark Circles

There are a variety of possible different reasons for dark circles around the eyes, with hereditary disposition being the primary cause. In the list below I have documented possible causes in order of likelihood based on my own personal research.

1. Hereditary Predisposition
Some people have a hereditary predisposition to dark circles, and without realising it you may be predisposed to leaking weak capillaries around the eyes, which cause the appearance of dark circles.

2. Stress
Everybody suffers from stress at one time or another. You will know from experience that when you are stressed people tell you that you look tired. Lower your stress levels through relaxation methods and positive mind training to ease the appearance of dark circles.

3. Excess Sugar
“You Are What You Eat”, it is as simple as that.  Research has shown that cutting down on processed sugar-laden foods makes eyes, hair and skin more healthy and radiant looking.

4. Excess Alcohol
Like excess sugar, too many nights drinking and you are likely to see an increase in dark circles. This is due to the nutrients being drained from your body by the toxicity of alcohol.

5. Dehydration
Dehydration affects the appearance of skin and its elasticity. With 75% of the population unknowingly dehydrated, it is no wonder the skin around our eyes looks so tired. Start drinking more water and the skin around your eyes will rehydrate and appear healthier.

6. Hay Fever and Dust Allergies
Hay Fever and dust allergies cause people to excessively rub their eyes. This breaks down blood vessels in the skin around the eyes and makes the appearance of the skin darker.


It isn’t just bad sleepers who suffer from dark circles around the eyes. In fact many bad sleepers don’t suffer this problem at all. Dark circles are down to a number of contributing factors, but largely hereditary disposition. Worrying about looking tired will only seek to make you look more tired and encourage dark circles to appear. I recommend reducing stress levels and spending less late nights on the laptop straining your eyes. Eat more protein and take a supplement that contains Keratin, which helps rejuvenate skin cells. You may also try simple treatments such as using fresh cucumber or tea bags on the eyes for 10 minutes at a time.

If you are predisposed to dark circles and are having trouble sleeping, I recommend a course of good sleep hygiene to optimize your sleep and set your body clock to sleep faster, deeper and longer during the correct hours.

This is a guest post by Peter Litchfield.

Peter Litchfield is an expert on sleep hygiene therapy and the natural cure of insomnia. He is also the author of the popular better sleep book Six Steps To Sleep Now

The Sleep Blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Instead, this website provides general information for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions or concerns regarding any medical condition or treatment.

Sleep Problems: A Quick Fix Guide (Guest Post)

Do you find yourself groggy and irritable upon waking up in the morning? Then you are probably not getting enough rest. A majority of adults greatly underestimate the importance of getting a full eight hours sleep. With work pressures and the myriad distractions of internet and entertainment gadgets, settling down into bed for actual sleep is being pushed later and later.

And then, there are also some people who find themselves too wound-up to shut their brains off, ending up lying awake hour after hour. Unless your sleep problems are caused by a medical condition, you could improve the quality of your rest by including minor changes in your night time routine. Read below for some quick fixes for common sleep problems.

  • Be more active during the day. Leading a sedentary life does not allow you to feel physically tired enough to go to sleep at night. Exercise seems to improve not only sleep, but also mood and energy levels. If you are too busy to go to the gym, a simple walk around the parking lot or using the stairs will do just fine. Pack some athletic shoes along and get moving after your day’s work.
  • Get up earlier. Sleeping until noon messes up with your body’s circadian rhythm. If you observe that you tend to get sleepy only after midnight, then chances are, you are now getting up early enough. Even if you don’t have to be anywhere at nine o’clock, get into the habit of waking up at eight am at the latest. You will find your days becoming more productive too.
  • Impose a caffeine moratorium after three pm. If you need to be asleep by ten or eleven am, then you should consume your last frappe no later than 3pm. That way, your body will have more than enough time to clear the caffeine from your system by night time.
  • Make your bedroom conducive for rest and relaxation. A room that is too noisy, too messy, or too chaotic does not exactly invite slumber. Take out everything not necessary for sleeping, such as the TV. Install some mood lighting (like an inexpensive low-wattage lamp) and pipe in some soothing music. Aromatherapy can also work wonders: lavender and chamomile essential oils are said to promote better sleep.
  • Invest in a good comfy bed and pillows. If your living room couch is a lot more comfortable and inviting than your bed, then you shouldn’t be surprised if you find yourself staying more in the couch. A bed is an essential piece of furniture, and you really should get the best that you can afford. Get a mattress that provides adequate support for your neck and back when lying in various positions. Also, you will really find it worthwhile to splurge on good, fluffy pillows and a set of luxurious bed linens with a high thread count. Make your bed as inviting as possible, and you will soon find yourself actually looking forward to catching forty winks.

Author Bio- Sunny is a Global Brand Manager at Mattressnextday.co.uk – The UK’s no1 supplier for memory foam mattress. Mattressnextday sells well known names such as: Sealy mattress, Silentnight mattress, Sleepeezee, Dream Works, Serene, Sprungland just to name a few. For more information see their website: http://www.mattressnextday.co.uk/




The Sleep Blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Instead, this website provides general information for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions or concerns regarding any medical condition or treatment.

The Top Ten Benefits That Sleeping can Provide

The immediate benefits of a great night’s sleep are obvious. You feel energized, refreshed, and are ready to tackle your day with the utmost enthusiasm. But sleep is much more than that. The benefits for your health that sleeping can provide seem endless. Here are the top ten benefits that sleep can provide.

10 Sleep Reduces Stress

Whether you are getting ready for a full night’s sleep, or just taking a nap, sleep can help to control your mental and physical stress levels. Sleeping can help to lower high blood pressure levels and elevated levels of stress levels. Today’s world is a fast paced lifestyle, so sleeping can definitely slow your stress levels.

9 Sleep Helps Athletic performance

Athletic performance is more important that some may think. Not everyone is going to be a super star athlete like Kobe Bryant, but receiving athletic grants or scholarships can go a long way for ones future. Athletic performance is linked to stronger social skills, improved classwork, and of course, fun. Resting up for the big game is very important if you want your performance to be top notch.

8 Sleep Improves Memory

When you are sleep deprived you often find difficulty concentrating, remembering, or even constructing clear thoughts. Sleeping helps your brain with rest/recovery and in turn your brain is busy organizing and sorting out thought or memories.

7 Sleep Helps Job Performance

This one almost seems like a no brainer, but still many of us wake up agitated, and our performance on the job suffers as a result. Without the necessary rest we are unable to perform complex problem solving skills, and find ourselves constantly playing catch up. Good sleep makes for good work.

6 Sleeping Helps Repair Your Body

Your body is constantly at war with the outside world. When we are breaking down muscles and draining our bodies physically, sleep can help to repair proteins that have been damaged. While this can be done out of sleep, the majority of protein repair happens in REM sleep. Sleep also helps to repair damaged skin cells that can lead to acne, or even scarring. A healthy body requires healthy sleep.

5 Sleeping Can Help You to Live Longer

Too little sleep is often correlated with a shorter life span. It is not quite spelled out whether sleep is a cause or an effect, but a healthy sleep schedule is related to longer years for a person. In 2010 a study in women between 60 and 70 showed more deaths occurred for those who got less than 5-6 hours of sleep each night; however too much sleep can also be harmful. A healthy balance of rest is required.

4 Sleep Helps Creativity

In addition to improving memory sleeping also is linked to creativity. Creativity is vital to many individuals in life. Without new inspiring ideas, the world will take much longer to develop. A good night’s sleep can help you to find that creative drive that you yearn for. Often times, writers block is associated with a lack of sleep.

3 Sleep Helps Your Heart

Everyone wants a strong healthy heart. Sleep plays a major role in helping maintain a healthy heart. Your cardiovascular system is always under stress and high blood pressure can be the main culprit. Sleep helps to keep cholesterol levels in check, which plays a major role in heart disease.

2 Sleeping Helps to Control Weight

If you are on a new diet plan, you may want to plan for an earlier bedtime as well. Diet and exercise are a key part to losing weight. Without proper rest and recovery diet and exercise may be useless. Your body needs to repair muscle proteins, and sleep can ensure that your diet is be maximized to its full potential. Otherwise, nutrients would be wasted, and you would be left feeling groggy.

1 Sleep Helps to Avoid AccidentsOn average one and six accidents are related to sleep deprivation. Sleepiness affects our decision making, and reaction time. On top of that, a winding smooth road is unfortunately, too relaxing, and falling asleep at the wheel is a very scary possibility. A combination of a lack of sleep and getting behind the wheel can be even more dangerous than alcohol related incidents.

Bonus! Sleep Helps with Depression

More and more in our fast paced world depression is affecting American’s lives. Depression can be caused by any number of things, and it can be a very serious condition. Sleep helps to control our irritability, and our anxiety, which are too of the leading contributors to depression. Sleep helps you to achieve more emotional stability, which can help you in almost every aspect of life.

Sleeping has endless health benefits. A good night’s rest can go a long way in today’s busy lifestyle. The average adult requires around 7-9 hours of sleep, so try to work that into your hectic lifestyle each night. Remember napping can always help too! A regular sleep schedule helps promote better sleeping habits and falling asleep faster.


This is a guest post authored by  Nicole Brinski

The Sleep Blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Instead, this website provides general information for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions or concerns regarding any medical condition or treatment.