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Sleeping With Contact Lenses : Is it Safe for Your Eyes?

Sleeping With Contact Lenses : Is it Safe for Your Eyes?

Do you sleep with contact lenses in at nighttime? As tempting as it may be to leave the lenses in after a long day, this might not be a wise choice. If you weren’t already aware, sleeping with contacts can negatively affect your eye health and vision and increase the chances of eye infections according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US. 

If you have made this mistake before, you might have been lucky enough to get away with just dryness and minor irritation but in the long term, this can have far more serious consequences. Sleeping in your contacts can not only deprive your eyes of oxygen but can also expose your sensitive cornea to bacterial buildup and thus increase your risk of contracting eye infections. 


As always, it is important to follow your doctor’s advice and the recommendations and instructions given for your particular brand and type of lens. This is because it is far more dangerous to sleep in daily disposable lenses than it is to sleep in lenses meant for extended wear or night time use that have special technology that provide more moisture or allow higher oxygen permeation. 

What are Risks of Sleeping With Contacts In?

One of the concerns of sleeping in your contact lenses is a reduction in the amount of oxygen that reaches the cornea. Contact lenses, especially those designed for extended wear, are permeable to oxygen to some extent. However, when the eyes are closed during sleep, the supply of oxygen to the cornea is reduced. This can cause discomfort and redness. 

Like previously discussed, sleeping with your contact lenses also significantly increases the chance of getting an eye infection. The closed environment created by the lenses on the eyes can trap debris, bacteria, and other microorganisms. 

Extended wear of contact lenses without proper cleaning and disinfection can result in eye infections and inflammation of the cornea, which can be painful and may lead to more serious complications if not promptly treated. 

No matter the type of contacts you use, it is important to clean the lenses regularly with contact lens solution to remove dirt and debris from the lenses. If you want to know the step by step process of cleaning your lenses, read our article on contact lens solutions.  

Is it Possible to Go Blind From Sleeping With Contacts In?

While it is rare, sleeping in contact lenses might lead to severe eye infections and complications that could lead to vision impairment or even blindness. The primary concern is increased risk of microbial contamination when lenses are worn for extended periods. Although the risk of blindness is pretty low for the average person, it is important to consider the risks before sleeping with your lenses. 

Is it Safe to Nap in Contact Lenses?

While sleeping at night with your contact lenses in is not recommended, it is possible to nap for short periods of time with your lenses in, especially if the lenses are specifically designed for extended or continuous wear.

However, to minimize the risk of discomfort or infections, you should stick to the prescribed wearing schedule and use lenses specifically designed for extended wear whenever possible. Extended wear contact lenses can be safely worn for extended periods, even during sleep. If you are looking for high performance extended wear lenses, the Air Optix Night and Day Lens are a good option as they are suitable for continuous wear, day and night, available on adasat.com

Air Optix Night and Day Lens 3pk

I Accidentally Fell Asleep With My Contact Lenses In, What Do I Do? 

Occasionally, we all make mistakes and engage in behaviors that are not good for us. The solution is to avoid the mistake from recurring in the future. The same is true of falling asleep with your lenses in. 

As soon as you wake up, remove the contact lenses and dispose of them if they are daily disposable lenses or clean the lenses and store them in a lens solution if they are extended wear lenses. 

Assess your vision and be attentive towards any kind of discomfort. Minor discomfort or blurred vision can be overcome by allowing your eyes to rest for some time. If your eyes feel dry, you can also use eye drops to lubricate your cornea and soothe irritation. 

If you feel any lasting discomfort, contact your eye doctor immediately for evaluation and treatment.

How to Store Your Contact Lenses While You Sleep

Store Your Contact Lenses While You Sleep

So wearing contact lenses while sleeping is not a great idea. Instead, we recommend that you store your lenses in a contact lens case filled with contact solution. This only applies to extended wear lenses. Rinse and clean your lenses with contact lens solution and do the same with your lens case. Soak your lenses in the solution for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours before wearing them again.

Learn More About Contact Lens Usage 

New to the world of contact lenses? Check out our article on Wearing Contact Lenses for the First Time to learn more about proper contact lens usage. Having trouble reading your contact lens prescription? Read our Contact Lens Prescription Guide where we demystify the meaning of those complicated abbreviations and symbols on your prescription.

Shop Contact Lenses and Solutions   

Looking for your new set of contacts and eyeglasses? Shop a wide range of medical lenses, colored lenses and contact lens solutions and eye drops from popular brands on our website.