Have you ever woken up and felt as though your eyes are still fast asleep? Or dealt with strained and tired eyes that feel heavy and weighed down, like you have been sleeping with your eyes open? If so, your tired eyes may need a wakeup call!
Issues with sleeping, day-to-day activities, allergies, and the natural aging process can all make your eyes feel heavy. Tired eyes not only make you look more exhausted than you actually are, but they can cause blurred vision, itchiness, or make it difficult to focus.
Don’t let your tired eyes ruin your day!
We’ve gathered up some of the most effective tips for showing off eyes that look refreshed and feel invigorated and alert. Wake up your tired eyes fast with these simple solutions!
Natural Home Remedies to Wake Up Your Eyes
When it comes to waking up tired eyes, you may not have to look any farther than your refrigerator or pantry for the perfect solution. Try some of these all-natural home remedies to wake up your worn-out eyes.
1. Wash Your Face with Cold Water
Contrary to popular belief, splashing cold water on your face doesn’t actually wake you up. It does, however, temporarily decrease blood flow to your face and eyes. This reduction in blood flow helps to decrease inflammation and eye puffiness.
Adjust your water temperature so that it’s cold, but not freezing. Splash your face at least five times in order to reduce blood flow – then pause for a minute to allow normal blood flow to return to your face. Continue the process by splashing your face five more times, followed by a pause.
Repeat for a total of four times. By promoting healthy circulation, this simple solution will definitely refresh and awaken your tired eyes.
2. Take the Plunge
Similar to the above mentioned technique, fully submerging your face into a bowl of cold water is simply a more intense variation. The same effect of reduced blood flow followed by healthy circulation will help wake up and de-puff tired looking eyes.
Fill a bowl with cold water, but not freezing. Take a deep breath and submerge your face in the water for about 30 seconds, or until you need to come up for air. Repeat this process 3 times and you can enjoy eyes that look refreshed and awake.
3. Cold Water Eye Mask
In the same way that you ice a sprained ankle to reduce swelling, you can ice away your puffy, tired eyes! If you don’t happen to have one of those nifty blue gel eye masks lying around, you can create a DIY version with a washcloth or hand towel.
Simply fold your towel into an eye mask sized compress and run it under freezing cold water. Wring out the towel completely and place it in the freezer for several minutes. Once the towel is sufficiently cold, lay down with the towel covering both eyes and leave on for 5-10 minutes.
After the designated time, remove the towel and enjoy eyes that no longer appear tired or puffy.
4. Warm Compress
While a cold compress can help reduce eyes that look tired, a warm compress can help them feel less tired.
Warm temperatures can help relax your eye muscles and relieve that tired feeling. You can create a warm compress by folding a towel and running it under warm water. Try microwaving the wet towel for a few seconds to really turn up the heat.
If you don’t want to use a towel, you can achieve the same effect by steeping tea bags in warm water. Wring them out and place one over each eye for 5-10 minutes. The specific type of tea that you use is not terribly important, though chamomile tea has been said to have a soothing effect. Many relaxing bedtime teas feature chamomile as the main ingredient.
Treating eyes to a warm compress, either towel or tea bags, will help them feel more relaxed and less strained.
5. Veg Out
Various vegetables can have a soothing affect when applied to your eyes. Potatoes, when sliced and exposed to air, produce an enzyme called benzoquinone. This enzyme can have a slight skin-bleaching effect and help reduce the darkness associated with under-eye bags when applied to your eyes.
Frozen peas are another good option when it comes to fighting tired eyes. The small size of the peas allows them to fill all the nooks and crannies of your eye sockets. The cold from the frozen peas will help fight puffiness and inflammation.
To use veggies for waking up tired eyes, simply apply sliced raw potato to your eyes and let them rest there for 20 minutes. If you want to try the frozen peas method, fill 2 small sandwich baggies or pieces of cheesecloth with frozen peas. Loosely place the baggies over your eyes and let them rest there for 15-20 minutes.
6. Milk Does a Body (and eyes) Good
While it’s somewhat of a myth that milk can help you fall asleep, it can work wonders for waking up tired eyes. Milk naturally has high levels of fat, protein, amino acids, and vitamins that alleviate eye irritation and inflammation.
Use cold milk to saturate a washcloth, then wring it out gently. Apply the compress to your eyes for 15 minutes. Remember – the higher the fat content, the better! Go for whole milk rather than skim when it comes to waking up your tired eyes.
7. Spoon Those Sockets
Using a spoon on your eyes may sound weird but it can really wake up your tired looking peepers. Applying gentle pressure to your eyes with the back of a frozen spoon is a simple trick for reducing puffiness and helping your eyes wake up.
Place a spoon in the freezer overnight. When you wake up, lightly press the back of the spoon on your eyeball and underneath your eye for a few seconds. You can even try to gently massage the eye area to eliminate any fluid retention that may be occurring.
The shape of the spoon naturally fits into and under your eye, making it the perfect tool for de-puffing your eyes and helping them appear more awake.
Lubricate your tired eyes!
There are a variety of eye drops available that may be just what your sleepy eyes need to wake up. Most drops are available OTC, though talking to your doctor about prescription drops to help awaken tired eyes is also an option.
1. Lubricating Drops
Lubricating drops help to rehydrate dry eyes and soothe them. The added moisture will alleviate dryness, which can add to the appearance and feeling of tired eyes.
In order for lubricating drops to really be effective in waking up your tired eyes, you’ll need to use them frequently throughout the day. Follow package instructions to ensure proper application.
2. Antihistamine Drops
Allergies can be a big contributor to tired and uncomfortable eyes. Antihistamine drops help to block the release of histamine which is the body’s natural defense against allergens.
Red and irritated eyes look and feel tired. If you experience these tired eye symptoms and suspect they’re due to various allergens, try using antihistamine drops to brighten and refresh your tired eyes and fight any allergic reactions.
3. Red-Eye Reducing Drops
Eye drops that claim to get the red out of your eyes do so by constricting the blood vessels, eliminating redness in the process.
If your eyes look tired due to redness, using eye drops like Visine’s Red-Eye Reduction Drops may help wake up your sleepy peepers.
4. Prescription Drops
Chronic dry eyes can cause itchiness, burning, redness, and an overall squinty and tired appearance. When OTC drops just aren’t helping, it may be time to talk to your doctor.
Prescription eye drops like Restasis help treat chronic dry eyes. By relieving your eye dryness, you can both feel and look more awake.
Exercise those tired eyes!
A lot of times, tired looking eyes occur when your eye muscles experience muscle fatigue. Your eye muscles are just like any other muscle in your body. Regular exercise is necessary to increase strength, endurance, and resilience.
Maybe you’ve never thought about working out your eyes – but it’s time to start! Strengthening your ocular muscles can help you ward off tired looking eyes. Try performing some of these exercises daily to keep your eyes looking wide awake!
When your eyes are feeling especially heavy, palming is an excellent exercise to try and lighten up your lids.
Start by warming up your palms by rubbing them together. Next, place your cupped palms over your eyes and let your fingers rest on your forehead. The combination of warmth and darkness will help to relax tired eye muscles.
While your eyes are cupped, focus on breathing in and out. Inhale normally and exhale rapidly while contracting your abdomen. This breathing exercise while cupping your eyes can help to alleviate stress and tension. This will help your eyes wake right up!
2. Near & Far Focusing
For this exercise, hold one index finger close to your face, about the distance that your eyes begin to cross when focusing on it. Place your other index finger directly in front of your line of vision, arm’s length away.
As you inhale focus both eyes on the finger closest to you. As you exhale, close your eyes. When you finish exhaling, open your eyes and this time focus on the finger furthest from you as you inhale again. Repeat a total of three times.
3. Shifty Eyes
This exercise helps to strengthen the range of motion that your eyes have. Stand or sit up straight and imagine that you’re at the center of a large clock. Keep your head still and look up to 12 o’clock only using your eyes. Maintain this gaze for 2-4 seconds, while also focusing on your breathing.
Next, move your eyes in the direction of 3 o’clock and hold the gaze for 2-4 seconds while breathing. Repeat with 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock. Repeat the entire process 2-4 times, working your gaze in clockwise and counterclockwise directions.
Creams and Cosmetics
The beauty industry is flush with endless creams, lotions, potions, and cosmetics to help treat and conceal the look of tired eyes. With the use of a few targeted products, you can at least make your tired eyes look fresh and alert, even when they are not!
Moisturizer – regular or eye-specific – is an essential step in not only treating tired eyes but prior to disguising them with cosmetics as well. Moisturizer of any kind helps to smooth the delicate skin of your eye area, plump up fine lines, and create refreshed appearance.
Since the undereye area doesn’t produce oil like the rest of the face, even people with oily skin should moisturize around their eyes. Consistent moisturizing can instantly perk eyes up and reduce the appearance of tired eyes over time.
Look for moisturizers that are rich in vitamins C and E. These naturally moisturizing ingredients deeply penetrate and moisturize the skin around your eyes, helping them to look more awake. Always apply moisturizer around your eyes prior to using concealer for the smoothest possible application.
2. Attack Those Bags
Undereye bags need to be attacked on two levels-by reducing puffiness and hiding discoloration. Various products on the market contain ingredients that will address both of the symptoms of tired undereye bags.
Products that contain caffeine, collagen, or hyaluronic acid will help to rehydrate and reduce puffy eye bags. For dark discoloration under your eyes, look for products that have the ingredient peptide haloxyl. This ingredient helps to stabilize the blood vessels around your eyes and reduce discoloration.
Vitamin K is another ingredient that can help lighten the dark circles under your weary eyes. Products that contain ingredients to address both puffiness and discoloration are your best bet for giving your eyes that wide-awake look.
3. Conceal, Conceal, Conceal
When you want to disguise the signs of tired eyes, liquid based concealers are your best bet. Your under-eye area tends to be dry, so cakey or powdery concealers will only settle into fine lines and add to your exhausted appearance.
Look for a concealer that closely matches your natural skin tone and your foundation. Contrary to popular belief, choosing under-eye concealer that is a shade or two lighter than your skin is not a good idea. Your goal is to create a uniform and smooth skin tone from under your eyes to under your chin.
Try applying your foundation first, then apply your under-eye concealer over it. This will help to blend the products better. If you can find a concealer that has reflective pigments, this will help to reflect light and draw attention away from dark circles.
4. Reduce Lines
Retinol is a skin exfoliant that naturally encourages cell turnover. By shedding dead skin cells and letting new cells surface, you can reduce the appearance of fine lines around your eyes.
Fine lines can contribute to the tired appearance that your eyes have. Keep in mind that addressing and reducing fine lines takes time. But regularly applying retinol-based products under your makeup and before bed will work towards reviving your tired eyes permanently.
5. Make Your Eyes Pop
Accentuating your eyes with carefully applied eyeliner and eyeshadow can help make your eyes pop. This will give them the appearance of being bright and wide-awake.
Try using brown and bronze toned eyeliners to line your eyes. Extend the top line out past the outer corners of your eyelashes to give the illusion of lifted eyelids.
Shimmery eyeshadow in shades of champagne or gold are also an excellent way to make your eyes pop! To help give your eyes that lively sparkle, apply shadow to the inner corner of your eye and blend outward using your finger or a shadow brush.
The last step to waking up your tired eyes with makeup is to apply a fresh coat of mascara and curl your lashes. Lengthening and curling lashes will help make your eyes appear open and awake. Apply a thin coat of mascara and let it dry before using an eyelash curler to curl your lashes. Be sure to wash off your eyelash curler after each use to remove old mascara.
6. Light It Up
Makeup products like highlighters generally contain shimmering particles which can help to create radiance, especially around your eye area. Radiant, glowing skin is that hard to achieve age-less characteristic that everyone desires.
Highlighting creams with light-reflecting particles, such as mica, will brighten your eye area and draw attention away from under eye shadows that have you looking tired. Apply highlighting creams under the arch of your eyebrow and in the inner corners of your eyes to brighten them up.
You can also try using highlighting eye pencils in shades of gold, champagne, or camel. These will help to give your eyes that shimmering glow without exacerbating red-undertones that can make eyes appear irritated or tired. Apply these pencils to the inside of your lower eyelids.
Things in your environment can exacerbate the look and feel of your tired eyes. The following tips will help you eliminate certain tired-eye triggers to keep your peepers looking lively.
1. Attack Allergens
Eye allergies can cause your eyes to be red, itchy, and dry. This not only makes them feel tired but it can also give them an overall exhausted appearance.
Keeping your environment as allergen free as possible by frequent vacuuming, the use of a hypoallergenic pillow and mattress covers, air purifier, and frequently washing your bedding will help soothe irritated eyes.
The use over OTC or prescription allergy pills can also help reduce your reaction allergens that are making your eyes appear tired.
2. Take a Break
Your eyes can become extremely tired after long periods of time spent focusing on a computer screen or paperwork. The best way to alleviate eye strain is to take frequent breaks, at least once an hour.
Taking breaks so that your eyes can close for several minutes or focus on other things is like pressing the reset button. Even just a few minutes spent resting or refocusing will help your eyes to wake up and feel rejuvenated.
3. Mood Lighting
Everyone has a different preference when it comes to lighting and how it feels visually. As a teacher, I always refused to turn on my overhead fluorescent lights because they put so much strain on my eyes. Instead, I placed various lamps around my classroom to create a more naturally lit space. This allowed my eyes to feel comfortable and never overtired.
Many offices and work places use fluorescent lighting. This can wreak havoc on your eyes and cause them to feel worn out quickly.
Try adjusting the lighting in your workplace if you are dealing with tired eyes. Simply changing the brightness and intensity of light can decrease how tired your eyes feel and look.
4. Distance Yourself
If you work at a computer for multiple hours a day, make sure that the screen is 20-26 inches from your face. It should also be kept at slightly below eye level. This specific placement can help reduce the strain on your eyes that are causing them to feel or look tired.
You can also try investing in an anti-glare screen to help reduce eye strain and keep them feeling energized.
5. Pillow Choice
Keeping your head slightly elevated during the night can help stop fluids from being stored near your eyes. Fluid retention is a common cause of eye puffiness and tired looking eyes.
Try replacing your pillow with one that keeps your head and neck well-supported and slightly elevated. When choosing a pillow be sure to choose the one with the right loft, This will keep fluid buildup to a minimum and reduce puffy eyes in the morning.
Dry and itchy eyes make for tired looking eyes. Sleeping in a room with very dry air will cause your eyes to feel and look dry the next morning.
Placing a humidifier in your bedroom will help saturate the air with moisture. By keeping your eyes lubricated while you sleep, you can wake up with moist and refreshed looking eyes.
7. Sleep More
Out of all the tips and tricks we’ve discussed, getting adequate sleep each night is definitely one of the best things that you can do to wake up your tired eyes.
Sleeping 7-8 hours each night not only helps your body and mind recover from all the daily strain they experience, but it will rejuvenate your eyes too! With regular sleep, your eyes have the opportunity to heal and wake up naturally, looking and feeling refreshed. Make getting a solid night’s sleep a priority in your life and your eyes reflect your efforts!
What tips or tricks have you found work to wake up tired eyes? Share your thoughts and comments below so that we can help each other start each day looking and feeling bright-eyed and awake!