Tired sleep deprived eyes holding up signs in protest for more better quality sleep.

The Eyes Have It

Have you ever lain awake half the night then finally slipped into some half-hearted doze only to wake a short while later, secretly and desperately hoping that hours and hours have passed?

I have.

It is with great despondency that I stare at the numbers on my clock and wish they were something completely different.

The feeling in my eyes

But it is not just knowing the time that tells me I have had sweet stuff all sleep. It is my eyes. There is a unique and desperately sad feeling in my eyes that tells me I have been asleep. But not for long.

It is hard to describe that feeling but I am going to give it a red hot try.

My eyes want nothing more than rest and restoration

There is a heaviness in my eyelids that far exceeds the literal weight of the small piece of skin that covers my eyes. It is like balloons that have been pumped full of water and they are bursting at the seams. The water has nowhere to go and is pressing a really uncomfortable pressure against my already exhausted eyes.

But despite the feeling of being pumped full of water, my eyes are desperately dry. Like they have wandered around in the desert for a month, parched of any life-sustaining hydration. Scratchy and sore and hot and heavy.

My poor old puffy, swollen, parched, and scratchy eyes want nothing more than to slip into a peaceful state of rest and restoration.

A lose-lose situation

If I stay in bed and try to get more sleep, which I almost always do these days, I have to squeeze and relax my eyes for several minutes to get them to calm down enough for me to be able to sleep again.

I have no idea what is physiologically happening, but it is really jolly unpleasant. While my heavy, swollen, parched eyes are throbbing away, I cannot sleep. Until I sleep, my eyes will remain parched, swollen, and heavy. It feels like a lose-lose situation.

Eventually, I doze again

With a lot of blinking and practicing my relaxation techniques along with my new mantra of “acceptance,” I can often doze again. And the cycle is repeated. Until eventually, after enough dozes, I wake and check the clock.

A little bit of daylight cracks through the chink in the curtains, and I realise my eyes have started to get a little sense of okay-ness about them. Still heavy and tired, but less of the bursting water balloons in the desert feeling.

Only in the wee hours of the night

Interestingly enough, regardless of the amount of fatigue and exhaustion I feel during the day, my eyes never sink into their sad depths. The fatigue settles around other parts of my body. It is the wee hours of the night when my eyes seem to know for sure that they are meant to be receiving the loving, tender care of blessed rest. And they scream in protest when it is not there.

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