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Myopia sufferers more likely to have disrupted sleep

Australian-based researchers have found that bad sleeping patterns are more common amongst those with myopia compared to people with normal eyesight.

The findings show that added interruptions of circadian rhythms and a reduction of melatonin is more frequent for those who are short-sighted.

People with myopia struggle to see items located far away but can easily see things nearby.

Academic Dr Ranjay Chakraborty said: “Disruptions in circadian rhythms and sleep due to the advent of artificial light and the use of light-emitting electronic devices for reading and entertainment has become a recognised health concern in several fields, but its impact on eye health has not been studied extensively.

“These findings provide important evidence that optimal sleep and circadian rhythms are not only essential for general health, but also for good vision.”

Dr Chakraborty and his team of researchers analysed the melatonin creation process and the circadian timing of a group of participants in their twenties who either have myopia or no eyesight problems at all.

The academics gathered their results by assessing the students’ saliva and urine samples which uncovered that myopia sufferers produce smaller amounts of melatonin.

Melatonin is made during the night by the pineal gland in your brain which keeps the sleep-wake cycle and circadian rhythms of the body sustained.

Myopia primarily impacts teenagers who are transitioning into adulthood.

Weakened eyesight and myopia is instigated during childhood when extreme sunlight is positioned ahead of the retina instead of on it.

Serious circumstances of myopia can lead to critical vision loss diseases developing with age.

Experts have reported an increase in people affected by myopia across the world and some research suggests that the increasing development of technological games for children has influenced this growth.

Dr Chakraborty said: “Children’s sleeping habits and exposure to screen time must be re-evaluated to reduce the chances of myopia progressing in young people.

“Adequate sleep is critical for learning and for the general wellbeing of children during the early development.”

He added: “A lot of digital devices emit blue light, which can suppress the production of melatonin and cause delay in circadian rhythms at night, resulting in delayed and poor sleep.

“It is important to limit the exposure to digital devices in children, particularly at night, for ensuring good sleep and healthy vision.”

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