10 Tips to Ease Dry Eye at Night

Dry Eyes at night can be very problematic, causing eyes to be itchy and irritable. In this blog, we’ll be sharing our top tips to help your eyes.

These tips are:

  1. Use a warm compress before bed
  2. Stay hydrated
  3. Use a foam cleanser 
  4. Put a humidifier for dry eyes in your bedroom
  5. No phones before bed
  6. Wear moisture chamber goggles
  7. Follow a skin-care routine
  8. Avoid scented candles
  9. Wash your bedding regularly
  10. Use eye drops, like our VisuXL gel, before bed

What is Dry Eye?

Dry Eye Syndrome, or Dry Eye Disease, is a condition which affects 1 in 4 people in the UK.[1] Symptoms of Dry Eye can include dry, itchy, gritty, sore and watery eyes, as well as sensitivity to light and blurred vision.[2]

Causes of chronic Dry Eye Syndrome include age, gender, environment, eye surgery, lifestyle choices like smoking and drinking alcohol, and pre-existing conditions including diabetes and hypothyroidism.[3]

Dry Eye

Why do I have itchy, dry eyes at night?

Dry eyes can often get worse at night. In fact, some people even suffer from dry eyes only when sleeping.

There are multiple reasons why Dry Eye symptoms are worse at night. For example, some people experience nocturnal lagophthalmos, which is a condition where the eyelids are unable to close properly at night, exposing the eyes to dry air which can increase irritation and itching.[4]

Also, the body’s metabolism and blood circulation slow at night when you are asleep. Fewer nutrients reach your eyes, which means that your eyes can’t produce as many tears, which can lead to night-time dry eyes.[5]

There are other lifestyle factors like contact lenses and excess screen time during the day that can make you more likely to suffer from dry eyes at night.


Dry Eyes

Why do my eyes keep watering at night?

When we get into bed and lie down, our eyes can begin to water. This is because your tears cannot drain properly, with gravity no longer pushing your tears into your tear ducts.[6] This can also be linked to conditions such as nocturnal lagophthalmos.[4]

How to get rid of dry eyelids overnight:

It’s not just our eyes that can be negatively impacted on a night. Dry eyelids can be caused by skin conditions like dermatitis, as well as dry air and ageing.

To treat dry eyelids, it is best to see your doctor who may prescribe you allergy tested medication or other moisture based products to treat your condition.[7]

What can I do to reduce dry eyes at night?

Dry eyes at night can be prevented in a number of ways, to ensure that you have a great night’s sleep. Here are our top 10 tips to reduce night-time Dry Eye.


Woman in mask in bed

1. Use a warm compress before bed

Before bed, apply a warm compress to your eyes to help melt the oils blocking your Meibomian glands and minimise dry eye symptoms in the night.[8] This can help to stop your eyes from stinging at night, as the compress can provide a gentle and soothing eyelid massage.[9]

MeiboPatch® is an eye compress with a unique temperature test strip feature. This enables the compress to reach the perfect temperature and maintain the desired heat required to melt the meibomian glands. A regular flannel, on the other hand, rapidly loses heat and is therefore far less effective.[7][9]

Shop our MeiboPatch® today here.


Dry Eye

 2. Stay hydrated

This is a general rule of thumb for sufferers of dry eye, because staying well hydrated has been scientifically proven to help ease symptoms. Consistently drinking water throughout the day can therefore help to lessen the impact of symptoms at night.[10]

You should aim to drink between 8 and 10 glasses of water a day if you suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome.[11]
It is also a good idea to sleep with a glass of water by your bedside, in case you need rehydration during the night.



3. Use a foam cleanser 

After applying the compress and massaging your glands, you will need to clean away the secretions from your unblocked Meibomian glands and any dirt or irritants that have built up during the day.[12] For the best results, cleanse using the Naviblef ® Intensive Care eyelid foam or Naviblef ® Daily Care foam to cleanse the eyes, as they are non-greasy and non-irritant.[13]

Cleansing using an optimal foam formulation is a great way to ease itchy eyes at night, with purified water being the main ingredient in many products.[14] Purified water has been cleansed of organic irritants, which makes it incredibly safe for the eyes.[15]

You can shop our range of foam cleansers here.


Dry Eye

 4. Put a humidifier for dry eyes in your bedroom 

By turning on a humidifier in your room at night, you fill the air with moisture and protect your eyes from potential dryness.  Humidifiers protect your tear film from damage.

A 2017 study by Michael T.M. Wang found that humidifiers helped Dry Eye in people that spend a lot of time at a computer screen.[16] Therefore, humidifiers should make a positive difference to those suffering from dry eyes at night. This is a brilliant and cost-effective home remedy. 

A 2018 study about the right environment for optimum sleep found that a controlled humidity of between 40 and 60% is best.[17] Any higher than this can increase the risk of black mould in your bedroom, which releases mycotoxins which can impact night-time Dry Eye.[18]

For more tips on how to help your Dry Eye, visit our lifestyle blog.


Phone in bed

5. No phones before bed

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you should stop using electronic devices, such as your phone, at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep.[19] This is because they give your brain too much stimulation to switch off, affecting your sleep.

In the same way, too much screen time can cause Computer Vision Syndrome, which can lead to Dry Eye and stinging eyes at night. This is because blinking helps cover the eyes with a tear film, but when we look at digital devices we blink less often.[20]

These two factors combined mean that phones should be avoided before bedtime to prevent night-time Dry Eye. For more information on Computer Vision Syndrome, visit our blog.



6. Wear moisture chamber goggles

You may not have thought of wearing glasses in bed, but the right ones can actually help stop your eyes stinging at night. Wearing moisture chamber goggles or wrap-around glasses can help to reduce the evaporation of your tears.

Many people choose to wear soft moisture chamber goggles, as they are comfortable for a good night’s sleep. Just make sure that if you do use these, you sleep on your back to stop them pressing into your face.[21]

Contact-lens wearers should also make sure that they remove them before bed, to avoid making your eyes sting at night. This also allows your eyes to rehydrate before you shut them through the night.[22]


Woman cleaning face

7. Follow a skin-care routine

You should always remove your makeup before you go to bed, to avoid it going into your eyes in your sleep.[23]

You should also avoid makeup removers, moisturisers and skincare that include:

  • Alcohol
  • Parabens
  • Oil
  • Retinol
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Acetyl hexapeptide-3
  • Benzalkonium chloride (BAK or BAC)
  • Butylene glycol, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)
  • Formaldehyde and formaldehyde donors
  • Isopropyl cloprostenate[24]

For this reason, it is a good idea to read the labels on your products before using them. For more tips on cosmetics for Dry Eyes, read our blog.



 8. Avoid scented candles

Although scented candles can be incredibly relaxing, they can also cause stinging and itchy eyes at night. This is because of chemicals often used in fragrance like acetone, Linalool and benzaldehyd. If you are looking to add ambience into your bedroom, you should opt for unscented beeswax candles with a cotton wick.[25]

For this reason, you should also avoid fragranced pillow mists and air fresheners that include these ingredients. In particular, pillow mists can rub directly into your eyes, causing stinging eyes at night.


Woman using washing machine

9. Wash your bedding regularly

Washing bedding is something that we all do – but did you know that it can help to soothe dry eyes at night? Washing your bedding can remove allergens like dust, pet hair and pollen, all of which can irritate your eyes.[12]

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you wash your bedsheets at least once a week. You should do this even more often if you have a condition such as Dry Eye Syndrome.[26]

You should also choose your laundry detergent and softener wisely. These can make your eyes itchy and watery due to chemicals like ethanol, sodium silicate and bleach.[25] Therefore, you should look at the ingredients on these items before you wash your bedding with them.


Eye drops for Dry Eyes

10. Use eye drops before bed

Using night eye drops for dry eyes straight before you go to sleep protects your eyes from drying out whilst you rest. Dry Eye gel can also be helpful on a night, as they can often cause blurry vision when applied. Therefore, you can sleep while they work their magic.

VisuXL Gel eye drops provide 12-hour protection from Dry Eye symptoms, giving you a full night of sleep.[27] It’s a lubricating eye drop which turns into a gel when it hits the surface of your eye, maintaining residence time to provide lasting relief.[28]  


For more information about VisuXL Gel and other treatments to relieve Dry Eyes at night, visit the VISUfarma Website.

We hope that you have enjoyed this blog about Dry Eyes at night. To find out more about Dry Eye, join our community and follow our social channels.


In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.

Shop now



  1. Association of Optometrists, ‘Dry Eye Syndrome’. Accessed May 2022.
  2. NHS, ‘Dry Eyes’, Healthline, 01/04/2020. Accessed May 2022.
  3. Not a Dry Eye, ‘Causes’. Accessed May 2022.
  4. Latkany, Robert, Lock, Barbara, and Speaker, Mark, ‘Nocturnal lagophthalmos: an overview and classification’, The Ocular Surface, 2006 Jan;4(1):44-53. Accessed May 2022.
  5. Lazarus, Russell, ‘Burning Eyes at Night’ Optometrists Network, 06/02/21. Accessed May 2022.
  6. Leela Raju, ‘What Can Cause Your Eyes to Water When You’re Lying Down?’, Healthline. Accessed November 2022.
  7. Natalie Silver, HealthLine, ‘Why Do My Eyelids Feel Dry?’, 08/12/21. Accessed December 2022.
  8. Baumann A, Cochener B, [Meibomian gland dysfunction: a comparative study of modern treatments]. Journal francais d’ophtalmologie, 2014; 37(4): 303-12. Accessed May 2022.
  9. MeiboPatch® Instructions for Use (IFU). Accessed May 2022.
  10. Walsh, Neil. Fortes, Matthew. Raymond-Barker, Phillipa. et al, ‘Is Whole-Body Hydration an Important Consideration in Dry Eye’, IOVS, September 2012, Vol.53, 6622-6627. Accessed May 2022.
  11. Complete Eye Care, ‘How Does Hydration Affect My Eyes’, Accessed Sep 2021.
  12. Lovering, Cathy, ‘Why You Have Dry Eyes at Night and How to Soothe Them’, Healthline, 15/01/2021. Accessed August 2021.
  13. Naviblef ® Daily Care and Naviblef ® Intensive Care instructions for use (IFU). Accessed May 2022.
  14. Sharita Hanley, ‘What to Know About Eyewash Solutions’, WebMD, 09/11/22. Accessed November 2022.
  15. Katey Davidson, ‘Purified Water vs. Spring Water: Which Is Better?’, 23/08/21. Accessed November 2022.
  16. Michael T.M Wang et al, Randomized Trial of Desktop Humidifier for Dry Eye Relief in Computer Users. Optometry and Vision Science: November 2017 – Volume 94 – Issue 11 – p 1052-1057. Accessed November 2022.
  17. Zachary A. Caddick, Kevin Gregory, Lucia Arsintescu, Erin E. Flynn-Evans, ‘A review of the environmental parameters necessary for an optimal sleep environment, Building and Environment, Volume 132, 2018, Pages 11-20. Accessed November 2022.
  18. Charmley, Sarah, ‘Can humidifiers reduce dry eye symptoms?’, MedicalNewsToday, 30/01/2022. Accessed November 2022.
  19. SCL Health, ‘Why It’s Time to Ditch the Phone Before Bed’. Accessed November 2022.
  20. Wheeler, Regina Boyle. ‘Dry Eye and Screen Use’, WebMD, 21/06/21, Accessed April 2022.
  21. Not a Dry Eye, ‘Moisture Chamber Goggles’. Accessed November 2022.
  22. Lentiamo, ‘Can you sleep with contacts in?’. Accessed November 2022.
  23. HealthLine, ‘Eye Makeup and Dry Eyes: The Inside Scoop’, 07/09/21. Accessed October 2022.
  24. Wells, Jennifer, ‘Dry, Irritated Eyes? Avoid These Hidden Ingredients in Your Beauty and Skincare Products’, Midwest Eye Consultants, 30/10/20. Accessed November 2022.
  25. Laurier Optical Orleans Innes Eye Clinic, ‘These 10 Household Items Could Be Irritating Your Eyes’. Accessed November 2022.
  26. Noyed, Daniel, ‘How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets?’, Sleep Foundation, 11/03/22,
  27. Brancato R, Fiore T, Papucci L, et al, ‘Concomitant Effect of Topical Ubiquinone Q10 and Vitamin E to Prevent Keratocyte Apoptosis After Excimer Laser Photoablation in Rabbits’, J Refract Surg 2002; 18: 135-9. † In an animal model. Accessed May 2022.
  28. VisuXL Gel Instructions For Use (IFU). Accessed May 2022.


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