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6 Tricks for Dealing with Tired Eyes

A man rubbing his tired eyes, while holding his glasses in his other hand.
SG Shot/Shutterstock

Like a movie trope come to life, you’re leaning back in your chair rubbing your fatigued eyes again and wondering if you need glasses. Here’s how to give your tired eyes a break.

Take a Break From Technology

Staring at a screen all day is probably one of the main reasons your eyes are so tired. They’re always straining and squinting to adjust to the blue light being emitted, not to mention the quick changes of light and color. They’re also trying to pay attention to every little detail.

Shut down your laptop, turn off your TV, and put your smartphone away for 20-30 minutes and allow your eyes to rest. Go outside and get some fresh air, or simply do something that doesn’t require technology. Even a small break like this can help tremendously and allow your eye muscles to ease up the tension.

If your job requires you to be in front of a computer all day, you might want to invest in a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses, like BLUblox. They protect your eyes from harmful tech light and prevent it from disrupting your sleep and overall wellness.

Close the Blinds

When your eyes are so tired, you can barely keep them open, give them a quick reset by closing the blinds. Make the room as dark as you possibly can and prevent any light source from irritating them even further. Want total darkness but don’t have blackout shades or curtains? Grab yourself a good sleep mask.

Gently close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and allow your body to relax. Keep breathing and resting for 15-20 minutes. You’ll notice the uncomfortable feeling slowly going away, one breath at a time.

When you’re done, slowly open your eyes. Let them adjust to the darkness first, before gradually allowing in light. You don’t want to do it too quickly and shock your eyes, so take it one step at a time, just as you would when waking up.

A Scalp Massage

If you love the scalp massage your hairdresser gives you when you’re at the salon, this might be your fave tip. Massaging your head and forehead increases blood flow to that area and releases any tension.

You can easily do this yourself, ask your partner to do it, or get a manual scalp massager. Make sure you cover every inch. If you’re using your hands, spread your fingers, and then place them firmly on your scalp with your palms lifted. Slowly stretch out your hands and let your fingers slide up and down your head, changing directions each time.

Then, bring your fingers to your forehead and, starting from the center, slide them toward the edges right up to your temples. Repeat this five to 10 times. You can keep your eyes open or closed and feel the soothing effect of your strokes.

You can even try a gentle eye massage by placing your fingers on your eyelids, under your eyes, and on your temples. Keep the pressure very light, and the movement slow.

Artificial Tears

Individual use and bottled artificial tears.
Jarva Jar/Shutterstock

You might think artificial tears are just for Hollywood, or eye drops are only for people with allergies, but they’re actually one of the best and (and fastest!) remedies for tired eyes. When our eyes are fatigued, they tend to dry up, which causes even more strain.

Artificial tears lubricate the eyes and help maintain moisture on your eyes’ outer surface, preventing them from drying out again. They’re widely used for allergy irritations, in extremely windy or dry conditions, for dryness caused by smoke or certain medications, or to aid with contact lenses.

You can find them in any pharmacy, and you don’t need a prescription. Aim for a simple formula and skip those with additives for allergies, eye redness, or other conditions. You just want plain old lubrication without all the extras, like antihistamines, you don’t need.

Warm and Cold Compression

For this method, all you need is a clean cloth to dip in warm or cool water. Then, just place it over your eyes. Settle down and get in tune with your breath. Feel the weight of the cloth relaxing your eyes and relieving their muscles of all the strain.

Cold compression is better if your eyes are puffy or swollen, but you can use either for tired eyes. Sometimes, though, a warm cloth might feel much better than a cold one, so try them both!

Aloe Vera and Cucumbers

The aloe vera plant has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce any puffiness around your eyes, as well as improve blood circulation to the area. You can get an aloe vera cool gel and spread it under and over your eyelids, or soak a cloth in aloe and cold water and place it on your eyes as compression. Both versions do the trick!

Same as aloe vera, cucumbers are known to reduce inflammation and improve the appearance of tired eyes and under your eyes, as well as dark circles and puffiness. The slices are also a natural moisturizer, so cut them up like you see in magazines and pamper yourself with a spa session.

Tired eyes are definitely no fun—especially if your job has you glued to a screen for most of the day. Try these easy remedies, and your eyes will feel better in no time!

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »
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