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Health Forum    Other - General Health Care
Health Discussion Forum

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Why is it that when we close our eyes we fall asleep?
I obviously know we need to sleep but why do we fall asleep when we close our eyes and why do some people fall asleep straight away and it takes others like me quite a while to fall asleep

It depends on how much brain activity is going on. If someone is able to just "shut off" their brain, then they can fall asleep fast. While others think about the day and things that they still have to do, which keeps them up. Also, we close our eyes because are eyes get tired. They are close to being like a brain, they are up all day long...and work a lot!

No Good Advice
It takes me a while too, some people like me, have to be really tired to `nod off`, many things run through my mind, could be anything, cos my brain wont switch off. We have to close our eyes because if you try to keep them open all day, you will get a headache and eye strain, i guess its like any part of the body. If you sit on ur **** all day it will hurt or if u hold ur arm in the air all day :) Everything needs `down time` :)

jessica c
well i guess it depends on the individual how hard they have worked physically/mentally whatever and how relaxed a person gets

It is possible to sleep with your eyes open. Kids do it a lot. It actually requires more energy to keep your eyes closed than it does to keep them open. In their completely relaxed state, eyelids remain open, this is why undertakers used to place pennies on the eyes of corpses. Its favourable for the brain to automatically try and close the eyes when you are tired as it reduces sensory input.

people who fall asleep quickly are content people who take a while to sleep like your self are not you have a guilty consicence

Outspoken but Honest
Its called a clear conscious dude!

Once you close your eyes (obviously you can't see and its dark)...your body produces sleep inducing hormone Melatonin.

As for the latter question, its just how our own body works.. my brother is asleep within 3 minutes of going to bed, me 1/2 hour to 2 hours!

I always start thinking about pointless things, which takes me longer to drop off..

Mr. Goodadvice
stop makin me tired! i need to pull an all-nighter! and i'm like you so that helps. but to answer your question, sorry i don't really know. i'll give a generic answer like "people are different"

¡dulce niña!
it probably depends on how tired you are!!! think it is so...

it depends on how tired the person is mentally and physically.. others have a lot of things on their mind and that makes them delay their sleep since their mind is so active...there are people out there who are so tired that they can sleep with their eyes open :D

I think the reason we close our eyes is
1. The mind isn't consuming any energy on the eyes and
2. The mind isn't seeing anything and therefore is calmer and more relaxed.
Those are just guesses
As to the other questions it may be more stored energy, more active mind, or just bad sleeping habbits.

Closing our eyes we limit and nullify any light entering our visual field.

Melanopsin is special type of retinal-rhodopsin which depolarises (or sensitises) to light. It is present in the retinal ganglion cells that project not to the visual centres of our brains but to the hypothalamus.

The hypothalamus houses the SCN (suprachiasmatic nucleus) which consists of networks that perform the actions of a clock. It synchronises our bodies to a time-measuring clock. There have been experiments when light is not required for accurate measurement of a 24-hour day, but it soon goes off kilt.

By closing our eyes, we signal to the brain darkness. This darkness sets about changes in the body that tries to rearrange blood supplies amongst other things.

As for why some take longer than others, I suppose it is about how tired you are. When we are tired there is little glucose circulating in our blood streams, it may take little time to go to sleep. Adrenaline levels if they were high would still be diverting blood to the muscles. Muscle blood supply must be low - as they are unnecessary whilst asleep. Blood supply would need time to divert to the gut circulatory system - which is what happens when we fall asleep.

Those that sleep with their eyes wake have greater disturbance of sleep. This can be evidenced from studies on the blind.

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