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Does Poor Sleep Really Cause Eye Bags?

Lack of sleep can cause dark circles to appear around the eyes. But what about bags under the eyes?

eyes with bags

Well, it’s possible these may not be caused by lack of sleep, but other factors entirely.

This post explains everything you need to know about eye bags including how to treat them and how to prevent them.

Why does lack of sleep cause dark circles around the eyes?

First, let’s talk about dark circles around the eyes. These are caused by the blood vessels around our eyes expanding and our skin becoming paler (causing these expanded blood vessels to become more visible).

Why does lack of sleep cause pale skin and expanded blood vessels? As a result of lack of oxygen around the body. Deep into our sleep cycle, our breathing slows, which results in less oxygen entering the body. When we interrupt our sleep cycle, the body is still running on low oxygen and therefore the dark circles appear.

Dark circles are generally temporary. They can also be caused by dehydration or allergies, which similarly causes blood vessels around the eyes to expand.

What causes eye bags?

Temporary eye bags can form after waking up as a result of fluid pooling in the area below our eyes. This is usually not the result of a lack of sleep, but the result of sleeping on one’s front - gravity naturally causes the fluid to pool here.

Allergies and crying can also cause puffy eyes, but this is typically more of a sign of inflammation than the result of fluid pooling in the eyes.

What about permanent eye bags? These are the result of skin losing its elasticity on the face, causing it to droop. This is unfortunately a natural symptom of aging, however certain lifestyle choices and bad habits may speed up this sagging process. Smoking is known to cause our skin to prematurely lose its elasticity, as is too much sun exposure. Wearing makeup all the time and not removing it can also damage skin around the eyes leading to premature wrinkles.

How can you get rid of eye bags?

Temporary puffiness can be reduced by using specialist eye serums as listed here at A cup of coffee could also do wonders, although drinking plenty of water can also have the same impact by speeding up blood circulation.

If you’ve started to develop permanent eye bags, you could consider using skin creams like retinol to reduce them. However, in most cases these eye bags won’t be reversible unless you’re willing to undergo surgery or use dermal filler. You can find out more about such procedures at

What’s the best way to prevent bags under the eyes?

The trick to prevent temporary puffy eyes when you wake up may not be to get more sleep but to change your sleeping position. If you often sleep on your front, try sleeping on your back and see if this has an impact.

Alternatively, you may want to look into allergies. Dust mites or pet dander could be triggers causing your eyes to become puffy - although usually you will get other symptoms like itchy eyes or sneezing.

To prevent permanent eye bags, try to make healthy lifestyle choices such as quitting smoking. Also make sure that you take off eye makeup like mascara and eyeliner before going to bed.

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