How to soothe tired eyes and wake up

Dealing with tired eyes is inevitably a part and parcel of everyone’s life. They usually occur due to constant pressure on the eyes. Tired eyes are also symptoms of a possible disease amongst elders and young children.

Constant burning sensation, itchiness, soreness, bloodshot eyes, watery and distorted vision are the common symptoms experienced by the sufferer. They may not always be fatal, but they can be detrimental for the brain and overall body functionality. Some of the extreme symptoms also include headache and dizziness.

Tired eyes can occur due to several reasons. Let’s have a look at some of the common causes:

  • Too much time in front of the computer or television
  • Insufficient sleep
  • Allergy
  • Dust or any kind of pollution
  • Smoking
  • Aging
  • Insufficient supply of oxygen to the cornea
  • Spending excessive time reading
  • Stress

The causes of tired eyes are several. Your lifestyle issues and habits can also contribute to tired eyes. Let’s examine the treatments one can follow to get rid of the tired eyes problem.

Cold Water

Use cold water to sprinkle on your face several times in a day. This will reduce the eyes strain and fatigue. It’s a simple, yet effective way to ease oneself from the discomfort. If you practice this several times in a day, you will also reduce the chances of tired eyes in the long run.


This is one amongst the most popular trick used for curing tired eyes. The fruit is cut apart in thin slices, and placed on the eyes. This helps in reducing eye swelling, and provides one with warmth upon use.

Olive Oil

Olive oil has been used for several heath related purposes, due to its healing abilities. The magical oil also helps in treating tired eyes. It will not only reduce the swelling, but also heal the ailment.

Cold Milk

Cold milk is another workable treatment used for healing tired eyes. Dip two cotton balls into a bowl of cold milk and place them over your eyelids, after closing your eyes. This will relax and moisturize your eyes giving you relief from the burning sensation and discomfort.

Tea Bags

Tea bags can help you soothe tired eyes. All you need to do is place the tea bags on your eyelids, and wait for the positive results. Keep them in a freezer before applying them on your eyes.

While these remedies are well known to heal the problem of tired eyes, it is also imperative to know the causes of tired eyes, in order to combat them effectively. If you are facing the problem of tired eyes due to lack of sleep or dehydration, then one needs to take adequate sleep, and drink plenty of water along with the above remedies. Fighting and eliminating the cause is a must along with the treatments.

If you are leading a very busy life with hectic schedules and bothersome deadlines, then tired eyes will be a part of your territory. Fortunately, we are blessed with simple home remedies that can help one eradicate the problem of tired eyes easily and quickly.

Last Updated: February 23, 2021 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Kerry Assil, MD. Dr. Kerry Assil is a board certified Ophthalmologist and the Medical Director and CEO of Assil Eye Institute (AEI), an ophthalmology practice in Los Angeles, California. With over 25 years of experience and as one of the world’s foremost experts in eye surgery, Dr. Assil has trained 14,000+ physicians in refractive and cataract surgery, performed 70,000+ eye surgeries, and authored over 100 textbooks, chapters, and articles on refractive and cataract surgery. He’s served as the Distinguished Professor lecturer at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Duke, Baylor, Tokyo, and UCLA among others. He has served on the advisory boards of 20+ ophthalmic device, pharmaceutical, and scientific companies and has appeared in the media as an authority on advances in vision-restoring surgeries and refractive surgery. Dr. Assil continues to make significant advances in his field with numerous inventions and introductions of state-of-the-art technologies.

There are 23 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Have you ever woken up and felt like your eyes weigh a ton? Or are your eyes tired or strained? There are some simple ways to increase alertness and soothe tired eyes. Contact an eye care or medical professional, though, if you have questions or think you may need to adjust your medication.

It can be a shock to wake up and find tired eyes staring back at you in the bathroom mirror. Whatever the cause for your puffy eyes and fatigued look, find quick relief with natural items you probably already have on hand.

The Big Chill

Tired eyes wake up fast when you give them a dose of cold. If you’re feeling brave and want the quickest relief, dunk your face into a large bowl filled with ice water. For a less bracing experience, soak a washcloth in cold water, then lie down with the cloth over your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes. When puffy or tired eyes are a frequent beauty concern, keep several metal spoons in your refrigerator. When puffiness strikes, simply take out two spoons and place them over your eyes for several minutes until the swelling subsides.

Slice Your Veggies

When your eyes look tired even when you feel rested, head to your refrigerator produce drawer for relief. For redness or puffiness, reach for a cucumber. Slice it thin, then lie down and relax for 10 to 15 minutes with cucumber slices over each eye. The coolness and natural astringency of the cucumber help relieve puffiness or swelling around the eyes. When dark circles are the problem, a potato is the solution. Slice it thin, then chill the slices in cold water. Lay back and relax for 10 minutes with a potato slice over each eye. Natural enzymes in the potato are skin lighteners, helping to reduce dark circles.

Soothing Compresses

Relieve your tired eyes with a spa-like treatment and your entire body will feel more relaxed. Cold compresses can reduce the puffiness, dark circles or crepiness that make your eyes look tired. Soak two cotton balls in whole milk, squeeze out the excess fluid, then place them over your eyes for several minutes. The milk fat soothes the skin, while the chill reduces puffiness and redness. Or boil water, then steep two tea bags for 3 minutes. Let the bags cool down in the refrigerator until they are chilled, then place a tea bag over each eye for 15 minutes while you relax. Use black, green or chamomile tea – all help reduce redness and swelling.

Natural Tighteners

If fatigue has the skin around your eyes looking crepey or lined, tighten it up with natural soothers for a bright-eyed, younger appearance. Beat the whites of two eggs until slightly stiff, then add a few drops of witch hazel. Brush the mixture on the skin under your eyes, making sure none of the egg solution runs into your eyes. Let the egg mask dry for 15 minutes, while the natural astringents tighten and refresh your skin. Rinse the mask away with water. Or spread a thin coating of pure aloe vera gel on your under-eye area. Let it dry for 15 minutes before rinsing away with cool water.

How to soothe tired eyes and wake up

Soothing your eyes can bring quick relief during a bout of eyestrain. A big part of preventing strain is simple: take breaks from what you’re staring at for long periods. Stay hydrated, and make sure you’re blinking enough to keep your eyes refreshed. If you have to stare at a screen for a long time uninterrupted, you can wear glare-cutting glasses or install glare-cutting devices on your monitor. If you’re driving for long stretches, wear sunglasses with UV protection to help prevent strain.


Sleeping always relaxes the eyes. If that is not practical, closing your eyes and resting for five minutes can help. At night, even if you have contacts that you can sleep in, you shouldn’t. They will dry your eyes out to some degree and stress your eyes even while sleeping.

Dim Harsh Lighting and Glare

Lower your surrounding light levels or move into the shade. If you have eyestrain from staring at a computer screen, use blinds or shades to lower sunlight glare on the monitor, and adjust lights above and behind you to not shine directly on the computer screen. Don’t place your computer monitor right in front of a white wall, which just adds to the glare coming at you.

Cold Water

Splash your face with cold water. Try extremely cold water with ice cubes if you can stand it. Splash it on your face and back of your neck for three to seven minutes. If you can, put on a cold compress or an eye mask that you keep in the refrigerator or freezer.

Steaming Towel

If cold water does not work, try a steaming towel just like you get during a facial. Put warm water in a bowl and immerse a washcloth in it. Wring out the cloth so it’s not dripping all over, and place it over your closed eyes. Don’t make the water boiling hot. A warm cloth prepared with menthol or eucalyptus oil can be quite refreshing.

Tea Bags and Cucumber Slices

Beauty regimens such as placing tea bags or cucumber slices on your eyelids do help soothe them. A cold compress is more effective and less cumbersome, however, and there is less risk of foreign elements getting into your eyes.

Stay Hydrated

If you’re not getting enough water during the day, your eyes and the skin around them can become inflamed. Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeinated and sweetened drinks. Good hydration is the key to good health, and lack of fluid in your body can strain everything.

Lubricate Your Eyes

Keep your eyes lubricated. Staying hydrated is the first step, but for temporary help, use artificial tears, not eye drops. If you have a more chronic condition, consult your optician. You can also discuss taking flaxseed oil with your doctor; it may provide dry eye relief over time.

Don’t Stare at the Same Distance for Long Periods

If your eyestrain is caused by staring at something close for too long, follow the 20-20-20 adage. Every 20 minutes focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Stretch Your Neck

Do some neck stretches with your eyes closed. Eyestrain is usually coupled with a neck strain, and relieving one will help the other. It will also increase blood flow, which helps everything.

Massage Your Face

Give yourself a quick facial massage. Rub your cheekbones, your forehead, and your temples. Much like the neck stretches, it will increase blood flow and relax surrounding muscle groups.

How to soothe tired eyes and wake up

Remember when you were at your best friend’s slumber party in 4th grade and the coolest thing ever to do was to pull an all-nighter? Bragging rights for 9 year olds. Now, as an adult, if we say we pulled an all-nighter, we either get comments like, “Wow! Must have been some party!” or, “Oh my gosh, how are you even standing right now?! Go home immediately and rest your bones.”

Sometimes, we naturally just stay up late because of worry or anxiety or we just can’t seem to shut our brains off. You find yourself laying in your bed at four in the morning Googling things like “How big is Justin Timberlake’s big toe?” or “What does cat food taste like?”

But instead of trying to keep yourself awake, here’s how to stay awake all night and pull an all-nighter. It all starts with reading this brilliant and exciting article guaranteed to keep you at the edge of your seat the entire time. (Excitement and anticipation can be associated with alertness. just trying to help you out here.)

1. Eat a big healthy breakfast with all the fixings.

Breakfast is the most important part of the day. You’ve heard it all before. But studies have shown that eating a nice big breakfast improves your concentration which will help you in staying awake throughout the day.

You’ll feel more alert mentally and physically hours after you’ve had your stack of pancakes and scrambled eggs. Eating a meal with loads of protein in it will aid in your endurance, fight off fatigue and give you a boost of energy. You have a greater chance of pulling an all-nighter if you can pull an all-dayer (not a word, but you get it).

2. Stay cold.

Cranking up the air conditioning in your room will ensure you stay awake because being warm is being cozy, and being cozy, well. next thing you know you’re passed out and drooling.

3. Take a walk.

Keep your blood flowing and take a walk. Walk outside, walk around your home. Even the smallest bodily movements will help circulate your blood and keep your mind and body awake. So make like a shark and do not stop moving whatever you do!

4. Chew some gum.

Chewing gum will keep you awake as long as you’re chewing it. The flavor alone will keep your mind more alert. Just make sure you spit it out before you get too sleepy or you will be getting a brand new haircut in the morning.

5. Keep the lights on.

You naturally fall asleep in the dark. Keep the lights on wherever you are so you can trick your brain into thinking it is not time to go to sleep.

6. Don’t forget to take your vitamins.

Taking your vitamins closer to bedtime can result in a boost of energy. This is why people take their vitamins in the morning with breakfast. It’s an easy solution for how to stay awake all night and for longer, while also boosting your immune system and keeping your body nice and healthy!

7. Try multi-tasking.

Keeping your mind focused in on one thing can result is even greater fatigue. But if you multi-task and do a few things at the same time, your mind will be more occupied and, thus, more alert and more awake.

8. Drink coffee.

Anything with caffeine in it will surely keep you awake. Make yourself a hot cup of coffee or espresso. If you’re not a coffee drinker, no problem! Make yourself a sweet herbal caffeinated tea with lemon and honey.

9. Try aromatherapy and essential oils.

Certain essential oils like lemon, orange, peppermint and rosemary are said to have proven benefits of energy and alertness while also fighting fatigue and over-exhaustion. You can dap a little on your wrists and sniff them periodically.

10. Play games.

Play a game on your phone or whip out a board game. This will keep you mentally stimulated and you’ll be surprised how time will quickly fly.

11. Take a cold shower.

Taking a cold shower will definitely wake you right up if you feel overly tired. This is especially true if you have been staring at your laptop for hours. Cold water will help soothe your tired eyes and wake you right back up.

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12. Snack lightly.

Avoid indulging in heavy meals. Food coma is a real thing and will make you even more tired if you fall asleep. Instead, have a salad or an energy bar.

13. Give acupressure a try.

Gently tugging down on your earlobes and rubbing the back of your hand with your opposite thumb are popular and pretty unique ways to make sure you don’t fall asleep.

14. Pinch yourself.

Causing the tiniest bit of pain to yourself like a pinch on the arm or leg is a known technique to fight off fatigue and make you wake right back up.

15. Phone a friend.

If at all possible, talking on the phone with someone is great way to distract you from falling asleep. Just avoid calling anyone boring.

Christina Wright is a New York based freelance writer covering entertainment, beauty, interior design and all things fashionably interesting. Christina mostly enjoys reading, and doing things “for the funny story later.”

How to soothe tired eyes and wake up

Keeping eyes looking bright

Late nights and early mornings only ever lead to tired eyes, but instead of caking on concealer and chugging cups of coffee, take the following points into consideration so that you’ll look rested and refreshed.

1. Under-eye highlighter
True, we told you not to go makeup overboard, but provided you pick up a quality highlighting stick, your beauty regimen will hardly change. Waking up tired eyes is easy when it comes to concealing dark circles or bags, but avoid the standard concealer or foundation and opt for a product like the Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener ($22) instead. Since products like this highlight skin instead of covering up tired eyes (or underneath), you’ll immediately look brightened and ready for the day.

2. White eyeliner
Believe it or not, white eyeliner can open and wake up tired eyes as long as you keep it worn on the bottom eyelid. By lining the tear line of your eye, you’ll be attracting light and counteracting dark circles, while making eyes look big and bright. However, if you’re not partial to white eyeliner, simply avoid all dark under-eye makeup: since too much dark eyeliner or shadow can give you the raccoon effect, you’ll enhance dark circles or bags.

3. Curl eyelashes
Our eyes tend to swell and appear smaller when we’re sleep-deprived, so to wake up tired eyes in only one step, simply curl your eyelashes. Curled eyelashes will open eyes, and create the illusion of brightness “ especially if you apply about three coats of mascara to draw attention to your thick lashes.

4. Cucumber pieces
We can hardly discuss waking up tired eyes without mentioning the tried-and-true cucumber treatment “ the perfect go-to for mornings where you’ve got time to give yourself some TLC. Since cucumber helps spark hydration, you’ll help soothe your tired eyes and diminish swelling and redness in a natural way. Just make sure to keep the cucumber chilled since the combination of the vegetable’s water content and its cold temperature will make puffiness reduce even faster.

5. Use green tea bags
And borrowing from the same page as cucumber slices, you can wake up tired eyes in another natural way by using green tea teabags to reduce dark circles. Put the wet (or used) teabags in the freezer for 20 minutes, and then place them on your face for about 15 more. While some argue that combining green tea bags and Preparation H works even better, you may want to try sticking to all-natural methods before taking the chemical route.

How to soothe tired eyes and wake up

Getting up when you’re still feeling tired can be difficult — especially when you realize you have to be at work pretty much right now. And with long hours grogginess stretching out before you, the fatigue can feel even more overwhelming. But that’s where all the clever ways to wake yourself up ASAP can come in handy.

While this is usually done with an onslaught of coffee and energy drinks, you may eventually need to turn to less obvious ways of waking yourself up. These tricks include ways to get the blood flowing to your head, ways to clear the bleariness from your eyes, and tips for making you feel human again.

Of course, a good night’s sleep is always the best way to achieve this. Everyone should be snagging the recommended seven to nine hours a night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And yet, nobody’s perfect and sometimes sleepiness will reign supreme.

If that’s the case, start by making a pact with yourself to get more sleep tonight. But until then, try some of these fancy tricks to wake yourself up and get through the day, whether you’re trying to get going in the morning, and prevent yourself from snoozing at your desk. Below are some ways to do just that. And surprisingly, no coffee is required.

1. Make Your Bed

Before you stumble out of bed and try to do anything else, turn right around and make it. “While making your bed just might be the chore you’ve hated since you were a kid, for a lot of people this simple act can feel like your first accomplishment of the morning and leave you feeling energized and ready to conquer the rest of your day,” Sarrah Hallock, holistic nutritionist and health coach from GoodLooks, tells Bustle.

It sounds so simple, and yet it’s a small habit that can start your day off on a good foot, help you feel more prepared, and thus more energized.

2. Tug On Your Hair

While this tip may sound bizarre, it really can help wake you up. All you have to do is gently tug at your hair to get blood flowing to your head, which can help you feel more awake. And the sensation can be a big help, too, since a light tug will help you feel more alert — and make it easier to get on with the day.

3. Go Look At The Sky

Even if you’re rushing sleepily into the office, and are dying to sit down, you can still probably find time to spend a few moments outside. “The proverbial ‘breath of fresh air’ has been shown to reduce feelings of stress and fatigue,” noted Kate Bratskier on Huffington Post. Taking a moment to pause, go outside and take a walk can help you feel more alert, and ready to take on the activities waiting for you afterward. The benefits will be totally worth it, so go catch yourself some rays.

4. Pop A Super Minty Mint

If you’re nodding off, one quick way to wake yourself up is with a hit of minty freshness, which can come in the form of gum, breath mints, and even peppermint tea. The effervescent effects will do a great job of waking you up. And, with gum, some studies have even shown that the act of chewing can make you more alert.

If you tend to feel groggy or sleep at work, keep a few mints (of the extra strong variety) and other refreshing items on hand, for a quick pick-me-up.

5. Read Some Fiction

If you’re too sleepy to concentrate at work, then it might be a good idea to step away and do something else for a while. This might include going for a walk or stepping out into the sun, in order to feel revived. But you can also delve into a good book or try doing something creative. “Writing can [. ] help wake up the brain and the body,” Lauren Minchen, MPH, RDN, CDN, tells Bustle. So if you’re feeling sleepy, allow yourself a few minutes to read, and you may perk right up.

6. Drink A Cold Glass Of Water

If your coffee supply has run out, you may want to pour yourself a cold (very cold) glass of water. “Like [a cold] shower, it’ll trigger your adrenaline and boost blood flow to your brain,” Bratskier said, which are all good things when you’re seconds away from falling asleep.

You can also splash cold water on your face to feel more alert, thanks to the brief shock it’ll provide. Simply pop into the bathroom, gently pat your face, and continue on with your day.

7. Smell A Zesty Essential Oil

Ever notice how bright, happy scents can perk you up? Use this to your advantage by keeping a few essential oils stashed in your desk, for moments when you’re extra tired. “Eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary are all scents known for having uplifting and energizing effects,” said Amy Marturana on SELF. So get thy sleepy self to a health food store and stock up.

8. Puzzle Yourself Awake

If you’re too tired to get up, go outside, or pour a glass of water, then the least you can do is reach for a fun puzzle. “If you can’t stimulate your body, stimulate your brain,” suggested Kevin Daum on “Try a crossword or play Sudoku.” Anything that will get your brainwaves flowing.

9. Strike Up A Convo With A Stranger

Let’s say you’re standing at the bus stop, and feel your eyelids closing. The best thing you can do is turn to the person next to you and see if they’re down for a chat. “Acting tired is no big deal in front of friends, but our bodies tend to wake up pretty quickly to avoid any sort of social awkwardness,” Matthews Rogers said on Lifehacker. By being nice to them, listening to what they have to say, and (hopefully) having an interesting conversation, you may feel more refreshed.

10. Treat Yourself

While you may not want to go on a shopping spree in your half-asleep daze, consider treating yourself to something nice. “The rush of buying something new is always good for a perk up,” Daum said. You might get a friend a little gift online, or pick up some fresh flowers on a whim. Anything new and exciting can help wake you up.

11. Flip Your Head Upside Down

“With feet a bit more than shoulder-width apart, bend down as far as you can go and look back between your legs,” Rogers suggested. “The massive rush of blood to the head can be a big pick-me-up, just be sure you don’t come back up too quickly, or dizziness replaces clarity.”

If you have to wake up quickly, these tricks might be just what you need to make it through the day. Just remember that they won’t stave off true sleep exhaustion, and aren’t a good replacement for real sleep.

This article was originally published on Aug. 26, 2016

July 22, 2017

If your under-eye bags are dragging you down, give them a wake-up call! Under eye puffiness can be caused by multiple ailments, but one thing remains true, they’re NOT wanted. These simple, natural tips and recipes are very accessible and and highly effective for puffy eyes!

4 Remedies for Puffy Eyes

How to soothe tired eyes and wake up

1. Reduce allergens

Wash and change your pillowcase frequently to reduce dirt and allergens. Doing so will also prevent build up on your skin as well, which means a clearer complexion! If you suffer from seasonal allergies, and itchy eyes try not to rub them and incorporate a natural antihistamine like nettle leaf and a homemade drinkable wellness shot

2. Work WITH gravity

Try sleeping with your head elevated at night. Doing so can help prevent excess buildup, and ensure all fluids are running in the proper direction.

3. Reduce salt

Extra salt means water retention. Cut down on salt, and drink plenty of water to keep your system flushed and free of excess bag-creating water retention.

3. Eye mask

In addition to easy lifestyle changes, erase late nights and prepare for long days with an invigorating eye mask! Eye masks can be applied at any time, but this particular recipe is ideal for a morning application. For most of us, coffee is a must-have morning pick-me-up, but it is also excellent for waking up skin. While you’re sipping on a cup of coffee, you can double up and use the ground beans to attack dark circles and fine lines. The caffeine acts as a diuretic to reduce swelling and puffy eyes while coffee’s antioxidants fight the free radicals that age skin. Fresh grounds are a bit more potent in this recipe (more caffeine), but just brewed grinds are great as well!

DIY Eye Masks To Try

How to soothe tired eyes and wake up

Wake me up! eye mask:


  • 1 egg white
  • 2 t coffee grounds
  • Cotton rounds (optional)


  1. Combine egg white and coffee in a small bowl. Beat mixture until well combined.
  2. Using clean hands, a mask brush or soak cotton rounds in the mixture, apply the mixture to the under-eye area (being careful to avoid the eyelids).
  3. Let the mask set for about ten minutes – you will feel the mask working!
  4. Use a warm, damp towel to remove the mask.
  5. Finish with a moisturizer or eye cream.
  6. Massage the cream into the skin around your eyes. Using a very light touch, begin at the inner corners of your eyes, and move in outward circles over the brow and orbital bones – doing so also helps to reduce puffiness

Soothe + hydrate eye mask:


  • 1 C of antioxidant-rich green tea
  • 1 T aloe vera gel
  • Cotton rounds


    In a small bowl, add the aloe vera gel, and enough green tea (

1.5T) to make the base a tad more fluid

  • Soak a cotton rounds in the mixture, and apply the rounds under the eyes.
  • Let the mask set for about 10-15 minutes
  • Remove the cotton rounds, and massage the remainder into the skin around your eyes. Using a very light touch, begin at the inner corners of your eyes, and move in outward circles over the brow and orbital bones.
  • Finish with a moisturizer or eye cream.
  • This particular recipe is ideal for a relaxing evening application. Puffiness and dark circles can also result from stress, and hormonal changes. After a long day, it’s important to destress and indulge in self-care!