How does sleeping reduce the appearance of eye bags?

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How does sleeping reduce the appearance of eye bags?

In: 1044

Your eyes and the area around them are pretty delicate and are filled with a lot of really small blood vessels that tend to break quite easily when you’re tired or stressed out, so they leak blood into the skin around your eyes, which gives them the dark “bruised” look.

When you go to sleep, your body uses way less energy than it normally does when you’re up and about. Since your muscles are resting and your eyes are closed and everything’s nice and relaxed, your body takes the time to get out its fixing toolbox and do repairs. Since you effectively don’t use or need your eyes while you’re asleep, your body will patch up the broken blood vessels around them, and the leaked blood gets broken down and cleaned up.

Edit: some people have noted there are other factors for your eyes being dark, like your natural pigmentation (some people do just have a darkness around the eyes). There are quite a few reasons beyond just broken blood vessels as for why they’re dark (like the blood vessels getting inflamed and showing up more) but broken blood vessels are what I decided to focus on as the OP specified why *sleeping* seems to rectify that, in which case this is because of the aforementioned repair mechanisms (which also deal with things like inflammation). You’ll note it usually takes a few days of good sleep for bags under the eyes to clear up and they do colour-shift slightly, but only slightly, as there’s not that much blood there.

Additionally, when you’re tired, your heart doesn’t function as well as it should, which can lead to blood draining from the face, which makes any natural pigmentation there more obvious.

As for why I didn’t include this in the original response, I felt it was outside the scope of the original question, but I’m adding this edit in for those who feel it may be too reductive. If you want accurate, sourced answers for things, it’s generally better to go to r/askscience.

I don’t think science has an exact answer yet.

However, I was reminded of [this short SciShow video](https://youtu.be/XDaY4AzsL_8) talking about how it’s related to touching your face when you’re tired.

The implication of the video in relation to this post is that sleeping reduces the appearance of bags indirectly by causing you to touch your face less because you feel less tired.

so are eye bags essentially bruises?