Waking Up With Bloodshot Eyes? Here’s Why & How To Stop It Today!

Portrait of a depressed young man suffering from red eyes. Sick hispanic man with conjunctivitis and allergies

Last Updated on January 6, 2023 by theworldofsleepstaff

Bloodshot eyes can be alarming and usually indicates something needs to be fixed with your health or lifestyle.

Common causes of red or bloodshot eyes in the morning include allergies, dry eye, or even using your cell phone before bed. While these are typically harmless, if symptoms persist, you should seek medical attention to rule out any underlying conditions that may be causing the problem.

In this article, we’ll look at ten possible causes of having bloodshot eyes, a few home remedies to help reduce their appearance, and food that could actually help. All so you can get your health back on track.

Note: This content was only written as a reference, using third-party background information. It is not medical advice; as always, it is essential to research and speaks with a healthcare provider if you have questions or before taking any new supplement.


  1. Top 10 Causes of Bloodshot Eyes When Waking Up
  2. Top 12 Home Remedies For Waking Up With Bloodshot Eyes
  3. Top 7 Natural Foods That May Help To Reduce Bloodshot Eyes
young man unable to sleep during night at bedroom - concept of suffering from insomnia, thoughtful and problems.
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Top 10 Causes of Bloodshot Eyes wHEN waking Up

There are several causes of bloodshot eyes; health experts weigh in on some of the most common ones.

1. Allergies

Exposure to environmental irritants such as pollen, dust, pet dander and smoke can cause bloodshot eyes due to inflammation.

With allergies, the eyes might itch and become watery, with a burning sensation.

If you suspect allergies as the cause of your bloodshot eyes, consider taking antihistamines to reduce inflammation and try to avoid triggers.

Sneezing coughing ill young woman using paper napkin, having runny nose, blowing her nose., ALLERGY
iStock.com/Inside Creative House

2. Corneal Abrasion

A corneal abrasion is a scratch on the eye surface caused by dust or other particles entering the eye. This can cause the vessels in the eyes to swell, resulting in a bloodshot appearance.

If you experience sharp pain or discomfort and your vision is blurred or hazy, it’s best to see an ophthalmologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

3. Lack Of Sleep

Inadequate sleep can also cause your eyes to become dry and irritated, resulting in a red and bloodshot appearance.

It’s essential to get enough quality sleep to keep your eyes healthy. Aim for 7-8 hours of restful sleep each night.

Depressed man suffering from insomnia lying in bed

4. Eye Infection

Infections of the eye, such as conjunctivitis, can lead to inflammation and a bloodshot appearance. Common symptoms include redness, itchiness, and discharge from the eye.

Certain viral or bacterial infections may require medical treatment, so it’s essential to consult a doctor.

5. Rubbing The Eyes Too Much

Roughly rubbing the eyes can irritate the delicate tissue around them, triggering inflammation and causing bloodshot eyes.

If you’ve been rubbing your eyes too hard, try to use a cold compress or artificial tears to reduce the effects. If symptoms persist, it’s best to see an eye doctor.

6. Smoking

Smoking can narrow blood vessels in the eye, creating a bloodshot appearance. It’s also known to worsen symptoms of allergies, leading to further irritation.

If you smoke and have bloodshot eyes, it’s time to quit and get help if necessary.

Smoking can lead to even more severe eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. Taking steps to quit now can help reduce your risk of developing these conditions.

Young woman enjoying a cigarette outdoors holding it between her fingers, low angle view against the chest of a warm autumn jacket in a smoking and tobacco concept

7. Dry Eyes

If you don’t produce enough tears or the right kind of tears for adequate lubrication and protection, you can end up with dry eyes. Dryness can lead to inflammation in the eye and a somewhat bloodshot appearance.

If this is the cause of your red eyes, consider artificial tears or other over-the-counter solutions to help lubricate your eyes. You may need to visit an eye doctor for treatment in severe cases.

8. Staring At Screens For Long Periods

The blue light emitted from our phones, tablets, and computers can cause eye strain. This can lead to dry, irritated eyes, which appear red and bloodshot.

To reduce the risk of eye strain, take regular breaks when using digital devices and use blue-light-blocking glasses if possible.

The 20-20-20 rule is an excellent way to remember: take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away. This can help reduce eye strain and reduce the likelihood of bloodshot eyes.

Young Businesswoman Suffering From Neckache

9. Dehydration

If you’re dehydrated, your eyes may appear redder than usual due to the lack of moisture in the body. Dehydration can also dry out your eyes, leading to further irritation.

Staying hydrated is vital for overall health, and it’s essential for eye health as well. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to moisten your eyes and reduce the risk of bloodshot eyes. In addition,

it will help if you avoid caffeine and other diuretics, which can worsen dehydration.

10. Drinking Excessively

Alcohol can cause eye inflammation, which can lead to a bloodshot appearance. Drinking excessively can also worsen working on your device, and try to blink more often while looking at a screen.

The problem with drinking excessively is that it can lead to more permanent damage. It can weaken the optic nerve, leading to vision problems and even blindness in some cases.

To keep your eyes healthy, it’s important to drink responsibly and limit yourself to 1-2 drinks per day. And if you have bloodshot eyes after drinking alcohol, get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water. This will help reduce inflammation and return your eyes to normal.

woman shows a sign of rejection of wine with her hand
iStock.com/Yana Tikhonova

Top 12 Home Remedies For Waking Up With Bloodshot Eyes

1. Try Cold Compresses

Using a cold compress – such as ice cubes wrapped in a soft cloth or cucumber slices – is one of the most popular remedies for bloodshot eyes.

That’s because cold temperatures can help reduce redness, itching and irritation in the eyes.

Place the compress on your closed eyelids for 10-15 minutes a few times a day or as often as needed to reduce redness. Additionally, you can take cold showers or use cold water to rinse your eyes in the morning.

2. Drink Plenty Of Water

Drinking plenty of water helps to flush out toxins and other impurities from the body that can contribute to bloodshot eyes.

As most health experts recommend, try drinking at least eight glasses daily for optimal hydration.

If you ensure that you are consuming enough water, you will likely wake up with less redness in your eyes. To make it more efficient, keep a glass or bottle of water beside your bed and drink it first thing in the morning.

Side view of elderly woman drinking water

3. Use Over-The-Counter Eye Drops

If you are suffering from red, itchy eyes, using over-the-counter eye drops can be helpful. Choose an eye drop that is specifically designed to reduce redness and irritation.

For best results, use the eye drops as directed on the package and be sure only to use them for a short period. If your symptoms do not improve after using the eye drops for several days, consult your doctor.

4. Wear Sunglasses Outside

Sunglasses are not just for fashion; they can be used to treat bloodshot eyes as well. Wearing sunglasses when you go outside helps block out environmental irritants and pollutants that can cause redness in the eyes.

Look for sunglasses with a high UV protection rating to protect your eyes. Additionally, wearing a wide-brimmed hat can help provide even more protection.

5. Get Adequate Sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for overall health as well as eye health. Not getting enough sleep can cause your eyes to become red and irritated. Make sure you sleep 7-8 hours every night to keep your eyes healthy and free of redness.

Keeping your sleep schedule consistent also helps. Going to bed and waking up simultaneously daily can help reduce bloodshot eyes in the morning.


6. Avoid Smoke & Other iIritants

Smoke and other environmental pollutants can irritate the eyes, leading to redness. Try to avoid them as much as possible or wear protective eye gear if you are exposed.

Also, try not to rub or touch your eyes too much, which can irritate them.

Avoiding these irritants, you should find that your eyes are less red in the morning.

7. Try Artificial Tears

Artificial tears can be used to soothe and moisturize dry or irritated eyes. This can help reduce redness as well as itching and irritation. You can buy artificial tears over the counter at any pharmacy.

If you do this regularly, you should find that your eyes are less red in the morning.

8. Adjust Your Diet

Eating a balanced and healthy diet is essential for overall health, including eye health.

Specific vitamins and minerals can help reduce inflammation of the eyes and keep them hydrated to prevent dryness or irritation. Add foods such as dark leafy greens, fatty fish and avocado to your diet.

By adjusting your diet to include these foods, you should find that your eyes are less red or bloodshot when waking.

Toast with sliced avocado topping, basil leaf and seasoning.

9. Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine

Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics, meaning they cause the body to lose more water than it takes in. When you become dehydrated, your eyes become dry and red.

To reduce bloodshot eyes, try to avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as possible.

If you do consume them, be sure to drink plenty of water to counteract the dehydration effects. This should help reduce the redness in your eyes in the morning.

10. Get Adequate Rest

Getting enough rest is essential for overall health and eye health. Lack of sleep can cause fatigue, dry eyes and bloodshot eyes.

Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night to ensure your eyes stay healthy and free of redness. Turn off electronics at least an hour before bedtime, as the blue light emitted by them can disrupt sleep.

Girl lying in bed uses a cell phone and yawns. She is tired or insomnia or addicted to the phone

11. Make Sure To Check For Health Conditions

Sometimes there may be an underlying health condition causing your eyes to be red. For example, conditions such as allergies, blepharitis and glaucoma can all cause the eyes to become red or irritated.

If you have any additional symptoms or are concerned about the health of your eyes, consult with your doctor immediately.

12. Visit Your Doctor

If none of these tips is helping to reduce the redness or irritation in your eyes, it is best to visit your doctor. They can help diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms and provide further advice on reducing them.

Shot of a woman doctor having a consultation with a patient

Top 7 Natural Foods That May Help To Reduce Bloodshot Eyes

1. Apricots

Apricots are packed with essential vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, E, and B-complex, as well as calcium, zinc, magnesium and iron. In addition, the carotenoids present in apricots can help to reduce bloodshot eyes.

Carotenoids are antioxidants that protect the eye from damage caused by ultraviolet rays and free radicals. Try adding a few apricots to your morning smoothie or oatmeal for a natural way to reduce eye redness.

2. Almonds

Almonds are rich in vitamin E, which helps protect the eye’s delicate tissues from oxidative damage and can be used as an effective remedy for bloodshot eyes.

Eat a handful of almonds daily as a part of your breakfast or snack to help reduce the appearance of redness around your eyes.

group of almonds in wood bowl

3. Carrot Juice

Carrots are a great source of vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy vision and prevents eye strain and bloodshot eyes. In addition, consuming carrot juice helps protect the delicate tissue of the eye from inflammation and oxidative damage.

Drink a glass of freshly prepared carrot juice in the morning to help reduce the appearance of redness around your eyes.

4. Cucumber

Cucumbers are high in antioxidants which can help reduce bloodshot eyes. In addition, applying cucumber slices directly on the closed eyelids helps soothe and cool the eye area, reducing swelling and inflammation.


5. Spinach

Spinach is rich in vitamins A, C and E, which help protect the eye’s delicate tissue from damage and reduce inflammation. Eating a few leaves of spinach daily can help to reduce redness around your eyes.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe irritated eyes and reduce bloodshot eyes.

Consume turmeric in powder by adding it to your morning smoothie or oatmeal, or try drinking a cup of warm turmeric milk before bed. Doing this daily can help reduce the appearance of bloodshot eyes.

7. Green Tea

The antioxidants in green tea help reduce inflammation and irritation around the eyes, thus preventing redness. Drink a cup of warm green tea every morning for its anti-inflammatory effect on the eye area

Girl drinks tea from a mug in bed wrapped in a blanket. She is enjoying or she is not sleeping or sick.

Waking Up With Bloodshot Eyes: Our Final Thoughts

Bloodshot eyes can be caused by several things, ranging from allergies and irritants to lack of sleep and dehydration.

It’s essential to identify the root cause to find an effective solution. And if you have chronic red eyes or worsening symptoms, you should see an eye doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

In some cases, bloodshot eyes may indicate more serious underlying conditions that a professional should address. Taking steps to protect your eyes can help ensure healthy vision in the future.