How to Take a Nap With Contact Lenses


If you wear contact lenses and frequently take naps or even if you just occasionally fall asleep on the couch, you may be concerned about how your lenses are affecting your eye health. Luckily, there is a way to safely nap in contact lenses that lowers your risk of developing an eye disorder, keeping your eyes healthy and your body well-rested without the hassle of taking your lenses out every time you feel tired.

Visit your eye doctor and ask her to suggest an extended wear contact lens that will meet your needs. Extended wear lenses are specially designed for continuous wear, including when napping and even for sleeping overnight. Different extended wear lenses are meant to be worn for different periods of time, from 24 hours to six days to as long as 30 days.

Experiment with wearing your extended wear contact lenses for short naps (under one hour). Keep a bottle of hydrating eye drops nearby in case you wake up with dry eyes. If you continue to experience irritation after a few naps (or if you experience serious irritation after the first nap), remove your contact lenses and contact your eye doctor. He may want to see you for a follow-up visit. Save your contact lenses, as they can help him determine the cause of your irritation.

Develop a cleaning and rest routine for your extended wear contacts (assuming you experienced no negative side effects from your trial naps). It's important that you rest your eyes and not wear contacts for one day in between new pairs of lenses; for example, if you are wearing seven-day extended wear lenses, every seven days you should take one day off, and then put in a new pair. Make sure to clean your lenses daily or as often as directed by your doctor and the contact lens manufacturer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult your eye doctor before switching to extended wear contact lenses or sleeping in them.
  • Always buy contact lenses with a prescription and from a reputable source. Lenses are regulated by the FDA; purchasing lenses from an unregulated source means you cannot be certain that they are safe.
  • Clean your extended wear lenses frequently, as protein build-up can injure your eyes and sleeping in unclean lenses can exacerbate this problem.

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