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Lack of sleep causes eyelid twitching

​​Myth: If your eyelid twitches, you're not getting enough sleep.

This myth has some truth to it.

"If you are experiencing daytime sleepiness, the fatigue can cause minor eyelid twitching or the sensation that the eyelid is twitching," said Neurologist Amit Biswas, M.D.​, Marshfield Clinic Wausau Center. "Generally, if you don't sleep adequately, your body tries to compensate during the day with moments of micro-sleep. Eyelid twitching can be a result, because your body is trying to fight the urge to sleep."

Fatigue, stress and excessive caffeine top the list of causes for minor eyelid twitching.

"If the twitching seems to be worsening over time, is interfering with your ability to keep the eyelid open or inhibits your ability to see, a neuromuscular or other eye condition may be present," Dr. Biswas said.

Medical conditions that can cause serious eyelid twitching may include pink eye, dry eye or weakness of the eye muscles. Treatment will depend on the diagnosis.

Minor eyelid twitching will usually correct without medical treatment. The best advice for recovery is to reduce stress and get more sleep.

"Adults usually need six to eight hours of sleep each night," Dr. Biswas said. "Try cutting back on caffeine, alcohol and tobacco, and engage in stress-reducing activities. A healthy lifestyle will help keep minor eyelid twitching from becoming a chronic health issue."