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What Are the Causes of Puffy Morning Eyes?

author image Rachel Nall
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.
What Are the Causes of Puffy Morning Eyes?
If morning greets you with puffy eyes, there could be several contributing factors. Photo Credit liveostockimages/iStock/Getty Images


If you awaken to eyes that appear to be carrying a little more luggage than the night before, you could be suffering from puffy morning eyes. This common occurrence can be the result of several contributing factors, including what you eat and how you sleep. Understanding and determining why your undereye area is swollen will help you treat the problem and prevent unwanted bags from mysteriously appearing in your morning mirror.

Your Sleeping Position

A good night's rest is important but lying flat can cause fluid to build up underneath your eyes. Prop your head up by placing a pillow or two underneath your head before retiring at night. This allows the forces of gravity to naturally pull fluid away from underneath your eyes.

How Long You Sleep

If you have suffered a sleepless night or you have not been getting at least seven hours of sleep per night, you likely are experiencing puffy eyes that may be accompanied by dark circles. Getting enough sleep not only helps you function better during the day, it also affects the level of inflammation in your body. Without enough rest, the blood vessels under the eyes can become dilated, bringing them closer to the surface and causing the area underneath the eyes to swell and appear purple, blue or even blackish in color.

What You Ate/Drank the Night Before

If you enjoyed a high-sodium meal or an excessive amount of alcohol the night before, it’s likely you could wake up with puffy eyes. Eating too many salty foods can cause your body to retain water, which leads to puffy eyes, according to Science Line. Alcohol acts as a dehydrating factor, which can make the skin under the eyes feel thinner and the presence of fluid more noticeable. Avoiding foods known to be high in sodium, such as fast foods, and reducing alcohol intake may help to reduce undereye bags. Increasing your water intake can help to flush built-up fluid out from the body.

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