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Why do the eyes need to be closed during sleep to regain moisture?

I’ve noticed that if I don’t sleep for a long time, my eyes get dry, and no amount of moisture helps to moisturize them. I moisturize every 10 minutes and it doesn’t help. The answer is sleep. Our body needs to sleep for about 8 hours, so that our eyes can function properly again.

But what happens during sleep that helps the eyes work without dryness after we wake up for several hours? Are there any research papers explaining that? I’m very interested in learning about this.

Thank you!

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