People Mind-Blown After Discovering What Yellow ‘Sleep’ In Eyes When You Wake Up Actually Is

People have been left gobsmacked after finding out what the yellow 'sleep' in your eyes actually is.
Credit: Alamy

People on the internet have been left baffled after discovering what the yellow ‘sleep’ in your eyes is when you wake up in the morning. 

We all know that Mr. Sandman is the one who brings us a dream – but he’s also said to be the one who fills our eyes with that weird yellow ‘sandy’ gunk.

As per Sleepopolis, ‘his magic dust keeps their eyes closed so kids can stay sleeping and dreaming. When they wake up with those crusties, in their eyes, it was a sign that the Sandman had visited during the night and brought good dreams’.

However, we all know that it’s not actually sand.

But on that note – what is it?

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We’ve all experienced waking up in the morning with a bunch of yellow gunk crusting our eyes.

Many of us just want to clean it off and get on with our day without giving it too much of a second thought.

But this week, TikToker Andrew Huberman has drawn the internet’s attention to what this bizarre bodily substance actually is.

And it’s left everyone feeling mindblown.

Woman waking up.
Many people have been left gobsmacked after finding out what the yellow ‘sleep’ you have in your eyes is when you wake up in the morning. Credit: Alamy

“If you have ever woken up in the morning and you have some crust on your eyes,” Huberman begins.

“And you know that crust, that kind of yellowy stuff, sometimes it’s yellow, I know this is kind of gross.

“That’s actually dead bacteria that your eyes have successfully defeated during your night’s sleep.

“So when you wipe those away, you’re taking the casualties of a war that you won during your night’s sleep and you’re whisking those away.”

In response, one commenter jokes: “I refuse to lose even when I’m sleeping.”

Another points out: “Starting the day with a victory.”

“Starting the day feeling like Genghis Khan!” laughs a third.

“So if I don’t have it I lost the war?” one asks. “Damn…”

While another proudly states: “I forget that I have my own mini army in my body lol!”

@huberman.clipss Crust On Your Eyes #andrewhubberman #podcast #eyes #crust #usa ♬ original sound – Andrew Huberman

For a more scientific explanation, we can look to Cleveland Clinic.

Dr Melissa Young explains: “During the day, we’re frequently blinking and washing away dirt, dust, exfoliated skin cells and mucus.

“When you’re sleeping, you’re not blinking, so all of that mucus, oil, dirt and skin cells accumulate in the corners of your eyes.”

People have been left shocked at learning the clever process our eyes work on while we sleep.

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However, just because your eyes have dealt with the bacteria overnight doesn’t mean you’re totally safe from infection.

In fact, Dr Young advises that you should be careful when cleaning the sleep out of your eyes in the morning.

“Using a washcloth that’s been soaked with warm water is a safe, easy way to clean your eyes in the morning,” she says.

“And it has the added benefit of keeping you from touching your eyes, which is one way to transmit bacteria to your eyes.”

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Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.