Hey look, no judgment — I do, too, sometimes.
But then I was genuinely curious, so I reached out to the American Academy of Ophthalmology to see if they had an official answer, and maybe some stats. And they did!
Seriously do not sleep in your contact lenses, people. You're just asking for trouble.
Nearly 1 million people in the United States end up at the doctor with keratitis every year, according to the CDC.
And the vast majority of those cases were due to improper use and care of contact lenses — including sleeping in them.
About 58,000 people end up in the emergency room with keratitis each year.
And a study from Australia found that people who occasionally sleep in their contact lenses actually have 6.5 times higher risk of keratitis than people who don't.
That was for people who sleep in their contacts on average LESS than once a week, btw. Not like an every-other-day thing.
"We recommend that you take your contacts out every night," Steinemann says. Yes, even if you have those contacts that you supposedly can wear for extended periods of time.
"This is something that is confusing to people because there are some lenses that are so-called approved for extended wear, but again we don't recommend people sleeping in lenses," he says. "I'm a cornea specialist and I tend to see people who've gotten into trouble with these infections, and invariably many of these people have slept in their lenses — even napped in their lenses."
When do you know if you've got an eyeball problem, btw?
Oh, and a quick note about that eyeball amoeba I mentioned above.
Oh, hey, one more thing: The images in this post (other than the one from the CDC) are all just rando pics of people with red eyes that I found from stock photo sites. I don't know if the people in them actually have keratitis or if their eyes are red for some other reason entirely. That said, red eyes can be a symptom of keratitis for sure, so... the more you know.