I have to admit I had no real clue what sleepy dust really was. I remember being fascinated by it as a child… Then forgot all about it once some serious adulting stuff took over.
Now I have been reminded how interesting it can be, the children love it… What is this? They ask regularly each morning!
Eventually I thought I must do some actual research, as I don’t ever remember learning about it at school… and I should probably do a lot better than to keep telling them it’s just eye snot.
Turns out sleepy dust is not just one thing but the combination of many different things; oils, dust, bacteria, discarded cells and mucus.
Our eyes clean themselves of any debris or dust by flushing anything that is not supposed to be there towards the inner eye everytime we blink. During a blink any debris is usually washed straight out of the eye.
However when we sleep, blinking is not possible. So the debris builds up at the corner of our eyes.
Its real name is rheum. It’s not even called sleepy dust! Who knew?!
I love the questions that children ask about themselves and the world.