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6 Ways To Beat Winter Fatigue Once And For All!
Here’s how you can naturally ward off your Winter fatigue so you can enjoy all that the season has to offer!
Have you ever noticed that you feel more tired during the winter months? If so, you are not alone. Many people notice a sharp decrease in their energy during the winter and it’s really not all that surprising. The shorter days and colder weather really do make us want to spend a lot more time in bed.
It’s also been scientifically proven that our limited exposure to light and sunshine during the winter can make us more tired. When it’s dark outside, our bodies naturally produce a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is a natural signal to the body that it’s time to sleep. During the winter, your body may produce excess melatonin due to the lack of light.
But instead of succumbing to your Winter tiredness, we have ways for you to combat it. Instead of sleepily trudging your way through Winter, try our 6 tips to help you feel more awake and alert all season long. But if these natural changes don’t work for you and you are getting enough sleep each night, we highly recommend scheduling an appointment with your doctor to address any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to your fatigue.
Let in the light.
Speaking of light, sunlight is our body’s main source of vitamin D. But during the Winter, getting the daily amount of vitamin D that your body needs to thrive is hard to do. Not getting enough vitamin D can cause fatigue, mood changes, and weaken your immune system. If you think your vitamin D levels are low, you may want to contact your doctor for advice. Your doctor can test your vitamin D levels and recommend supplements to take if your levels are indeed low, or you have what’s known as a vitamin D deficiency.
In addition, you can improve your vitamin D levels simply by letting in the light! Not only will your body get the vitamin D it craves, but your body will get the memo to stop producing excess melatonin, or the sleep hormone. So, open your blinds and curtains and carve out some time early each day to go outside and soak up the natural light.
Determine if there is something more to your fatigue.
The change in weather and light is more than enough to cause you to suffer from fatigue during the coldest months of the year. However, you need to consider the possibility that there is something deeper causing your fatigue. Each Winter, 11 million Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of seasonal depression that occurs and improves at the same time each year. But while you have it, SAD can cause feelings of depression, suicidal thoughts, fatigue, mood changes, loss of appetite, and more. An additional 25 million people suffer from a more mild form of seasonal depression commonly referred to as the winter blues.
If you are suffering from seasonal depression, taking steps like getting enough exposure to light can help. But depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may need to seek help from a medical professional to treat your condition. Antidepressants and therapy are commonly used to treat SAD.
Get enough sleep.
The average adult requires 7-9 hours of sleep each and every night to protect their mental health and cognitive function. When you don’t get enough sleep for even a night or two, you can start to notice a decline in your mental health and increased fatigue. If you are consistently getting less than 7 hours of restful sleep each night, the lack of sleep is probably causing your chronic fatigue more than the time of year. If you need help overcoming insomnia, consult your doctor or click here to learn about our favorite natural sleep solutions.
Take a power nap.
Sometimes, feeling tired is your body’s way of telling you that it needs a break. If you really can’t shake the sleepiness, consider taking a 20-30 minute power nap between 12 pm and 3 pm. Prime naptime is usually around 2 pm when our bodies naturally experience a dip in the sleep-wake cycle known as the circadian rhythm.
That said, you want to avoid napping close to when you are going to bed to avoid setting yourself up for a sleepless night of tossing and turning. And if you sleep any longer than 20-30 minutes, you might find that your nap could backfire and you wake up feeling more exhausted and disoriented. But 20-30 minutes of rest in the middle of the afternoon could give you the refreshing burst of energy you need to make it through your day.
Time your exercise.
You might think that the act of performing physical activity would tire you out, but you’d be surprised how energetic you feel after a solid workout session. This is because exercise boosts oxygen circulation within your body, which supports energy production. If you find you’re feeling too sleepy in the dark evenings, you can schedule your workout for the late afternoon. This should give you a natural boost to keep you feeling awake and alert until bedtime. At the same time, working out in the morning can help you be more productive throughout the day and lessen feelings of seasonal depression.
Watch what you eat.
In general, being overweight or underweight can impact your energy levels and cause chronic fatigue. That said, even what you eat on a daily basis can impact your energy levels. During the cold winter months, we have a tendency to prioritize starchy comfort foods like pasta, potatoes, bread, and sugary holiday desserts. As good as these foods taste, they aren’t very nutritious and can deplete our energy levels. Sugar might make you feel energetic for a little while, but the rush is short-lived. Make sure you are eating a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables to help you maintain your energy. As a compromise, look for ways to include fruits and veggies in your favorite comfort food recipes!