Festive cheer isn’t always enough to see us through the winter. If you’re feeling sleepy and sluggish, try out these tips to help you do away with your winter fatigue once and for all.
There’s plenty to look forward to during the colder months. It’s a time for tasty hot chocolates, cosy winter jumpers, and putting your feet up in front of your favourite Christmas movies.
But that doesn’t mean that this is the easiest season to get through. The cold, wet weather can wreak havoc on your mental health, and I think we’re all starting to feel the effects of the longer nights and darker days.
You can rest assured that the tiredness you feel at this time of the year, which is sometimes termed “winter fatigue”, is normal, but that doesn’t make it any more pleasant when you’re dragging yourself out of bed on a dark morning or feeling lethargic throughout the working day.
There are a few reasons for this, including a lack of sunlight messing with your hormones and disrupting your sleep-wake cycle and a lack of vitamin D. Thankfully, there are things you can do to counteract these issues and beat the winter slump.
The experts over at Supplement Place, a family run company selling healthy, natural supplements, have put together some top tips for overcoming the perpetual tiredness that is all too familiar around this time of year. Put them into practice, and it won’t be long before you start seeing an improvement.
Get a good night’s sleep
Sleep is key to both your physical and mental health, as well as your day-to-day functioning. Without sleep, you are more prone to low mood and concentration issues, as well as health issues such as high blood pressure.
So it probably won’t come as too much of a surprise that ensuring you stick to a good sleep routine is key to helping you beat winter fatigue. However, according to the experts, you should still be aiming for the gold standard eight hours sleep a night: “you do not need more sleep in winter than any other month.”
The key, then, is quality of sleep. To achieve this, you need to “go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even if you’re struggling to sleep,” because “this routine helps to set your body clock and improve your sleep quality.”
You should also aim to limit your screen time in the evening since “exposure to light limits the amount of melatonin that your brain produces,” and exercise during the day, “as exercise helps us to spend more time in the deepest stages of sleep.”
Unwind and destress
Relaxation is important, always. Day-to-day life can be stressful, especially at the moment. Working from home has added to the pressure of our workdays, and the coronavirus restrictions have made this a particularly difficult year for everyone.
The stress that this has caused “really contributes to winter tiredness,” and the fact that “we feel pressured to get everything done during shorter daylight hours” isn’t really helping. So it’s important to put time aside to relax, perhaps by trying “yoga, breathing exercises or meditation,” or simply putting your feet up to listen to your favourite podcast or watch your latest Netflix obsession.
Food is so important for your wellbeing, perhaps more so at this time of year than any other. Eating more fruits and vegetables will help to keep your energy levels up throughout the day, and boost your immune system to stave off winter colds and flus.
You can “opt for winter vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and turnips,” and try them in a soup or stew to warm you through.
Don’t forget your vitamins
According to Supplement Place, there has been a 26% increase in the number of people searching for information on vitamin D since March. There’s good reason for it, too. Vitamin D “doesn’t just help build strong bones, which is the common misconception,” but also has a positive impact on your ability to sleep fall and stay asleep and may improve your mental health, too.
However, the body can only produce vitamin D “after skin exposure to sunlight, so with the current lockdowns and reduced daylight hours, there is no surprise that many people are lacking in this vital vitamin.”
There are other vitamins that will do good things for your energy levels, including vitamins B, B-12, and C, which you can increase your intake of through your diet or supplementation.
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