Do you suffer from feelings of lethargy and tiredness in the winter? You're not alone - this is a common phenomenon and lots of people feel sleepy all the time in winter.
The good news is that there are lots of techniques you can use to feel more alert and awake. In this post, we'll take a look at how to increase energy levels in winter and how to wake up early in winter.
You might still be wondering, though, "why am I always tired in the winter?"
Before we dig into those tips, let's take a look at why people are always feeling tired in winter.
Why Do We Get Tired In Winter?
There are a few reasons that winter makes you feel tired. Most of the reasons are physiological but some of them are psychological and social, too.
The lack of sunlight means that your body produces more melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel drowsy. Colder temperatures also cause us to shiver and feel sleepy - the cold weather causes a drop in body temperature that makes us want to go to sleep.
In psychological terms, winter weather can create moodiness and feelings of unease. This is because the dull and dreary weather casts a blanket of low energy over everything around us.
In sociological terms, winter also means that we have a tendency to socialize less frequently. The cold weather might make it difficult or unpleasant to socialize, so we tend to spend more time in our homes which reduces the variety and intensity of the stimulus that we experience.
How To Increase Energy Levels
Now that we have a better understanding of why your energy levels may wane in the winter, let's take a look at eight actionable steps that you can take to increase your energy levels.
- Exercise regularly
An exercise session can help you to put an end to feelings of lethargy and drowsiness. Exercise can provide a rush of adrenaline that helps you to feel energized and stay awake longer.
- Make a conscious effort to socialize
It's all too tempting to lock yourself away during the winter months, but this only serves to make you feel drowsier. Plan some indoor activities and make a conscious effort to meet your friends - socializing can provide you with a lot of energy.
- Focus on your diet
Lots of people have a tendency to eat comfort foods during the winter, but this could make your feelings of lethargy even worse. Try to eat a varied diet and pay particular attention to the food you eat during the winter.
- Enjoy daylight whenever possible
Your body will produce vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight, which in turn enhances the production of serotonin - a hormone that helps you to feel great and more energetic.
- Focus on good sleep hygiene
Are you practicing good sleeping habits, or are your decisions stopping you from getting a good night's sleep? A late-night Netflix session might sound tempting when it's cold out, but that stimulus before sleeping can affect your sleep.
- Try to manage your stress
If your feelings of lethargy start to snowball into anxiety and stress, it's important that you address those feelings. You should try to practice mindfulness and meditate on a regular basis to stop those feelings.
- Limit your alcohol take
Alcohol is a depressant that can affect your mood, your health, the quality of your sleep, and your energy levels. You should limit your alcohol intake during the winter months to alleviate feelings of lethargy.
- Stay hydrated
As always, you should make sure that you are hydrated. Dehydration can cause headaches and feelings of tiredness, so make sure to drink lots of water to stay as alert as possible.
How To Train Yourself To Wake Up Early In Winter
If you aren't a morning person, you might find that the winter weather makes it even tougher to get up early. It's difficult to get out of bed when it's cold and dark outside - but you're not alone.
If you need a strategy to train yourself to wake up early in winter, try out this simple program:
- Work slowly and make small changes - it's easier to wake up earlier in increments of ten minutes than hours.
- Start compensating for the sleep you'll lose in the morning by replacing it in the evening.
- Avoid keeping electronics in your room - use a conventional alarm clock and place it on the other side of the room.
- Don't become frustrated with yourself and allow yourself to sleep in once in a while.