If you find you’re tapping the snooze button at ever-increasing rates as the winter darkness descends, you’re not alone.
Millions of Brits are finding they’re becoming more tired and sluggish as the halcyon days of summer slip so, so far away.
There are multiple reasons why getting-out of bed has become more of a chore and why you feel ready to hit-the-hay by 3pm.
The good news is, we’re here with a few handy tricks that’ll help you slog the slump and feel ready to take-on even the darkest of mornings.
Why do you feel more tired in winter?
It all comes down to human biology. During the winter, we’re not as exposed to sunlight as much as we need (or like, for that matter). This means we’re constantly in the dark and missing out on valuable sunlight, lack of exposure to sunlight means we produce more melatonin – the sleep inducing hormone.
In short, our bodies are prematurely preparing us for sleep, which increases fatigue and affects mood.
So that’s the science. Now for the solution. Here are our 5 top tips for winning at winter.
Don't forget - if you're suffering from chronic sleep issues, always consult your GP for the best advice.
Top tip 1
Discover your inner-athlete
We get it – not everyone wants to exercise during winter – particularly during these frosty, intimidating mornings. But exercise can really help boost energy, improve mood and reduce fatigue during the dark months.
After exercising, you’ll find your mood improve thanks to a flurry of mood-boosting endorphins. Plus, if you manage to exercise on your lunch-break, you’ll find you’re able to tackle the rest of the afternoon with a lot more ease and vigour.
You don’t have to exercise outside either. There are a host of indoor sports available, such as 5-a-side football, badminton and your local gym to get the blood pumping.
Top tip 2
Vitamin D is particularly deficient among populations living in the Northern latitudes. This is because this important, energy-boosting vitamin is predominantly derived from sunlight.
During winter, our ability to derive Vitamin D from the sun is lessened and studies have shown that this can have an impact on energy, recovery and mood.
Consider taking a Vitamin D supplement during the darker days to help account for the lack of sunlight. You can also get more Vitamin D in your diet, from foods such as fish, eggs and milk.
Top tip 3
Eat right, feel great
It’s tempting to switch summer salads for satisfying stodge as we hit the winter chill. This can have adverse effects on your energy levels, however, as typically starchy and sugary foods such as white pasta and chocolate can lead to energy spikes followed by the inevitable energy plummet.
You can still enjoy nutritious foods that are also comforting, such as stews and soups full of lean meat and energy-giving vegetables. How about trying some of these winter classics to put a spring in your step:
Beef and vegetable casserole
Sweet potato and butternut squash soup
Leek and potato soup
Chicken and ham lasagne
Chicken roast with winter root vegetables
Top tip 4
Maintain your sleep routine
As the darkness sets in, it’s tempting to sleep for longer. However, over-indulging on sleep can actually make you feel more tired.
We don’t need any more sleep in the winter than we do in the summer, so while you still need to prioritise sleep and get enough of it, try to not be too tempted by the allure of that snooze button.
You don’t want to sacrifice sleep either. As the nights get cooler you may find it harder to get to sleep, so maintaining a bedroom environment that helps promote sleep is still important.
You can also view some our range of British Wool mattresses that have been specially designed to naturally regulate your temperature, whatever the season.
Top tip 5
Here comes the Sun…
We talked a little before about how lack of sunlight leads to a lack of melatonin – the sleep inducing hormone.
Getting enough exposure to sunlight during the winter can be tricky, but there are ways. Through the day, make sure your windows and blinds are open to let in more of the good stuff. If you work in an enclosed office, try to escape the desk every now and then for a walk. And, if you live close enough to work, you could try to walk or cycle in some mornings, which will also give you the added bonus of an endorphin boost.