The winter has hit, and so have our tiredness levels. For some reason we're feeling lerthagic and ready for bed - at most points of the day.
To help the nation combat winter tiredness and boost energy levels, NHS Choices, the health information website for the NHS www.nhs.uk, has developed six top tips.
Winter tiredness is caused by the brain producing more of the sleep hormone, melatonin, as a result of there being less sunlight. You can ward off winter tiredness by:
- eating more foods that are high in vitamin D such as oily fish, eggs and meat;
- getting more access to natural daylight by opening your blinds or curtains as soon as you get up and by going on a short walk during the day;
- getting into a good sleeping routine and aiming to sleep for around eight hours;
- taking regular exercise;
- trying relaxation techniques, as stress has been found to worsen fatigue; and
- eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and avoiding eating sugary foods as the rush of energy they provide wears off quickly.
Dr. Knut Schroeder GP says: “In the winter months many of my patients tell me they are finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning and are generally feeling tired and lethargic. My advice to them is to try and get more access to natural daylight. Eating healthily and taking exercise will also help to boost energy levels.
“If patients are feeling tired and low for a prolonged period of time and this starts to impact on their day-to-day life, I would advise them to visit their GP, as they may be suffering with depression or winter depression, known as ‘seasonal affective disorder’ (SAD).”