How to Fight Winter Fatigue
When the weather outside is frightful, do you find yourself fatigued? The cold air causes you to feel chilled to the bone, and all you can think about is curling up on the couch with a fuzzy blanket and spending the next 3 months in hibernation—if only that were possible.
Your body is fighting to maintain some amount of momentum to do the simplest tasks after you get home from a long day at work. In the summer, and even on sunny autumn days, going for walks, doing household chores, and digging around in the garden seemed so much easier.
Now, as soon as the daylight has disappeared, you take your spot on the couch with your favorite blanket—or at the very least, that’s what you want to do.
The tiredness you feel isn’t part of your imagination, or even your fault. There are some scientific explanations for why you feel such fatigue.
What causes winter fatigue?
There could be a number of factors contributing to fatigue in the winter months. However, many seem to be linked to less daylight. When the sun goes down, a hormone known as melatonin comes out and certain vitamins go in hiding. Don’t get left in the dark about how vitamins and hormones impact your energy levels.
- Melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain, regulates sleep and wake cycles.
Less light outside produces more melatonin in your body. Because the winter months make for shorter days, we naturally become more tired and earlier in the day.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “the change in season can disrupt the balance of the body’s level of melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood.”
- Another culprit that is guilty of zapping the energy out of your day is the lack of vitamin D exposure.
Sunlight is our primary source of vitamin D. The remarkable organ of human skin creates a significant amount of vitamin D when it’s exposed to sunlight.
When the temperatures are low and the days are short, there are fewer opportunities to get outside. Therefore, we are left with trying to find a different way of getting vitamin D into our system.
Many believe vitamin D deficiency only happens to those who live in colder climates. However, one study, done by sports nutritionists and athletic coaches, found that even athletes in sunny California had low levels of vitamin D.
They believe that vitamin D could be the cutting-edge advantage athletes need to get back in the game faster.
Vitamin D deficiency is going unchecked in our society. Not spending time in the sun during the winter months can pose a serious problem.
How can I boost my energy in the winter months?
There are some things you can do to boost energy levels. One step you can take, as hard as it might be, is just to get moving inside your house. Go up and down the stairs a few times, and do some cleaning. Do some simple exercises or stretches in your T.V. room—moving is a great way to boost energy levels.
Another way to help keep your energy level up in winter is making sure you are taking quality supplements that boost energy and contain vitamin D. It’s important to remember that most nutrients work together to create a healthy and smooth-running machine that we call the human body.
It’s our responsibility to choose proper fuel to help our bodies run as efficiently as possible, in order to promote rest and energy when needed.
Vitamin D is known for promoting:
What else do low levels of vitamin D do to the body?
Lacking vitamin D starts a domino effect within the body. Dietary D is essential for calcium absorption. Another necessary vitamin for calcium absorption is magnesium. These 3 vitamins work so closely together that when one is lacking, it could lead to brittle bones or possibly worse—osteoporosis.
Getting all 3 vitamins—vitamin D, magnesium, and calcium—could be the key to promoting healthier bones and getting rid of the winter blues.
Essentially, consuming one of the vitamins, such as calcium, just isn’t as effective when it isn’t combined with the others. Your body simply cannot use the calcium you give it effectively in absence of vitamin D.
What are some symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?
Pay attention to the following symptoms… they could be a sign of vitamin D deficiency:
- Brittle or achy bones- Vitamin D deficiency causes a block in calcium absorption, and calcium is known for strengthening bones. The result can be a feeling of achiness.
- Sweating- Excessive sweating of the head is closely associated with vitamin D deficiency. It doesn’t always indicate a lack in dietary D, but it is something worth checking out with your doctor.
- Respiratory issues- Several studies have indicated respiratory infections and problems associated with low vitamin D.[i] Low levels of vitamin D can hinder the immune system, as well as recovery from diseases.
- Exhaustion or seasonal blues- Vitamin D impacts 2 neurotransmitters in the brain—dopamine and norepinephrine. Studies have shown fewer depressive symptoms associated with higher vitamin D levels in older women.[ii]
If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to check with your doctor and get tested for possible deficiencies or illnesses.
Are you at risk?
- If you are 50 years or older… Mature skin doesn’t respond to sunlight exposure like it did when it was younger. The skin doesn’t make vitamin D as readily as it once did. Adding to the issue, older individuals spend less time outdoors. This cuts down on the D vitamin even more.
While not everyone over 50 is at risk, it is essential to be aware of the symptoms and check with your doctor if you have any concerns.
There is no doubt that vitamin D plays a powerful role in overall health and well-being when combined with adequate nutrition from quality sources.
A bit of natural sunlight boosts both your physical and mental health. Giving the body necessary nutrients is a must, and Dead Sea Moringa is a logical choice to add to your sun exposure this winter.
Fresh air, sunlight, and a quality source of vitamins and minerals will help you get through the cold winter months. Get out and enjoy this season!