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How to feel less tired all the time

17 November 2021

Physical

Posted on: 17 November 2021

The changing season can have an impact on our energy levels. When it’s cold and dark outside it makes us want to hibernate! These five top tips will help you feel well rested this winter.

1. Sleep

A fairly obvious place to start… are you getting enough sleep? Simple tweaks to your night time routine can help make sure you get your hours of top-quality rest.

Keeping a regular schedule for bedtime and wake time has been shown to help stabilise sleep patterns. Establishing healthy habits in the hours before bed will help your body recognise that it’s time to shut down for the night.

For more ideas, check out our article, 10 more tips for good sleep.

2. Stay active

When it’s cold and dark out the last thing we want to do is head out for exercise; but it’s so important for our physical and mental health to keep active throughout the winter. Find ways to adapt your exercise programme to colder, shorter days, or switch to a routine you can do indoors.

Even 10 minutes of movement will energise you. If you don’t feel like pushing yourself, some stretching or a walk round the block will shake the cobwebs off and leave you feeling refreshed.

3. Check your iron levels

Iron deficiency, also known as anaemia, can cause symptoms including tiredness, lack of energy and shortness of breath. It is more common in women, often due to heavy periods or pregnancy, and can be treated by changes to your diet.

Include more dark-green leafy vegetables, iron-fortified cereals and pulses, as well as iron supplements, if necessary. It’s always a good idea to have your iron levels checked by a doctor if you’re feeling fatigued.

4. Eat well

Part of the joy of winter is enjoying delicious warming meals. However, too much starchy, fatty food can leave us feeling sluggish. We tend to put on weight in the winter, partly due to eating more and partly because we do less exercise.

Eating a big, stodgy meal in the evening means your body has to work harder to digest it, and going to bed on a full stomach can keep you awake for longer and disrupt your sleep cycle, which has a knock-on effect on your wellbeing the following day. You can still enjoy hearty winter meals, just try to eat your biggest meal as early in the day as possible and keep your portion size under control.

5. Vitamin D

The lack of sunlight between October and March means many of us develop a shortage of this essential nutrient, normally produced via exposure to sunlight.

The first sign of Vitamin D deprivation can be fatigue, and it’s also been linked to depression.

The NHS says during winter we should aim to regularly eat vitamin D-rich foods such as eggs, meat and oily fish to top up our levels. You could also consider taking supplements during winter months – ten micrograms is the daily dose recommended for adults.

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