Four Ways to Beat Winter Lethargy

As it gets colder and colder outside, the desire to burrow deeper into your warm bed can become overwhelming. Unfortunately, lying in bed for too long can make it much harder for you to feel awake later. There are actually many characteristics of the winter that have this same effect. The early sunsets and the hectic Holiday schedules are just a few things that could be making you want to catnap in your office chair. If you’ve been constantly fighting off yawns see if you can use a few of these natural tips into your schedule, so you can be alert and feel well rested.

Set a sleep schedule

Your body needs a schedule. Even when you are caught in the chaotic day-to-day routine that can develop around the holidays, your body may still keep a schedule of its own. When your daybook doesn’t match your body’s internal schedule, however, you can end up very tired. Going to bed and waking up at the same times each day will fix this problem. This sleep schedule means you will feel tired when your body hits the pillow, and won’t be lying in bed waiting to fall asleep or be feeling tired while you’re still trying to finish the tasks of the day. You will also be ready to wake up when your alarm goes off in the morning.

See the light of day

Your body’s circadian rhythm is regulated by light. If you spend most of your day in a poorly lit office building โ€“ or just simply inside โ€“ your circadian rhythm is probably already off. When daylight savings time begins in the winter, this can be further affected because the sun sets earlier; depending on where you live within a time zone, you could be drastically affected with a 4:00 sun set. Spending at least an hour in sunlight each day can do wonders to help fix your circadian rhythm. If your schedule is busy, try walking or biking to work or for your lunch break. If you really cannot fit any extra sun-time into your schedule, consider buying a very bright lamp for your desk โ€“ even this can help!


When you are already tired, exercise is likely the last thing you want to do! However, the end result is a huge raise in energy thanks to the hormones that start flowing. Thirty minutes of morning exercise can still help you in the afternoon. Over the long-term, you will cut down on lethargy and, chances are, you’ll be happier.

Watch your food intake

Five small meals really are better for you than three large meals. While it may be a strange change to make to your diet, the benefits are worthwhile. Three standard meals give you three bursts in energy as your body receives nutrients. However, the meals are typically spaced throughout the day in an unhelpful way. Breakfast and lunch are close together, while dinner generally happens close to bedtime. This means you may have a sinking spell after lunch and then be energetic at night. Five small meals spaces out your food intake lessening the chance of overeating and meaning your energy level may stay even throughout the day.

Liz Childers stays alert throughout the day by making sure she always eats breakfast and takes an exercise break from work in the midafternoon. Drowsiness has such a negative affect on work performance, so she considers these things important. Liz works from home writing for a birdhouse supplier and seller of Spyderco knives.

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