Daylight Savings Time recently ended, and we're now entering the shortest months of the year. The adjustment from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time can be jarring. The Circadian Rhythm is flexible, but the rapid change in time can lead to feelings of fatigue, leading to problems with energy and motivation, and feeling exhaustion.
Many people already have issues with fatigue and exhaustion, especially those with Hormone Imbalance. In this article, we will discuss how longer nights and shorter days impact energy levels and what you can do to protect your focus, stay productive, and ward off that desire to hibernate the winter away!
What Causes Feelings of Fatigue to Become Overwhelming in Winter?
Melatonin Imbalance—Melatonin is the primary hormone involved in controlling the sleep-wake cycle. As days get shorter, we produce more melatonin, which makes it harder to stay awake. The time change can lead to further melatonin dominance, as our bodies experience darkness an hour earlier in the sleep-wake cycle than before. Melatonin production is suppressed by the blue-light associated with daytime, and production increases as night falls. This can also lead to increased feelings of sadness and depression.
Vitamin D Deficiency—Shorter days also impact the body's ability to produce Vitamin D. Vitamin D Deficiency is strongly characterized by fatigue, because the vitamin is integrally important in the process of energy production, specifically in the function of the mitochondria. Luckily, Vitamin D can be stored by the body, as it's fat soluble. In spite of that, it's very common for people to struggle with the effects of Vitamin D Deficiency, especially in parts of the world that get less sunlight due to axial tilt or regional weather patterns. People that work primarily indoors or live a sedentary lifestyle are particularly at risk of Vitamin D Deficiency.
Poor Eating Habits—Seasonal changes in eating habits can exacerbate these issues and further suppress vitality. It's common for people to use comfort foods as a crutch to stimulate happiness and reward centers in the brain as shorter, colder months reduce opportunities for healthier means to produce the chemicals that make us feel good. The combo of Thanksgiving and Christmas exacerbate this by giving ample opportunity to pig out and eat feelings away.
Low Activity Level—On the flip side, shorter days mean less time for outdoor physical activity. Colder days can make even going outside feel like a chore, leading us to stay sedentary and bundled up rather than going out to experience nature. This combination of factors can make the winter months a real drag, and the transition to Standard Time from Daylight Savings is the best time to proactively protect yourself from seasonal fatigue and the winter blues.
Tips On How to Protect Energy Levels in Winter
Get Plenty of Daylight—Take advantage of your opportunities to get some sunlight when you can. It's easy to get caught up in your daily activities and forget to make time for sunshine. Fifteen to twenty minutes per day can massively improve your Vitamin D production. Also, open blinds and let in more natural light. Exposure to sunlight, even indirectly, will help keep your Circadian Rhythm calibrated.
Keep Active and Exercise—The changing seasons can easily get you off track on your fitness goals. It's important to not let the shorter, colder days get in the way of an active routine. Even if you aren't the outdoorsy type, a quick walk every day can do a lot to keep you energetic and full of verve. Exercise also stimulates the production of critical hormones associated with energy, including Testosterone and Growth Hormone.
Concentrate on Good Eating Habits—We all know how easy it is to give in to the quick pleasure of junk food and simple carbs. These crutches give us a quick burst of calories, but don't provide us with consistent energy or dense calories. Keep your focus on a balanced diet that's full of nutrition during the winter months. Opt for complex carbs to provide your body with a consistent source of energy. Your body breaks down white sugar and flour, and simple starches quickly, making them more likely to go to your waistline than to your energy needs. Complex carbs take time to break down,make you feel more full, and provide a more stable source of energy.
Get the Most Out of Your Sleep—The time change makes it a necessity to take steps to preserve optimal sleeping habits. The light that you let in during the day makes your body switch to night-mode more easily. Limit exposure to sources of artificial blue-light sources at night to keep your brain in rhythm. Poor sleeping habits contribute to significant Hormone Imbalance and lead to increased risk of Chronic Fatigue.
Could Hormone Imbalance Be Making Your Seasonal Fatigue Worse?
The winter months can really make it harder to feel like yourself. There are a lot of factors at play which lead you to feeling tired, dull, and listless. Hormone Imbalances such as Human Growth Hormone Deficiency and Low-T have some of the same effects. As you get older, it's important to recognize the effects that this combination of factors can have on your well-being.
Both Testosterone and HGH have powerful metabolic effects designed to keep you sharp, focused, and full of vitality, and avoid the feelings of exhaustion. Studies show that Low-T can have a measurable impact on emotional wellness and cognitive function. For patients diagnosed with Testosterone Deficiency, Bio-Identical Testosterone Therapy can greatly improve energy levels and focus while bolstering confidence and feelings of self-worth. HGH Therapy can help patients with Hypopituitarism achieve improved mood stability and unlock the energy stored in body fat to help you keep your brain and body more active.
If you feel that the changing seasons are taking a particularly hard toll on you this year, consider reaching out to a professional. Our Board-Certified HRT Professionals can help diagnose Hormone Imbalance, and also offer high-quality pharma-grade supplements that can help you overcome Vitamin D Deficiency, Melatonin Imbalance, and other issues which may be making your seasonal issues worse. Give our Licensed Hormone and Wellness Clinic a call today!
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