Do not disturb: Why our bodies press snooze during winter

Have you ever noticed that in the summertime, you’re full of energy and want to stay out of the house as long as possible, but once winter rolls around, you find it impossible to get out from under the covers? SAME!

If this is the case for you, don’t worry; it’s not all in your head. Winter has a major effect on our bodies, mainly due to the lack of sunlight. During the cold, dark season, our bodies produce more melatonin (the sleep hormone) than usual, which causes the disruption in our sleep patterns and mood. Our bodies are naturally programmed to know when to sleep, but they tend to get a little confused with winter’s shorter days and longer nights.

Have you ever heard the term “Seasonal Depression”? Well, it’s a very real thing! With an increase in melatonin comes a decrease in serotonin (the happy hormone), which causes you to feel sluggish, anxious, and depressed, and you may even have trouble sleeping. All of these are common symptoms of the appropriately acronymed disorder SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder.)

Unfortunately, we can’t control the seasons, but we do have the power to control how our bodies react to them. So now that you know you’re not going crazy, how we can help our bodies from wanting to press snooze during winter? For starters, VITAMIN D! Natural sunlight is obviously the best way for our skin to absorb the vitamin. I know it’s a struggle to get outside when it’s freezing and gloomy, but your skin still does receive vitamin D on cloudy days, so try going for a walk around the block a few times a week. The crisp cool air will be sure to wake you up and put a pep in your step. If it’s absolutely unbearable to be outside where you live, you can still get your daily dosage of vitamin D by eating foods such as egg yolks and fatty fish; if you’re not a fan of these, then simply take a vitamin D3 supplement daily. Love Wellness’ #Mood Pills are also a helpful supplement for battling the blues and enhancing your mood! 😉

Another useful tip for battling too much sleep in the winter is sticking to a sleep routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, and aim for only the necessary eight hours of sleep a night. As soon as your alarm goes off (make sure it’s far from your bed so you’re not tempted to hit snooze), wake up and be productive!

Your diet is also a factor in boosting your energy during this time. Make sure your plates are colorful by filling them with vegetables and fruits, and go for the lighter meals that are easier to digest.

Try to work exercise into your schedule — even if it’s just for 20 minutes — three days a week to get your body moving. If you’re still having trouble waking your body up, then opt for a light therapy lamp/box, which is used to mimic outdoor light and help ease the symptoms of SAD.

It’s inevitable to want to just stay in cozy PJs, snuggled up with a blanket all day. But with a few tweaks to your daily routine, you can survive the winter season and win the battle of the snooze button.

This article was originally published on Brit + Co.