Winter Fatigue: Why Are We Always Tired and Sleepy?

winter fatigue

Tiredness is closely associated with cold months and winter time. In winter, many people notice physical and mental tiredness and lack of energy, while the other also recognize lack of interest and creativity.

It is not unusual that our body and mind react to climate change, however, what seems to be unusual is the fact that most of the people blame the cold weather.



Winter is in fact a season that offers many joys and entertainments once you know how to deal with that cold weather. If you wish to enjoy winter fully, you need to understand why you are tired and sleepy all the time, and how to balance your needs and moods.

I have compiled a list of the most common causes that can make you tired and sleepy more than you actually are, almost all the time. Moreover, the list also offers ways to deal with cold months and “winter depression”.


Lack of Sunlight

lack of sunlight at winter time
In winter, days are shorter, thus our waking cycles are changed. Lack of sunlight causes our brain to produce more melatonin, a hormone that makes us sleepy. The release of this hormone is associated with sunlight, and linked to light and dark, in fact, since the sun sets earlier, there are more dark hours in winter, and our body wants to go to bed earlier or requires more hours of sleep.

It is completely normal to adjust the body to the new weather atmosphere, and to slow down, however, the need for more sleep due to the lack of sunlight, and the overall feeling of tiredness, can lead to a more serious season affective disorders, and winter depression.

The first thing one can do is to take advantage of the light hours. As soon as you get up, open your curtains and windows and let the sunlight in. One should also get outside more and spend more time in natural daylight. One more thing one can do is to change the working hours, or to make a working environment as light as possible.


Lack of Vitamin D

lack od vitamin d in witner
As you all know vitamin D is a sun vitamin, and lack of this vitamin can make you feel more tired than you actually are. The good this is that one can get vitamin D from other sources.

Food is your first and probably the best choice. Great sources of vitamin D one can find in oily fish (salmon, sardines mackerel). Other sources of vitamin D are eggs, and meat, while one can find it in some breakfast cereals, soya products and dairy products.

Vitamin D is essential for the immune and nervous system, and you need to get really serious in case you are lacking this vitamin.


Lack of Restful and Healthy Sleep

lack of sleep
Given that winter time makes us sleepy, it is a bit strange to think that we can actually lack a healthy sleep. However, being sleepy all the time, and sleeping whenever you feel a need to, is contra productive given that we do not need to sleep more than 8 hours (the same as in the warmer months).

Sleeping for more than 8 hours will make us even more grumpy, tired and sluggish. Everyone should stick to a usual sleeping schedule (at least 8 hours) and one should try to go and get up from bed at the same time.