Feeling a little sleepier as the days get shorter and the temperature drops?
You’re not alone! Decreased daylight in the winter months causes our bodies to produce more of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. As long as you’ve ruled out common causes of fatigue such as thyroid disease, toxic mold exposure, and Lyme, this is likely just a seasonal fluctuation and nothing to worry about.
That doesn’t mean you have to go into hibernation or resort to caffeine though! Here are 5 natural ways to boost your energy instantly.
1. Sing a Song
Singing increases mental alertness by improving blood circulation and allowing more oxygen to reach your brain. It also releases endorphins and oxytocin, your brain’s “feel good” chemicals.
Singing even supports energy in the long term by stimulating your vagus nerve. This is the main component of your parasympathetic nervous system, and it plays a big role in your rest and digest response. Healthy vagal nerve function can decrease stress and help you relax, both of which promote restful sleep overnight for more energy during the day.
2. Smell a Lemon
You can slice and smell an actual lemon (then use it for tip 3!) or use a lemon essential oil.
3. Drink a Glass of Water
Even mild dehydration can cause fatigue. It also reduces your ability to eliminate toxins, which can then build up and lead to fatigue and brain fog.
Start your day by drinking 20 ounces of water to rehydrate after a night of sleep, and continue drinking filtered water throughout the day.
If you’re feeling sluggish, drink a glass of cold water with a hefty squeeze of lemon juice. The vitamin C and bioflavonoids from the lemon will improve blood flow and oxygenation.
4. Open the Blinds
Sunlight counteracts the extra melatonin produced this time of year and helps maintain your circadian rhythm. Try to get sunlight exposure first thing in the morning, or as soon as you can, to tell your brain it’s awake time.
If you feel an afternoon slump coming on, open the blinds, sit by a window, or pop outside for a bit.
5. Take a 20-Minute Walk
Research shows that spending 20 minutes outside can make you feel more alive. (I think we could all use that right now!).
This is actually a three-for-one tip since sunlight, exercise, and being outdoors all increase your energy levels.
BONUS: Try Energy-Supporting Supplements
These take longer to see an effect (days or weeks instead of minutes), but the results will also last longer.
- RootFix MitoSTM – Your mitochondria produce more than 90 percent of your body’s required energy. When they’re functioning optimally and energy is readily available, metabolism is boosted and the natural aging process is decelerated. This supplement combines critical components of mitochondrial energy production, including CoQ10, L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, b vitamins, and malic and succinic acids.
- RootFix MegaMulti – Just like a car can’t run without fuel, your body can’t produce energy without essential vitamins, minerals, and bioflavonoids. MegaMulti contains a broader spectrum of vital nutrients than you’ll find in other multivitamins, including key factors for thyroid function.
Keep these tips handy throughout the winter, and remember that it’s also important to rest and recharge this time of year.
If you suspect that your low energy is actually fatigue caused by an underlying health issue, we can help you get to the bottom of it with a root-cause approach. Check out our Adaptation Program to learn more.
About the Author: Dr. Seth Osgood is a Doctor of Nursing Practice, Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM) Certified Practitioner. Dr. Osgood received his post-graduate training in Functional Medicine through the IFM and from working with Dr. Amy Myers. He has helped people from around the world improve their health utilizing a Functional Medicine approach.
Want to work with Dr. Osgood and the GrassRoots team? Become a patient in our West Lebanon, New Hampshire Functional Medicine clinic, our Burlington, Vermont Functional Medicine clinic, or our Austin, Texas Functional Medicine clinic!