How to fight tiredness when winter is coming?

Long winter evenings, night travels, artificial light at work… The winter period is accompanied by a decrease in exposition to light. This leads to a less important synthesis of melatonin, also known as sleep hormone, which manages the circadian cycle. This reduction leads to the feeling of fatigue felt in winter, which is nothing but a biological adaptation.

Tiredness: what is it?

Tiredness is a subjective feeling related to the difficulty of acting after work or physical effort, intellectual or mental considered excessive. Three types of tiredness can be distinguished: physical fatigue, nervous fatigue and respiratory fatigue. Generally, they are interdependent. If fatigue sets in regularly (more than six months), it is considered as pathological and called asthenia or even chronic fatigue.


What are the characteristics of different types of tiredness?

Muscle fatigue is the inability of some muscles to produce the strength needed to perform a task. The consequences are an inability of muscle fibers to contract, insufficient energy resources and a decrease in nervous message transmission.

Respiratory fatigue is due to a lack of oxygen in the body, allowing the vital muscles and organs to be properly supplied. It is usually felt during intense or prolonged physical exercise.

Finally, nervous fatigue is expressed by the inability of the central nervous system (CNS) to activate muscles to maintain a constant level of strength. When the maximum capacity of the CNS is reached, this force can no longer be maintained.


What are the causes of tiredness?

Tiredness can result from several causes. The most common are lack of sleep, intellectual or physical overwork, or even an underlying disease such as diabetes, cancer or respiratory disease. Dietary imbalance has a significant influence on fatigue, especially in the case of diet or undernourishment. At the time of menstruation or menopause, women are more likely to be tired due to a lack of iron or even anemia. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your daily iron needs are met to limit fatigue. It is found in high quantities in red meat, lentils and offals.

How to fight tiredness?

Follow our 5 tips to fight tiredness!

  1. Focus on restful sleep: go to bed at a set time, with enough time for long nights. Set goals: go to bed 30 minutes earlier for a week.
  2. Avoid stimulants: prefer herbal teas or infusions, without theine or caffeine, at the end of the day.
  3. Relax: read 30 minutes before going to bed. Learn to manage your stress and relax. Stress is one of the main causes of nervous fatigue. Consult our article to discover all our tips.
  4. Be physically active on a regular basis. However, avoid late physical activity as it activates the metabolism and makes it more difficult to fall asleep.
  5. Take care of your diet: make sure you have a balanced diet by eating fruits and vegetables for their intake of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Some scientists have shown that fatigue is one of the symptoms of vitamin C deficiency.

[1] Dictionnaire médical de l’Académie de Médecine, 2018

[2] Xavier Barbier, Les mécanismes de la fatigue : Partie 4, Fatigue nerveuse et conclusion, 2012