Why is it so hard to stay awake in winter? Feat. Tips to stay alert

Tired during the winter? You’re not alone. It’s estimated that about one-third of Americans suffer from some form of tiredness in winter, with women more likely to be affected than men. And it’s not just a general tiredness. This tiredness is typically experienced as lethargy, drowsiness, and daytime sleepiness. These symptoms are often worse at night or when exposed to cold temperatures. This article will explore reasons why you might feel tired in the winter season. Then continue on how you can combat these feelings so that you can enjoy your day-to-day life!

Why do you feel tired during winter season?

There are a variety of reasons why people feel tired during winter season. One of the main reasons is that winter is a harsh time for our bodies. The colder temperatures can sap our energy and cause us to feel tired and sluggish. Because of the less sunny weather, our natural circadian rhythms, or biological clock, can also affect our tiredness levels.

When we’re around family or co-workers who are sick, we may be more likely to catch their germs and pass them on to our families and friends as well. This can also make us tired. Lastly, the change in season from fall to winter can leave us feeling tired throughout the season.

There are many causes for tiredness in the colder months, those above are just a few. One other reason is that our body temperature drops when we’re cold- which means that less energy is used to maintain a certain temperature.



As for tiredness and sleepiness during winter, though, there’s one major trigger to blame: getting less sunlight. In the winter, we spend more time indoors than we do in summer; as a result, we are less exposed to sunlight which can potentially affect our moods and energy levels. The body needs sunlight to create Vitamin D, and we may not be getting enough of this nutrient during the winter months! This could lead to tiredness for a few reasons. First, if our natural circadian rhythm (or sleeping pattern) is disrupted, tiredness will usually follow because tiredness is what the body gives us to tell it that something’s wrong, and we need sleep. Second, with less Vitamin D in our system, we will be more tired because we need the Vitamin D for energy.

How do you stay awake during the winter season?

We all have the common questions, “Why is it so hard to stay awake in winter?” and “How do you stay awake in winter?”, at least once during every cold season. To say that winter has tired or fatigue would be a serious understatement. The very way we experience the world changes with the colder weather. From the tiredness that can come from bundling up (or trying not to) outside, to just how tired it makes us feel to go up and down stairs, winter is exhausting. This leads me to ask another question: Are there any tricks on staying awake during winter?

There are many tips to stay awake during winter. Here are a few of my suggestions. 

  1. Drink warm drinks throughout the day- such as tea or soup. Milk and vegetable soups can be great for staying awake during winter because they contain magnesium- which helps boost tiredness in the body.
  2. Wear layers of clothing that are thin and easy to take off or put on- because you’ll be doing this a lot in winter! Layers such as hoodies, shirts, sweaters and jacket will keep your warm while still allowing you the ability to vent out heat/sweat if necessary. Also, keeping your body warm helps tiredness during cold weather.
  3. Try to get outside when you can- but don’t forget to layer up! My best advice is that if it’s too cold for your ears and nose, it might be too cold outside. You want to wear layers of clothing in winter which have the ability to vent out heat and sweat- in addition to keeping you warm and cozy.
  4. Exercise in the morning- whether it be running, walking or any other activity. Try to get outside and do exercise in the morning or during the day. This way you’ll have a higher energy level the days after training. Training regularly will make it easier for your body to stay awake during the winter season.
  5. Eat a healthy diet which contains magnesium and vitamin D- which helps with tiredness during winter. For example eat more winter foods like sweet potatoes, squashes and carrots. These are rich in magnesium and vitamin D which will help you not tired in winter. More tips on foods are after the heading below.

These are just a few suggestions that can help tiredness during winter. Whatever tips you use to fight tiredness, have fun with them this winter season!

What to eat for energy during the winter months


fruits and vegetables on a tray


The best things to eat for energy during the winter months are complex carbohydrates and fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and fish. A diet that’s low in carbs causes tiredness because your body burns up its own glucose storage before it starts burning stored fat. When you don’t have enough glucose, tiredness can happen.

On the other hand, if you eat too many carbs or sugar, your body releases insulin to take care of it. But this process makes tiredness as well. Once the high wears off you’ll feel tired again and more hungry than before-so tired that you don’t want to exercise. That’s the wrong kind of tired.

Add some protein to your meals, such as beans, nuts or lean meats. These slow-burning foods give you a more steady supply of energy and will help reduce tiredness. Fruits and vegetables are also high in vitamins and minerals that support good health. Eating right can make tiredness less likely to happen!


There are many tips for staying awake during winter, and it’s important to find what works best for you. The answer will be different depending on your personal preferences, lifestyle or types of work that you do each day. But one thing is certain: tiredness in the winter season has a number of causes- all which can make it difficult to stay alert throughout the day! It might seem like there’s no way out when we’re tired at home after a long walk outside, but with some mindfulness about how our bodies react to seasonal changes (and these helpful suggestions), we should have no trouble getting through until springtime arrives. I hope you found this article helpful, and be sure to share your own tiredness tips as well!

Gabriel Smith

Hello, my name is Gabriel and I LOVE to sleep. Okay, you’re right, a lot of people do like sleep. But my passion is actually not sleeping. My interest lies in the “theoretical part”. What to do before bedtime. What a good night’s sleep is. etc. In short, how to sleep well. I hope you share the same interest as me, and enjoy reading everything about sleep.

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