Winter is coming…
Days are shorter, and the weather is colder. The energy that drove most people seems gone, and the efforts they’ve set up and maintained over the past months too. Diet, sports, late-night picnics, and cocktail parties are already far away.
You may also share this annual energy drop. And you may think you’re doomed to endure it. It’s not!
After some research, I decided to give some tools a try, and I am already seeing benefits after a month of trying them. So here I am, writing to share them with you.
The Power of Light
Start by acknowledging this; It’s a common physiological mechanism.
The sun is like a gigantic power bank. Our body draws its power and regulates its inner clock thanks to light. And winter has this double negative effect on the absorption of light by humans; We lose about 3 hours of daylight, and it’s less sunny in general. So no matter what, we can’t get as much light in the winter. But there is something even worse.
Nobody wants to go to the beach on a rainy day when it’s 7°C outside. We prefer to do indoor activities. Thus, the little light we can take, we get it under artificial light.
The scales between the luminosity intensity by surface unit — lux — indoor and outdoor are far away. You can have up to 500 lux in an office versus at least 1000 on an overcast day and up to 100,000 in direct sunlight. This lack of light has several repercussions.
1. Light and Sleep
Sleep is the best tool for productivity, the best tool to cure depression, socializing, and anything else you can think of. Falling and staying asleep is one part of the problem. Waking up is the other. How many of us hibernate as soon as temperatures drop and there is no sun six days a week?
To go from sleep to wakefulness, we need a lot of light in our eyes, much more than what we get from our bedroom. In winter, we can sleep nine hours straight and still feel drowsy the first hours of our day. It’s not that we need more sleep. It’s that we need more light.
Try to get outside as soon as it’s daytime. Do it with no sunglass and no window between you and the sun. Looking at the sky for five minutes is enough to trigger awakening reflexes.
In fact, the lack of light should push you to go for more walks or outdoor activities. Better than wakefulness, this habit will keep you in good health, and that is mainly due to vitamin D.
2. Vitamin D to Light’s Replacement
You generate vitamin D by exposing your skin to sunlight. Good vitamin D levels improve immune health, bone health, and well-being — no need to explain that most of us lack it in winter. So get supplemented.
A 1,000–2,000 IU dose of vitamin D3 daily is sufficient to meet the needs of most of the population. You’ll encounter all the benefits I mentioned above, plus one more I need to say.
3. Testosterone for Well-Being
Vitamin D also influences testosterone production. And getting proper testosterone levels has many advantages.
There are still many myths about testosterone. Just remember this. More testosterone in males increases their ability to bear painful activities. It makes them fall in love with pain.
Low testosterone can reduce libido and cause fat gain, muscle loss, and bone loss. It can also lead to physical and emotional symptoms, including depression. So you want more testosterone! But don’t get me wrong, vitamin D supplements are not enough for this.
You can reach an optimized testosterone level with quality sleep (7–8 hours) and low body fat. Also, make sure to get nutrients that support its production, and last but not least, exercise. Resistance training three times a week is optimal to this end.
4. Other Supplements
My other daily food supplements are Omega-3 and Zinc. Omega-3 contains EPA, which acts as a mood regulator (I already gave My Complete Omega-3 Supplement Guide).
Zinc is rarely found in our diet (mainly in oysters, lobster, meat, etc…), but has interesting virtues. It reduces the duration of the common cold and supports optimal testosterone levels.
- Wakefulness: Five minutes of sky starring in the morning (ideally on waking),
- Sunlight replacement: 1,000–2,000 IU dose of vitamin D3 daily,
- Testosterone: Quality sleep (7 to 8 hours), Resistance training 30 minutes, 3 times a week,
- Mood regulation & Common cold symptom reducer: 1080mg of EPA and 720mg DHA (Omega-3), 10mg of Zinc Bisglycinate.