Although the weather is still far from autumnal, the days are getting shorter. When your alarm clock goes off in the morning, it’s still dark and you still want to turn over. And when you drive home after work at dusk, your eyes almost fall shut. Recognizable? You’re not the only one suffering from autumn fatigue. Lighting expert Toine Schoutens from Ulicoten explains why it happens and what you can do about it.
“It’s not a myth that we are more tired these days,” Schoutens said. “People simply need a lot of light to function properly. Throughout the summer we were able to take advantage of that. But now that we’re back inside a lot and it’s dark longer, our bodies have to get used to it.”
This has to do with our biological clock. At night, our bodies produce melatonin, a substance that causes us to get tired. When the sun comes up that should disappear, but when it’s still dark that rhythm comes under pressure. “Then you make melatonin for too long,” says Schoutens, “which keeps you sleepy.”
"After half an hour with light glasses, you really have more energy," he said.
The fact that we’re indoors a lot now doesn’t help either. “Inside is often 200 times darker than outside,” he explains. “You don’t notice that much because your eyes adjust accordingly, but it’s really true.” That’s why it’s better to put that blanket back in the closet and get out there after work. “In the winter it is less light outside than in the summer, but the difference from inside is still very big. So get outside as much as possible and do something active.”
Another tip is to put on blue light glasses for half an hour every morning immediately after getting up. “With that, you mimic summer,” the expert explains. “Sunlight consists of all the colors of the rainbow. Research shows that the blue part wakes you up. It stimulates the production of cortisol, which provides energy.” You have to pay 200 euros for such glasses, but then you have something. “I’ve been using those myself for years and really have more energy afterwards,” promises Schoutens.
He says a regular diet is also important. “Eat a lot of carbohydrates in the morning. Those are converted into energy.” Snoozing your alarm clock should definitely not be done. “That’s bad for your rhythm because your body then thinks you have to go back to sleep. Instead, it is important to catch as much light as possible in the morning. Open the curtains right away or use a light alarm clock.”
"With a good power nap, you really are fitter afterwards."
And if you are still falling asleep at work after these tips, it is best to take a power nap. “A lot of people think, that doesn’t work for me. But taking a nap between one and two is very effective.” Lie down somewhere, make sure it is dark and try to sleep. “Twenty minutes at most, no longer,” he stresses. “Because then you get into a deeper sleep and get up broke. But if you do it right you notice that you really do get up fitter.”
The responses to our statement on Facebook show that many of our followers are also tired more often now that it’s darker outside for longer. “Terrible, I prefer to skip the upcoming period,” Danielle responds. And Ingrid doesn’t like the fall either. “During the summer months, I go to bed later and am much more energetic.”
Others flourish just at this time, like Evie. “That heat and sun makes you so tired, I don’t suffer from that now.” And for Pauline, too, may it get dark nice and early. “More quiet in the neighborhood, no parties or festivals until 11 p.m. and therefore the possibility of going to bed on time.”
Source : https://www.omroepbrabant.nl/nieuws/4354610/ook-zo-moe-nu-het-s-ochtends-donker-is-zo-stap-je-toch-fit-je-bed-uit