Getting up, feeling unbelievably tired, yawning all day and falling back into bed in the evening: Spring fatigue is currently rampant. What is the phenomenon all about?
Spring hasn’t caught on yet: sometimes there’s a gentle breeze, then the temperatures go down again. In some cases, the German Weather Service even expects snow and sleet again. As the seasons change, many people feel like yawning. What causes and drives away spring fatigue – an overview:
What is springtime fatigue?
The big spring yawn usually shows up when there have been a few days with warmer temperatures. Many feel weak and tired. Others suffer from circulatory problems, mood swings, headaches, lack of concentration, irritability or insomnia. This should be overcome after two to four weeks.
What are the causes?
Hormones play a significant role. After the dark winter months, the concentration of the so-called sleep hormone melatonin in the blood is particularly high. The “feel good messenger” serotonin, whose store is relatively empty, needs daylight for its production, which activates a hormone gland in the brain.
With the increase in serotonin, the body simultaneously reduces the production of melatonin. Because none of this happens properly in the spring, the system becomes temporarily imbalanced. The result is a battle of hormones – all of it exhausting, and the body demands a breather at the most inopportune times.
What role do hormones play?
While blood vessels constrict in cold weather in order to lose less heat, they dilate slightly when the temperature rises. This causes blood pressure to drop slightly, which causes fatigue or circulatory problems. People who already have low blood pressure complain more often about being tired in the spring. Weather-sensitive people and the elderly also react more sensitively.
What helps against spring fatigue?
Light is the best therapy. It boosts the production of serotonin and vitamin D and stops the production of the sleep hormone melatonin during the day. Experts therefore recommend as much outdoor exercise as possible. If possible, ride your bike to work and take your break outside. Weary office workers should use the stairs instead of the elevator.
Since the body also has to absorb sunlight through the retina in order to produce more serotonin, experts advise temporarily not wearing sunglasses. In addition, an afternoon nap is not always helpful, because then more melatonin is formed again and the “happiness hormone” is consumed. Contrast showers or visits to the sauna also get the circulation going.
Hygiene, nutrition, sleep
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What should be considered when it comes to nutrition?
When it comes to nutrition, experts recommend lots of cereals and cereal products made from whole grains, potatoes, legumes and, above all, lots of fruit and vegetables. Some types of fruit, such as bananas, apples and pineapples, even contain traces of the mood enhancer serotonin. Drinking enough helps to avoid tiredness and lack of concentration.
I’m Caroline, a journalist and author for 24 Hours Worlds. I specialize in health-related news and stories, bringing real-world impact to readers across the globe. With my experience in journalism and writing in both print and online formats, I strive to provide reliable information that resonates with audiences from all walks of life.