Why are we so tired when it’s spring?

Why are we so tired when it’s spring?
Why are we so tired when it’s spring?

The arrival of spring brings about a particular change in the body that we are not always aware of.

Milder temperatures, days that are longer and brighter (normally), flowers that are budding… At first glance, all the key ingredients are there to feel a boost of energy and have morale of steel for this spring. However, many people are feeling sluggish during this period. How can we explain this feeling of fatigue, weariness and exhaustion that we more easily attribute to autumn? Answers from Professor Damien Davenne, specialist in chronobiology at the University of Caen.

The arrival of spring actually brings about a change in hormonal balance that we are not always aware of. While the long winter nights promote the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, increased light tends to slow it down, making it more difficult to fall asleep. At the same time, serotonin, the good mood hormone, skyrockets. A cocktail that makes you want to postpone bedtime to enjoy the beautiful days, but in reality, it’s not that simple. “Spring is associated with changes in light which have a considerable impact on our central biological clock and therefore on our circadian rhythms. Any upheaval requires energy from the body to adapt” explains Professor Damien Davenne. “The days are getting longer, the desire to sleep decreases and nocturnal awakenings are more frequent. If this little insomnia is not serious, it can lead to a little daytime sleepiness (during the day, editor’s note), hence the feeling of fatigue .”

A desire to make up for lost time that overloads the schedule

In addition to these sleep disturbances, spring is a good time to restart more intense physical activity. “The desire to move increases, especially outdoor activity, and the associated energy expenditure can cause fatigue. Schedules become overloaded. Coming out of winter, we want to make up for lost time. tasks have accumulated and must now be accomplished (such as the garden) otherwise it will be too late This sudden increase in activity tires the body which has difficulty adapting. continues Professor Davenne. Not to mention that this is the time when we change the time to daylight saving time. It normally takes 3-4 days for the body to get used to it, but in some people, especially the very young and the oldest, it is more complicated and adds fatigue for several weeks.

To combat spring fatigue, consider exposing yourself to daylight in the morning, drinking 1.5 to 2L of water per day, practicing daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes, eating more fruits and vegetables and to sleep at least 8 hours per night. “A nap can be an effective remedy. informs the chronobiologist, to make up for the more difficult nights. In the evening, as the sun sets later, make sure to create sufficient darkness in the bedroom to promote the secretion of melatonin and fall asleep more easily. Avoid the light intensity of screens which tends to keep you awake. Finally, rest assured, for our expert, spring fatigue is still less than that of autumn: “There is no seasonal depression during this season.”

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