As we enter the spring season and bid adieu to winter, we us feel a certain sense of fatigue in our daily lives. Most people I talk to simply attribute it to the change in weather. When I try to dig deeper, they simply shrug their shoulders.
So, I decided to do some of my own research on the subject and share my findings here. For starters, I found that this is not a phenomenon confined to one corner of the world. I have read about people complaining about it from all corners of the world, all the way from the US to Australia.
It turns out that we, like animals, regulate our metabolism and hormone levels in response to external stimuli like temperature and light. In fact, our core body temperature is slightly lower in the winter than it is in the summer, which results in a slowdown in our metabolism. During this period, our body also produces a higher amount of the hormone melatonin, which regulates our sleep.
When spring comes around all of a sudden, the sun starts rising earlier and we get longer hours of sunlight accompanied by rising temperatures. The body naturally reacts to this change in external stimuli by raising the core temperature, thereby dilating blood vessels and causing a resulting drop in blood pressure. The body also reacts at the hormonal level, causing the release of more serotonin, the activity hormone. All these changes throw our body’s rhythm off-balance.
This slightly weakens the body’s defenses and also makes us more vulnerable to infections. Temperature changes back and forth, accompanied by an adjustment to the clock due to Daylight Savings Time tend to exacerbate the effects. Large day-night temperature swings put added strain on blood vessels and circulation. These are drastic changes for the body and it takes a couple of weeks to adjust and adapt. Depending on individual circumstances, the effects might also include headaches, irritability, tiredness, dizziness, and a tendency to drift towards a sad mood. (On a side note, while weather or spring fatigue is common, the severe version of this problem is referred to Seasonal Affective Disorder and often requires treatment.)
However, instead of simply riding out the fatigue, there are things you can do to fight it. For example, exercising activates the whole body. Consumption of fruits and vegetables supplies the body with vitamins and minerals that consequentially help strengthen your defenses.
Knowledge is power. And now that we know, we can do more than simply suffer through weather fatigue. Besides, every cloud has a silver lining and this is no exception. Suffering through a few weeks of fatigue will bring us the warm embrace of summer.
Here’s looking forward to an activity filled summer!