For many people, spring means more light, milder weather and a renewed hope for better times ahead. But for some, spring can also hold an unpleasant surprise: Spring fatigue, or spring asthenia. But what is behind this phenomenon? Is it just a myth or actually real?
What is Spring Asthenia?
Spring Asthenia is a temporary fatigue that manifests itself in a variety of symptoms. Although it is not a medical diagnosis, it can still be very uncomfortable for sufferers. The most common symptoms are fatigue, sluggishness, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and a general change in mood.
Causes of Spring Asthenia
The exact causes of Spring Asthenia are not yet fully understood, but there are some factors that may play a role. One of the main factors is the influence of light on our body. Spring also marks the beginning of a change in the light cycle, which can affect hormone production in the body. In particular, the production of melatonin, which is responsible for the sleep-wake rhythm, can be affected.
Another factor is the change to warmer temperatures. The body needs more energy to adapt to the new environment. This can cause a temporary lack of energy.
Is Spring Asthenia real or just a myth?
It is important to emphasize that spring asthenia is not a serious condition and usually goes away on its own. For a long time, it was thought that this discomfort was due to a deficiency of vitamins and minerals that we built up during the winter due to inadequate nutrition. However, doctors now believe that the cause lies in an imbalance between two important hormones in the brain: the sleep hormone melatonin and the happiness hormone serotonin.
Serotonin is produced under the influence of light and is responsible for activation and good mood. Melatonin, on the other hand, ensures restful sleep at night. In spring, the ratio of these two hormones is thrown into disarray, which can lead to complaints such as fatigue, headaches and circulatory problems. The body needs about two to four weeks to rebalance and alleviate symptoms.
Does the season bring depression?
A 2020 study published in The Journal of Affective Disorders found that there is some support for seasonal variation in clinical depression. However, this is not due to a broad and general mechanism in which entire populations have lower moods and sub-threshold symptoms at certain times of the year. Rather, higher quality studies and unbiased population-based studies are needed to explore the potential relationship between seasonal changes and depression.
What can be done to combat springtime fatigue?
There are several measures that can help alleviate symptoms of Spring Asthenia. Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, getting enough sleep and exercising can help keep the body fit. Relaxation exercises such as yoga or meditation can also lower stress levels, reducing fatigue.
Whether spring asthenia is a myth or not, the symptoms are real and can affect well-being. A healthy lifestyle, adequate sleep and exercise can help alleviate symptoms. However, if symptoms persist or worsen over time, a doctor should be consulted to rule out possible other causes.