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Feeling Tired This Spring? Here’s Why and What to Do About It

Daniel Kim Views  

춘곤증사진의정부 을지대병원
Spring fatigue [Photo = Eulji University Hospital in Uijeongbu]

Is spring fatigue a disease? To cut to the chase, it’s not.

It’s not a precise medical term or diagnosis but a temporary condition that occurs when the body’s rhythms are disrupted during the spring.

If you feel lethargic and lose your appetite amid outdoor temperatures exceeding 84.2 degrees Fahrenheit but without any specific area of discomfort, it might indicate the presence of spring fatigue.

When struck by spring fatigue, the unwelcome guest of spring, many experience physical changes such as fatigue, lethargy, drowsiness, decreased concentration, apathy, and inertia. Overcoming these symptoms through regular exercise is crucial.

Professor Park Jae Min from the Department of Family Medicine at Uijeongbu Eulji Medical Center explains the causes, symptoms, and coping strategies of spring fatigue.

The cause of spring fatigue is not definitively known, but it is temporary when the body fails to adapt well to the transition from the cold winter to the warm spring.

Some people complain of spring fatigue, particularly after lunch. This is due to the fluctuation in blood flow to the stomach and brain during digestion and the energy expenditure during the food absorption process.

To prevent spring fatigue, a planned nap of less than 20 minutes before and after lunch can be helpful, but if it exceeds that, it can interfere with nighttime sleep.

Also, exposure to sunlight during the day can promote melatonin secretion during nighttime sleep, so doing even a little physical activity outside or regular exercise to invigorate the body can help reduce spring fatigue symptoms.

Professor Park explains, “Melatonin is a hormone secreted from the pineal gland in the brain, which regulates the body’s circadian rhythms.” He further notes, “Staying indoors and avoiding sunlight during the day or using smartphones late at night can affect the secretion of melatonin, disrupting the regulation of the circadian rhythm.”

Dietary methods such as supplementing vitamins and minerals with spring seasonal vegetables and fruits can be helpful.

Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine-containing beverages in the afternoon or evening, or overdrinking, can reduce the quality of nighttime sleep, so it’s best to avoid these habits.

Drinking excessive coffee to avoid drowsiness is not advisable.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety recommends a daily caffeine intake of less than 400 mg for adults, less than 300 mg for pregnant women, and less than 2.5 mg per kilogram of body weight for those under 19. A cup of americano typically contains 100-200 mg of caffeine.

Spring fatigue is a temporary condition that occurs during the body’s adaptation to seasonal changes and often improves over time.

However, if severe fatigue and sleepiness that make daily life difficult, weight loss accompanied by fatigue, etc., persist, it could be a signal of other medical conditions such as thyroid disease, depression, anemia, sleep disorders, etc.

Professor Park advises, “Regular and healthy sleep habits, regular exercise, moderation in drinking, balanced meals, and other healthy lifestyles can help overcome spring fatigue. If symptoms of spring fatigue persist for more than a month or the symptoms worsen, it is advisable to seek medical attention.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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