Spring fatigue: causes, symptoms and what can help


Spring fatigue: where does it come from and what helps against it?

Updated: 03/26/2024, 18:17

| Reading time: 5 minutes

Spring weather: Pollen allergy sufferers have a higher burden

Spring weather: Pollen allergy sufferers have a higher burden

The temperatures shoot up again after the onset of winter. But this is a challenge, especially for allergy sufferers. You can see what that means in the video.

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When spring begins, many people complain of tiredness, dizziness or headaches. Why is that? And what can you do?

It’s a strange contrast: As soon as the days get longer again, the warm rays of sunshine tickle your nose and crocuses and primroses bloom, some people head to the parks with enthusiasm and energy, while others lounge around listlessly on the couch.

spring feelings here, spring fatigue there. Why is that? And how can you help yourself? Important questions and answers at a glance.

Does spring fatigue really exist?

Definitely yes! exhaustion, Headache, dizziness – about every second person complains about these symptoms in the spring, says Dr. John Wimmer. The Hamburger is a doctor of medicine and moderated the knowledge format “Dr. Wimmer – Knowledge is the best medicine” and the quiz show “Dr. Wimmer’s medicine quiz”.

He has become known for explaining clinical pictures in an understandable way on his YouTube channel. Half of humanity went completely nuts in the spring, says Wimmer in an explanatory video for Techniker Krankenkasse (TK). This group jumps around, just spring fever – “and the other is still completely on the ropes.”

What are other symptoms?

“It’s harder to get going in the morning, tired during the day, lack of energy, having to pull yourself together for sporting activities” – this is how Professor Dr. Ingo Fietze from the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Berlin Charité discusses the phenomenon with our editors. could be added circulatory problemslistlessness, mood swings, insomnia and lack of drive as well as poor concentration and performance.

Where does spring fatigue come from?

“Experts don’t quite agree on that,” says Wimmer. The exact mechanisms have not yet been explored. But one thing is clear: the light plays a major role. “There are hormones that work particularly well with light. This sets the body going and activates them. This includes the happiness hormone serotonin.”

In winter, on the other hand, its opponent, the messenger substance, predominated melatonin. This ensures that you can sleep well. However, as spring brings more light, “melatonin’s dominance decreases,” explains Dr. Anna Heidbreder, senior physician in the field of sleep medicine at the University Hospital in Münster.

Not everyone gets along well with this messed up ratio of the two hormones. The melatonin decreases, the serotonin fluctuates – the body has to adjust to this first. A bit like jet lag, says Wimmer. Other changes are also coming.

“The temperature swing affects the circulatory system,” explains Professor Fietze. Because when it gets warmer outside, the blood vessels dilate, which in turn leads to the blood pressure sink. In addition, sleeping time is reduced by an average of 30 minutes in spring. And the wintry, somewhat high-fat diet makes you tired and has to be changed.

How long does spring fatigue last?

“Usually one to four weeks,” says Professor Fietze. The prerequisite for this: a normal change from winter to spring. “With today’s weather fluctuations, that may change.” The general rule is: stay patient. “After all these months of winter, little light, little movement, a lot of warmth, you have to give your body a little more time,” says Wimmer.

Are there people who are particularly vulnerable?

“It’s like that shift work. Many can tolerate the constant alternation of sleeping and waking, but some cannot. It’s the same with the seasons,” says Professor Fietze. YouTube doctor Wimmer points out that spring fatigue can be particularly noticeable in people with low blood pressure. That is also the reason why women suffer from it more often than men, says Heidbreder.

What helps against spring fatigue?

There are three parameters that you can turn: Light, Movement, Nourishment. Even a walk in the fresh air can help the body with hormonal changes. According to Fietze, when eating, you should eat protein and vitamins and eat several small meals rather than a few large ones. Carbohydrates are also important because they affect serotonin levels.

And of course you can also take action against spring tiredness in the bedroom: “Go to bed earlier or only let the light into the bedroom in the morning when you want to get up,” advises Fietze. Wimmer recommends just cheating a little. And to take a preventative holiday in the sun.

The advice, if you’re spring tired, don’t Nap to hold, puts Heidbreder into perspective. “If you don’t have trouble sleeping, a nap during the day won’t hurt you.” But it shouldn’t go so far that you sleep so long in the afternoon that you can’t fall asleep easily in the evening.

When should you go to the doctor?

Professor Fietze has an exact recommendation for this: “If you wake up at least three times a week not recovered and are tired and not efficient during the day and this lasts longer than four weeks.” Because constant tiredness and lack of energy can also be symptoms of illnesses, says Heidbreder – such as anemia, hypothyroidism or mental illnesses such as depression.

Questions about the article? Email us: [email protected]

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