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Spring fatigue: what helps against listlessness?

As soon as the days get longer again and the first rays of sunshine tickle our faces, our mood lifts. The dark winter months are behind us - vitality and activity are back. But not everyone fits this description. Do you tend to feel tired and drained as soon as nature awakens? Then you are probably suffering from spring fatigue. You're in good company, as it's estimated that one in two Germans experience fatigue and tiredness in spring. Our tips will help you to fight spring fatigue and feel fitter again.

Table of contents
  1. What are the symptoms of spring fatigue?
  2. Why am I tired in spring?
  3. How long does spring fatigue last?
  4. What can I do about spring fatigue?

What are the symptoms of spring fatigue?

Typical symptoms of spring fatigue are headaches, tiredness, irritability, listlessness and circulatory problems such as dizziness. Those affected feel drained, listless and sluggish despite adequate sleep and relaxation phases.

Why am I tired in spring?

The exact causes behind the phenomenon of spring fatigue are not known for certain. It is assumed that the two hormones melatonin and serotonin are responsible. The sleep hormone melatonin is released at night and has a calming effect. Serotonin, the so-called happiness hormone, on the other hand, has an activating effect and is released by daylight. Serotonin levels are correspondingly low towards the end of winter.

The precursor of both melatonin and serotonin is tryptophan. The amino acid is therefore often used for self-treatment of depressive moods and sleep disorders. You can read more about this in the blog post Tryptophan - the amino acid for a good mood and healthy sleep.

The days are getting brighter, the temperatures are rising - a lot changes in a very short space of time and our body has to switch from winter inertia to active spring mode. Especially after the time change in March, many people struggle with tiredness, as the two hormones first have to be brought back into balance. What is not a problem for one person can lead to exhaustion and tiredness for another. There seem to be big individual differences in how much light you need.

Spring also brings with it a change in temperature. It gets warmer and the body reacts by dilating the blood vessels - blood pressure drops. This is why circulatory problems often occur with spring fatigue.

How long does spring fatigue last? Spring fatigue lasts for around two to four weeks. It mainly occurs in the months of February to April.

Caution: listlessness and tiredness can also be the first signs of depression. Anyone who suffers from these symptoms for a longer period of time should therefore definitely consult a doctor to rule out a serious illness.

You can read more about depression, how you can recognize it and where you can find help in the blog post Natural antidepressant: Does St. John's wort help with depression? Don't worry, you can do something about your tiredness so that you can finally enjoy spring to the full. The following tips will help you to banish spring fatigue.

Exercise in the fresh air every day

Even if it is particularly difficult when you feel listless, the most important measure against spring fatigue is to get plenty of sun and daylight. Daily exercise in the fresh air - e.g. in the form of a walk or sport - gets the circulation going and stimulates the release of serotonin.

Switch off your smartphone & Co in the evening

You should also make sure that you are not exposed to too much artificial light after sunset. Electronic devices such as smartphones or televisions are taboo, especially before going to bed, as the blue light disrupts our sleep-wake rhythm.

You can find more tips for restful sleep here.

Pay attention to your micronutrient intake

A diet rich in vitamins and minerals also helps to support the body during the transition. Fruit, vegetables, pulses and wholegrain products should be part of your daily diet. Of course, drinking enough is just as important. If you feel weak and tired, it is also worth taking a closer look at your micronutrient supply. Vitamin B12, iron and vitamin D in particular can lead to tiredness if you don't get enough.

Blood levels of vitamin D are often low in spring and stores are depleted after the long winter. Even if the sun appears to be quite strong at times, it is not intense enough to produce vitamin D in the skin until April. Furthermore, as we are often indoors during the day, it is advisable to take vitamin D supplements all year round.

For further reading

  1. Why you should also take vitamin D supplements in summer
  2. Laboratory values: How to recognize a vitamin B12 deficiency in the blood
  3. Vitamin D - intake, deficiency, effect, requirement
  4. Migraines: Can a vitamin deficiency be a cause?

Unburden your body

Spring is Lent. In addition to the traditional fasting period before Easter, fasting cures such as therapeutic fasting are also very popular. These are designed to relieve the body and give you more energy. Alkaline fasting is not quite as radical as therapeutic fasting. Here you do not completely abstain from food, but only certain food groups. Alkaline fasting is therefore not as stressful as therapeutic fasting and is easier to implement in everyday life.

You can read more about alkaline fasting in the blog post Alkaline fasting: fit and balanced in spring

Rely on contrast showers and stimulating massages

The classic way to stimulate your circulation is to alternate showers with cold and warm water. You should always start with cold water and shower from the extremities (feet and hands) towards the heart. If you don't like the idea of cold water on your skin at all, you can stimulate your circulation with circular dry brush massages.