March 11, 2010

Spring Tiredness.

Sometimes called Spring Fever, it is a somewhat strange syndrome, but it does exist. I am feeling a slight onset of it these days. Despite the fact that the light is increasing visibly each passing day, I do not feel energized.
At least not just yet.

Spring Tiredness has not been officially categorized as a illness, however it is very much a subject of discussions here in the North. Very obvious in latitudes where the length of the days and nights varies extensively throughout the year, the Scandinavians are well familiar with this phenomenon initiated by a change in the seasons. With an onset in March, we feel very tired and almost exhausted, moody and irritated. Uninterested and at time even slightly depressed.

The cause to spring tiredness is not completely clear, however hormones might play a role. During winter, when the days are short and nights long, the sleep hormone, melatonin is in charge. As soon as the daylight increases, melatonin levels drop and a new hormone, so called "happy hormone" starts to be produced; serotonine. While the battle between the hormones is ongoing, we feel exhausted. But as soon as serotonine levels stabilizes, so does our mood.

To me it seems that as soon as March ends, so does the fever. As soon as the first true spring day arrives, when we reach the spring equinox and when the snow traces are all gone and when the daffodils display their yellow flowers, my energy will return with the victory of my serotonine.


Unknown said...

really? length of day and nights has something to do with our moods. Well i notice that too when the rainy season comes, am always feeling sick and tired and no energy at all.

Hope the happy hormones reach you in no time.

I am Denise Katipunera

Mike Minzes said...

Mood is a choice, not a condition of environmental influence.

With that said, I can't wait for warm to get here. The cold is driving me insane LOL

Reading Tea Leaves said...

Such an interesting post. I have been feeling slightly 'under the weather' lately and put it down to pressure of work but maybe it is this syndrome. I feel slightly daunted in a way, diffcult to explain but its like there is so much I want to do, particularly in the garden and getting out into the countryside that I begin to panic and think I will never have the time to do it all. Perhaps its just a case of cabin fever and over-use of the computer for work!

Thank you for this distraction:-)

Jeanne xxx

Brian Miller said...

no time to be sick the weather is so nice...i feel alive again and not frozen...

Lynne said...

Roll on the spring!

A Friendly Stranger said...

Dear Zuzana,
As usual a lovely post...
I would have never thought that changing of seasons caused so much havoc on our harmones.... Wow!! that's what I said out loud when I read your post...:)

Cheers Always

Kath said...

I think Spring fever does exist. When the sun started to shine and the new grass peeped through, my horses would go all skitty and one of them was taken to backing and squealing in high spirits.

Claus said...

What an interesting thing! I never heard of it until today! I have always thought, though, that weather and seasons do make an impact on people. I, for instance, do not work well in grey,cloudy and cold days, being a totally different person when there is sun, blue skies and warmth in my surroundings. However, I am feeling exhausted, moody and irritated lately. I've been in so many projects, that I'm running out of energy. i wish I could take a vacation and enjoy the pretty days outside the four walls of an office...but no chance in sight of that, which also contributes to my state. I dislike intensely feeling like this...I hope is gone soon, and I hope it goes soon for you too!! Let Spring come quickly!
have a lovely day

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

BRING ON the Serotonin!!!!!


hmmmm.....well, i've suffered that ole SAD - seasonal affective disorder - all my life - and being a true leo in the midst of it makes it even more challenging! :) just give me a sunny day and all is well! literally!

Margie said...

Hi Zuzana
Yay for daffodils!
Yay for spring!
Soon you will have all that wonderful energy again!

So enjoyed this post, like I always do, thank you!

Have a wonderful day, Zuzana.

Margie :)

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Spring mood in action Zuzana!!

steviewren said...

I can understand how people in northern and southern climates would have problems with the extreme changes in the seasons. There is so much we don't understand about our minds and bodies. I know I'm affected by lack of light in the winter. It's not more than I can handle but I really look forward to the return of longer days myself.

Dan said...

What an interesting post Zuzana! I think nature exerts more influence on us than we know.
On the plus side, it also helps to explain why I can't seem to get out of bed in the morning... except at weekends when I don't have to get up early, but always wake up at 6am on the dot!

Jeannette StG said...

Yes, hopefully your seretonin levels get up soon! I know what you are talking about, I had the spring tiredness much stronger in Holland than here in California.
The days here are shorter in the "winter", but there is still enough light (and much less cold) to make up for it, so the levels of certain chemicals don't change much.

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

thanks Zuzana for stopping by and leaving the kind words about Buddy

it means alot

sending love,

Anonymous said...

It is good to know things will level off and we will be smooth sailing into spring. Now if we could just bottle that serotonine, we could make a fortune : )

sprinkles said...

I haven't really experienced spring fever in the way that you've described it.

I do get down and depressed in the fall when winter is looming ahead though! I also start to feel much more tired than in spring and summer.

Gal Friday said...

Well, March is *nearly* over so you should be feeling more energized soon, right??
I have been feeling "spring-ish" lately when I begin my day, but still tired early in the evening and go early to bed. I think March is a "transition" month between winter and spring, and your information makes perfect sense to me.
Always learn something new here, Zuzana. :-)

Nessa said...

I'll buy that reasoning. Hormones can play real havoc with you.

T13 - Kindle Krazy

Blogaire said...

"I wandered lonely as a cloud,
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of lonely daffodils."

It's the only bit I still remember of William Wordsworth's poem learned at school, but your mention of daffodils brought it all back to me Zuzana.
I am expecting to see the first daffodil by the end of this week if the sunshine continues. Then I really will be happy!
Any Danish daffodils appearing yet?

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I know the change of seasons has an effect on my moods. In warm weather with lots of sunlight, I feel so much better! Winter and the light deprivation makes me tired and lethargic--I just drink my tea and get through it! By May I'll be feeling lots happier!

Unknown said...

March is for me, the beginning of Spring. For others it's April. I say "Go with the flow", Zuzana! lol! :D)

Zuzana said...

Denise, Realliveman, Jeanne, Brian, Lynne, seema, Kath, Claudia, Jill, Gypsywoman, Margie, Phillip, Dan, Stevie, jeannette, Kary, LadyCat, sprinkles, Tina, Nessa, Blogaire, C&V and Michael, always a joy to see you stopping by.;)

I am glad to learn that my post can clarify some of the lethargy you might be feeling. Judging from the many hits this post have obtained, as people stumble upon this page when searching for "spring tiredness", I would say I am not the only one being affected by this syndrome.;)

Thank you all for your kind comments and lovely visits.


Kat_RN said...

You certainly are not alone. I have been so tired lately I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. I wonder if a little extra sunshine would help? I think I will go see what my Sweet Hubby is doing outside.

Zuzana said...

Kat, considering I am so late with my response here, I hope yo are feeling less tired now when we are approaching mid spring.;)) Always happy when you stop by.,)