ZenBev – The Cure for Spring Fever

Dr. Craig Hudson, MD | March 13, 2017

Is the worst of winter over? It certainly seems like it.  The days are brighter, the weather is warmer and people around you seem a little happier and more energized. So, if everyone around you seems to have more of a hop to their step, why are you feeling so sluggish? It may be that you have spring fever.

What is spring fever?

Spring fever is not an illness as its name might suggest, but rather it refers the changes that take place within the body in response to the change of season. Such changes may result in boosted energy and a sunnier (pun intended!) disposition but they can also result fatigue and general tiredness.

Why the change?

Our bodies were designed to react to the change of season. When the temperature drops and sunlight is reduced, our bodies adjust – blood pressure rises, body temperature drops and production of melatonin (the sleep hormone) increases. In the spring, the opposite happens and many people feel better as a result.

The problem is that this transition does not go smoothly for everyone. Hormonal imbalances can make you feel like you’ve got a bit of a spring “hangover” and accoutrements of modern living such as artificial lighting and heating systems, make our bodies’ responses even less predictable.

How to beat spring fever?

So now that you know why your body does what it does when the season changes, you probably want to know what you can do about it. So here are a few tips on how you can beat spring fever and feel more energized this time of year:

  • Keep to a healthy diet – when you are feeling sluggish, it can be tempting to reach for that bag of potato chips instead of sitting down to a healthy meal – but try to resist. Even though it may take some more effort to prepare it, you will feel better if you eat fruit, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats.
  • Get your exercise – you may not realize it, but as your body adjusts to the changing seasons, it is under stress. Exercising is a great way to release stress-reducing hormones into your system, making you feel more energized.
  • Practice yoga or meditation – this can be especially helpful if you are having trouble getting enough sleep this time of year. Practicing gentle yoga poses or meditation before going to bed can help get your mind and body into a calm state and prepare you for sleep.
  • Do not beat yourself up! – Recognize that you are in a state of transition this time of year. There may be times when you do reach for that bag of chip or that you skip the gym. Be patient with yourself. Forgive yourself. And get back on track.

A word of caution

Changes in energy levels are a normal part of the changing of the seasons. If however, you are experiencing chronic tiredness, it may be a sign of something more serious and you should discuss it with your doctor.

If however, there are no underlying medical issues, then dealing with spring fever will be a matter of keeping healthy habits and managing stress.