Autumnal asthenia is a disorder that occurs due to a poor adaptation to the change of season, in which changes in temperature occur and the hours of sun are reduced. These changes alter the biorhythms of our body and our sleep-wake cycle, which negatively affects our mood.
Other factors such as return to work and daily routines, as well as less contact with friends and family can also contribute to their appearance.
Fortunately, it is a temporary disorder that disappears after a few days: normally in about 5-6 days, at most no more than 15 days.
Symptoms of autumnal asthenia
The main symptoms that autumnal asthenia cause are apathy, sadness, bad mood, fatigue, lack of sleep (appearance of insomnia) or hypersomnia (need to sleep in excess), and in general a lack of encouragement and interest or desire to do nothing. Lack of concentration and irritability may also occur and, sometimes, even eating disorders.
Causes of autumnal asthenia
The main cause of these alterations is hormonal: with the reduction of sunlight hours, the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep and body temperature, increases. This also causes less serotonin, more commonly known as the happiness hormone, to be produced.
These hormonal imbalances in melatonin and serotonin are what mainly cause the appearance of the symptoms of autumnal asthenia: apathy, tiredness, drowsiness, and sadness.
Advice to prevent and/or mitigate the appearance of autumnal asthenia and its symptoms
Here are some tips that will help us prevent the appearance of autumnal asthenia, or at least mitigate its symptoms:
- Sleep as necessary to be rested (about 8 hours a day). Follow, as far as possible, the same sleep schedules.
- Adapt to the hours of sunlight.
- Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. And avoid sugary drinks, caffeine, alcohol, etc…
- Follow a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, with more carbohydrate-rich foods, and healthy lifestyle habits. Eat more times a day (about 5 times), but in smaller quantities. Taking seasonal foods such as mushrooms, tangerines, chestnuts, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, etc… it is also highly recommended.
- Take advantage of the sun as much as possible, expose yourself to the sun at least ten minutes a day, preferably in the early hours of the morning.
- Perform physical exercise and / or sports regularly, since the endorphins that are released when exercising will make us feel better. Suffice with some moderate exercise for one hour a day.
- Carry out some activity that we like, relax us, stimulate us and make us feel good, dedicating a little time a day, as this will help us to cheer up, feel better and with more energy. Planning activities adapted to the new season, and leisure shared with friends and family can also help us.
Keep in mind that although following these tips will always help us reduce the effects of autumnal asthenia, they do not guarantee that we cannot suffer it to some extent.
Is it necessary to go to the doctor?
Normally it is not necessary, and in a maximum of 15 days (usually around 5 or 6 days) the symptoms of autumnal asthenia will disappear once our organism has adapted to the change of season.
However, if after more than 15 days the symptoms persist, or if they are accompanied by more serious symptoms such as fever, weight loss or respiratory failure, we should see a doctor. In case the symptoms of asthenia are very intense, we can go to the doctor to prescribe the most appropriate treatment for our case.
Finally, remember that in case you need medical assistance of any kind, at Vithas Xanit International Hospital our specialists will be able to help you. Contact us if you want more information or make an appointment.