Spring is here, flowers and trees are blooming and the spirits are awakening - or not. Many people just feel tired and tired at the change of seasons. The reason for this is the weather change, but also the time change in spring and autumn. "Sleep shortening can temporarily increase daytime fatigue," says sleep specialist Gerda Saletu-Zyhlarz. On the one hand the sleep deficit plays a role for the spring fatigue, but also hormone changes and blood pressure fluctuations. Research shows that on the first Monday after the time change more accidents at work and at work happen - a consequence of the increased fatigue. "In general, around the time change the sleep rhythm changes - it can take up to a week to get into the new rhythm." How well someone changes to the new time rhythm, is individually different.
How much sleep does the human need?
Daytime tiredness and daytime sleepiness are not just a topic in spring. 29 percent of the population suffer from tiredness, daytime sleepiness affects at least 14 percent - those affected have difficulty staying awake during the day. This is often caused by sleep disorders, but it can also be due to an organic illness. According to Saletu-Zyhlarz, how much sleep is necessary can only be found out for oneself: "Some people come off with five hours, others need nine hours of sleep." It was important to really keep the required sleep duration.
There are more sleep disorders than 80, "says sleep doctor Saletu. "Differences are organic and non-organic disorders." 70 percent of sleep disorders are non-organic and are triggered by mental stress or illness. A common organic sleep disorder is sleep apnea, which is particularly prevalent in humans over 60 years: a throat-pharyngeal constriction that causes respiratory obstruction, respiratory failure, and snoring. Those affected wake up late, feel exhausted and can not concentrate well.
In addition to lack of sleep, there are various causes of persistent fatigue: too little exercise, iron deficiency or too few breaks during working hours. Infections, but also serious illnesses such as cancer or autoimmune diseases also cause fatigue. "If tiredness persists despite sufficient sleep, you should consult a doctor after three to four weeks," recommends Claudia Lazar, General Practitioner and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Under sufficient sleep, the physician understands an average of seven hours a day. "Before 10-15 years, the average sleep time was eight hours," says the doctor. Lazar sees another reason in the increasing work and leisure stress.
- Lack of sleep - finding the right sleep duration and your own rhythm
Physical inactivity - regular exercise helps
- Wrong diet - more warm and less calorie meals
- Iron deficiency - change diet, administer vitamin C.
- Dehydration - drink one and a half to two liters daily
- Stress and overwork - take frequent breaks, keep one day a week off
- Lack of oxygen - a short walk can help
- Infections or other illnesses / sleep apnea / depression or anxiety disorders - clarify with the doctor.
Powernap and relaxation
"It is important to rest in between and not plan every day," recommends Lazar and also recommends a quick nap in between - the so-called power nap. "It can also be a brief but deep relaxation that makes you feel better." Regular exercise is also important to recharge your batteries, but it does not have to be a high-performance sport: "Anyone who has a hard-working job and, by the way, one for one Triathlon training does not do any good for yourself. "
Balanced nutrition is important
Fatigue and malnutrition are often directly related. "It's important to have regular and well-balanced meals, and they should be warm at least twice a day," recommends Shiatsu practitioner and TCM expert Richard Palfalvi. A regional seasonal diet, combined with regular Shiatsu treatments, can harmonize human energy with biorhythms, preventing sleep disorders. "Traditional Chinese medicine distinguishes between different types of constitution: someone who freezes a bit should not eat cold foods such as salads or cereals during the winter," adds Palfalvi. "In this case, the body needs extra energy to extract nutrients from the diet. This weakens the body and can lead to permanent tiredness. "Shiatsu helps to compensate for these disharmonies and to bring the affected person back into balance more quickly.
Biorhythm & everyday life
A much debated topic is the biorhythms of humans and how they affect sleep. Chronobiology has always distinguished two chronotypes: larks and owls. Larks are fit in the morning and get tired early in the evening. Owls, however, are powerful in the evening, but take longer in the morning to get into gear.
Current sleep research indicates that there are more than just these two chronotypes: The Russian sleep researcher Arkady Putilov has discovered in experimentation with two other types - those who are fit in the morning and evening, and those at both times of the day with a certain lethargy have to fight. It is clear that our working and school times compel numerous people to live against their biorhythms. For example, numerous studies have shown that adolescents' internal clock changes with the onset of puberty and shifts it backwards. As a result, many teenagers can not fall asleep in the evening, but have to get up early the next morning to attend school.
The chronobiologist Till Roethemann calls this phenomenon, which affects more and more people, the "social jetlag". "I estimate that up to 80 percent of the population in western countries suffer from a discrepancy between the inner clock and the requirements of early schooling, work and leisure stress," states the sleep researcher. "Pupils, for instance, are in the middle of their subjective night at eight o'clock in the morning." The social jet lag would thus result from the constant conflict between inner clock and lifestyle; The neurobiologist and science journalist Peter Spork writes in his book "Wake Up! Departure into a sleepy society ", our early bird-oriented society would hardly pay any attention to the various biorhythms of man. According to Spork, most people, if allowed to sleep from about 0 to 8 PM - for the majority, school and work start therefore too early. So Spork suggests for the middle and high school students a late start of school or fluent schooling. The goal should be to create a new time culture that reconciles our inner, personal time with the outer, social time. And thus contributes to a well-rested society.
Nutritionist Eva Fauma also points to the connection between wrong nutrition and fatigue: "Mostly it is a one-sided, but often also high-calorie diet that makes you tired." The nutritionist advises not too late for a warm but light dinner in the evening and sufficient hydration during the day: one and a half to two liters should be drunk daily, preferably water, injected fruit juices or tea.
An underestimated cause of fatigue is iron deficiency, which often affects women during menstruation or during pregnancy. Low-iron diet or growth periods in children can also cause iron deficiency - clarity can only create a blood picture here. "When iron deficiency is the right composition of the food is important," said Fauma. An Indian study on iron-deficient children showed that iron deficiency can be treated by improved vitamin C intake.
Mental causes of fatigue
In addition to the physical symptoms mentioned, mental causes can also lead to fatigue, the most well-known triggers being depression and anxiety disorders. If fatigue and depression always occur in winter, winter depression (seasonal depression, SAD) could be behind it. Depressed people often have trouble falling asleep as they obsess about their thoughts, which will not let them settle down. Too early awakening in the morning - often between three and five o'clock - is typical. The resulting fatigue, in turn, increases depression - a vicious circle that can often only be broken by medical treatment.
Tips for constant fatigue
- Refrain from stimulating drinks or alcohol at bedtime: Alcohol makes you sleepy, but disturbs your sleep. Sensitive people should not consume strong coffee, black or green tea and coke after 16 Watch.
- Never go to bed on a full stomach. The last meal should be taken no later than three hours before sleep. Otherwise, the stomach and intestines are too busy.
- In the bedroom only bed, chair and wardrobe should be - everything else, such as a desk, disturbs the sleep hygiene. Even television in bed is counterproductive.
- As suitable temperature in the bedroom apply 16 to 18 degrees, up to 20 degrees is also fine. It is also important enough oxygen: In the evening 15 minutes bumps.
- Relax at bedtime: techniques such as yoga, autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation are suitable.
- No mentally exhausting activities before going to bed: Anyone who is still busy with work or problems in the evening can not switch off.
- A warm bath makes you tired: When bathing, the water 35 should be warm to 38 degrees, added aroma oils such as lemon balm, hops, lavender or hay flowers make you sleepy.
- Drinking herbal tea in the evening: Sleep-inducing herbs such as hops, lemon balm and valerian roots are ideal. A home remedy is warm milk with honey.