Sleepy Beauty in Spring
Sleepy Beauty in Spring
  • Sin won so-ra
  • 승인 2008.04.09 11:55
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Most Sookmyungians have experienced sleeping during their lecture at least once.  When is the sleepiest time of the school semester?  Maybe you will answer after eating lunch, especially in spring. 

1. I feel weariness, sleepiness, loss of appetite, dizziness and digestive disorders.
2. I want to sleep always, but find it hard to sleep well.
3. Even though I sleep soundly, I feel drowsy and languid and have no appetite.
4. Work efficiency isn’t obtained because of fatigue.
5. I feel stiff in the shoulders and uncomfortable, so I want to find somewhere to relax.
6. I seldom have insomnia and my heart pounds.
7. My hands and feet become numbed and I have a headache and eyestrain.

If you find that these symptoms above apply to your situation, you might be experiencing ‘spring effort syndrome.’     

 What Is the Meaning of Spring Effort Syndrome?

It is a kind of seasonal disease, a temporary physiological maladjusted phenomenon arising from your body failing to follow the change of season.  Even though you get enough sleep, you feel drowsy and your work efficiency decreases because of weariness.  Spring effort syndrome usually occurs in the middle of March to early April and it disappears one to three weeks later.  In particular, people who are lacking in exercise, over-stressed and older are more likely to have it.  Those who suffer from it can recover by getting adequate rest.  Spring effort syndrome is not a disease, but it could be the first stage of other sicknesses which have similar symptoms such as tuberculosis and hepatitis.  Thus, you’d better go to a doctor if your symptoms continue.   

 General Symptoms of Spring Effort Syndrome

The typical conditions of the illness are fatigue, sleepiness, loss of appetite, indigestion and dizziness.  The temperature of the body rises naturally due to the increase of consumption of body energy, because the heart, muscles and blood vessels which had become tense over the winter must work vigorously all of a sudden.  Some people also experience bodily changes similar to climacteric symptoms; feeling low, lack of appetite, palpitations and flushing. 

 Reasons Why Spring Effort Syndrome Occurs

Its causes have not been proved accurately, but spring effort syndrome is thought to occur because the body which was shrinking in the cold winter goes through radical changes in biorhythm because of changes in the environment.  As the duration of sunshine becomes longer and the temperature rises in spring, muscles relax and so people feel drowsy.  In addition, people are more active outdoors and they need more protein, vitamins and minerals.  However, if they do not take in enough nutrients, it can cause the spring effort syndrome. (ⓒEnCyber &

 How to Protect Ourselves from Spring Effort Syndrome

Spring effort syndrome can be overcome by doing several things; keeping regular hours, eating various nutrients which help the function of the brain to prevent our body from tiredness and less drinking and smoking.  There are more specific methods you can follow to recharge yourself from weariness in spring:

1. Have 3 regular meals a day; symptoms can get worse if you skip breakfast.   In particular, in spring, vitamins A, B, C and D are in short supply, so it is important to absorb these vitamins.  Young radish and wormwood help your body get enough vitamins. Shepherd’s purse is also well known for its effect of preventing spring effort syndrome.  Eat food which is high in protein such as fish or meat for lunch; and for dinner, carbohydrates such as grains and fruit are good.  Also, green tea is helpful.  

2. Do some exercises.  Walking, going up and down stairs, aerobic dance and biking while breathing fresh air are useful.  Stretching, which can stimulate each part of the body is essential.  In the case of outdoor exercise, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. is a pleasant time to walk or go for a jog in the shining sun and fresh air.  If you want to exercise indoors, do it with open windows to breathe clean air. 

3. Manage your sleeping hours, spring effect syndrome can be prevented. Even though you may not feel sleepy, you can sleep well and fast by turning off the lights which help melatonin to be secreted.   In particular, falling asleep with the TV on can worsen spring effect syndrome, because it decreases your quality of sleep.  Medical specialists suggest that people need to establish regular life patterns and increase sleeping hours.  The easiest way to know whether you are getting enough sleep is to check ‘How late do I get up on the weekend?’  You can overcome the syndrome easily by developing a habit of going to sleep one hour earlier every day. (Medical Today)

4. Eliminate body wastes well.  Body wastes cause a decrease in blood circulation and increase the fatigue which is brought on by spring effect syndrome.  By eating enough fiber, you can reduce the levels of cholesterol and heavy metals in your body.  Fiber is abundant in whole grains, vegetables, mushrooms and macrophytes.  In addition, drinking fresh water instead of beverages containing caffeine (such as coffee) is helpful.    

Every spring, spring effort syndrome bothers people.  However, it is not a serious problem, if you exercise regularly and eat a variety of nutrients.  Whenever you feel drowsy during classes, stretch your body with raised hands and drink green tea.  Then you will feel better and can concentrate on your lecture!   

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