Summer should bring us long days, filled with activity and the opportunity to spend more time outside doing the things that it is impossible to do on cold, rainy days throughout the rest of the year. However, when summer arrives, many people feel drained of energy. While the change in the weather itself can cause tiredness, changing our routine and daily activities in order to enjoy the warm weather can also contribute to fatigue.
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Summer is often short-lived in the UK and it takes a while for our bodies to adjust to the hot weather. Temperature changes can cause physical changes in the body, including changes to blood pressure. When the weather suddenly becomes warm and sunny, blood vessels in the body dilate to allow a greater volume of blood to the surface, helping it to cool down. Dilated blood vessels lead to a drop in blood pressure and a lower concentration on oxygen in the blood that can leave people feeling tired or faint.
Changes to diet
On a hot day, it can be very tempting to drink lots of cold, sugary drinks or to cool down with an ice cream. Even the berries that become widely available in the summer can raise blood pressure. Unfortunately, delicious summer treats cause a sugar crash when blood sugar levels drop after eating them, leading to feelings of tiredness. Spending long days in the sun and extra daylight hours can also cause people to eat dinner later than they would normally do. Changes to a meal pattern can cause tiredness as the body does not receive energy as early as it would normally do and can also affect sleep.
Dehydration is far more common in the summer than in the winter, particularly as people lose water through sweating to lower their body temperature in the heat. The extra exercise that comes with spending more time outside, along with drinking more alcohol in beer gardens and at summer barbecues can also contribute to dehydration. When the body has too little water, people can feel tired and can also suffer more serious symptoms. Drinking plenty of cool water in the summer will help the body to stay cool and hydrated, and to feel full of energy.
Lack of sleep
One of the major causes of summer tiredness is lack of sleep through temperature change. People who are used to sleeping through cool nights can have great difficulty sleeping in hot, humid weather. UK houses also tend to be unprepared for hot weather, with features such as air conditioning as it is unnecessary for such a large portion of the year. Getting fewer than eight hours sleep each night can cause tiredness throughout the day and is a particular problem when hot weather continues for a long period of time.
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