What can we do to prevent and fight it?
To talk about prevention, the doctor explains, “although it is true that there are children who are more predisposed to it, the lifestyle of each one of them is the determining factor for, in their case, preventing it.” Things as important as respecting sleep schedules, exercising regularly and leading a healthy life will lead us to avoid it. “The little ones need an established routine so that their physical and psychological development is adequate,” he tells us.
Outdoor physical exercise
A recommendation that must be kept, especially now that the weather is still good. “Exercising outdoors stimulates the release of dopamine (another hormone) and endorphins, which lift the spirits of the little ones, ” the expert explains.
Adequate diet and hydration
As for everything in health, a balanced diet “is an indisputable pillar to prevent asthenia.” And, food plays a fundamental role in our lifestyle. In these cases:
It is advisable to include proteins of high biological value, such as eggs.
Eating B vitamins daily (products rich in niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin B12 and essential amino acids such as tryptophan improve our serotonin levels).
A good sleep routine
Finally, regarding rest, the doctor makes the general recommendation that “children should sleep between 9 and 10 hours until they are 18 years old.” He tells us, “it is proven that cortisol (the stress hormone) levels are greatly reduced if we rest well.”
Apathy, discouragement, exhaustion… We have all heard of those changes in mood, energy and motivation that come with the arrival of spring. It is interesting to know that what is known as “autumnal asthenia” tends to have a more intense impact. It means, after all, going from the brightness and enthusiasm of summer to colder days tinged with a strange melancholy.
Many indeed enjoy the arrival of this time of year. However, it is important to consider that seasonal affective disorder, with which this asthenia is integrated, has a high prevalence. However, in most cases, this decline does not go beyond six days or a maximum of 15 days. As it comes, it goes. It takes as long as it takes for the brain to adapt.
It is important to remember that we are tuned to a series of biorhythms that balance our well-being. The sleep-wake and light-dark cycles subject us to a series of internal changes and processes that can become out of adjustment at any given moment. When this happens, the first person to feel it is the state of mind.
Autumnal asthenia: symptoms, causes and copying keys
As autumn approaches, the days get shorter. The summer light is tinged with ocher, gray, cold afternoons and winds that give us the first chills of the season. None of this would be a problem if, as we have pointed out, the brain was not as sensitive to these variations. Thus, clinical practice is often appreciated because people show more mood problems with the entry into autumn.
If this autumnal asthenia is not overcome, it is more than likely to reach winter with this seasonal affective disorder in an already more overwhelming way and drawing the relief of more severe depression. If the field of mental health influences this reality, it is because of detail. Studies such as those carried out at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) indicate that people who already suffer or who have a tendency to suffer from mood disorders get much worse with the change of season.
What’s more, sometimes, the arrival of autumn can coincide with a more complex personal stage. Work or relationship problems, having more worries than the account … These difficulties can be experienced with greater intensity and defenselessness at these times of the year.
Fall asthenia can be a simple decline of just over a week or turn into something more serious.
What are the symptoms of autumnal asthenia?
The seasonal disorder appears in both children and adults and also in the elderly. It should be noted that the effect is more intense in the latter and also in a good part of the smallest. However, on average, it is an alteration that usually disappears after a week or ten days—a moment in which the person gets used to the new cycles, schedules and changes in sunlight.
The most common symptoms are the following:
Feelings of sadness, irritability, and apathy.
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
Sleep disturbance (need to sleep more hours).
Changes in appetite (tendency to eat a little more).
Sleep change; generally sleeping too much
Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions.
Reduced motivation and a more negative view of the present and the future.
What is the origin?
It was Norman E. Rosenthal, a South African psychiatrist, who first described this disorder in 1980. He spoke of it as a type of depression, and, to this day, it already appears in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM V as a seasonal affective disorder.
We know that multiple factors intervene at the origin of this psychological condition: climate, latitude, social and genetic factors ... Now, the main trigger would be the alteration of the circadian rhythm.
What does the latter consist of? In the change of sunlight and the mismatch of the body to that variation. Many people are more sensitive than others to these variations in the change of season. This variability in light alters the metabolism of melatonin, decreasing its secretion.
The reduced availability of this neurotransmitter in the brain leads to fatigue and a depressed mood.
How can the effects of autumnal asthenia be reduced?
The most important thing to understand about autumnal asthenia is that the effects usually wear off in a short time. It is paramount to understand why it happens and knowing that discouragement, fatigue, and drowsiness will decrease as the brain adjusts to the new season.
Thus, and to gradually adapt to that new autumn context, the following strategies can come in handy:
Maintain the same habits and schedules, such as getting up and going to bed simultaneously.
Phototherapy is a very beneficial mechanism in the case of asthenias. Taking small "baths" in the sun (with adequate protection) of 15 or 20 minutes is positive and comforting. Let's not hesitate to enjoy, for example, a daily walk to wrap ourselves in that comforting daytime brightness.
Physical exercise and good nutrition are also other suitable strategies. Products rich in tryptophan (essential amino acid for the manufacture of serotonin and melatonin generation) will be of great help. We can find it in dairy products, eggs, soybeans, nuts, bananas ...