Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) presents challenges any time of the year, but summer is particularly difficult. While others are excited for increased daylight, high temperatures, and adventures in the sun, those with chronic fatigue are wishing for a snuggly snow day on the couch. Fortunately, there are things you can do if you have CFS to beat summer fatigue and make the most of your days in the sun.
What Is Summer Fatigue?
- 1 What Is Summer Fatigue?
- 2 What Causes Summer Fatigue?
- 3 How Can You Beat Summer Fatigue This Season?
Summer fatigue happens when the bounty of a summer experience is too much on your body. But exhaustion from summer activities is only the start of it!
Summer fatigue causes many symptoms:
- Loss of balance
- Changes in hunger
Summer fatigue can start any time (not only after a long day on the beach or an all-day barbeque). For people with CFS, even a short stroll in the garden can be too much in the summer heat.
What’s worse, summer fatigue can settle in to stay after back-to-back days of harsh conditions. It’s compounded by sleep interruptions from warmer temperatures, transitioning from the hot outdoors to indoor air conditioning, and dehydration.
What Causes Summer Fatigue?
Understanding summer fatigue is the key to managing it. If you want to get more enjoyment out of your summer with CFS, take a look at the major causes of hot-weather fatigue.
Summer Sun Can Decrease Melatonin Production
Melatonin is an important hormone for mood regulation and energy! Unfortunately, the effects of the hot summer sun cause your melatonin levels to drop significantly.
Your body will naturally produce sweat in order to stay cool and preserve melatonin. But continuous sweating drains your body of energy and hydration, too.
The only absolute way to combat both melatonin loss and excessive sweating is to leverage tools that beat the heat. Try a portable fan or a cooling rag!
Your Body Can’t Maintain Homeostasis in the Heat
One major side effect of CFS is difficulty achieving homeostasis. This means that while people without CFS are able to make accommodations for the summer heat, those of us with CFS aren’t.
Normally, the human body will automatically adjust its heart rate, core temperature, and breathing patterns to counteract high temperatures and otherwise extreme conditions. But with CFS, you need to consider ways to control your body temperature from the outside.
Heat Slows Down Your Metabolism
Another reason people with CFS experience severe summer fatigue is because heat slows down your metabolism. Think about it—cold weather inspires your body to work harder to stay warm! It makes sense that hot weather would have the opposite effect.
People already battling chronic fatigue are often (understandably) frustrated by this natural slow-down. You want every advantage over CFS that you can get, so dealing with an especially sluggish metabolism is not preferable.
How Can You Beat Summer Fatigue This Season?
Luckily, there are many things you can do to combat the sun this season. Summer fatigue doesn’t have to stop you in your tracks! Take a look at these valuable tips to manage hot weather with CFS.
Focus on Hydration
No matter what time of year it is, water is key to helping your body function at its best. In the summer, hydration is especially important because warmer temperatures cause you to sweat more frequently.
Carrying a water bottle wherever your go will help you remember to drink more often! This Motivational Time Marker Water Bottle is the perfect choice. It helps make drinking enough water a more achievable, fun, and entertaining experience. Plus, it has an awesome built-in straw and protective silicone boot for anytime, anywhere capabilities.
Maintain a Healthy Sleep Schedule
While high temperatures and longer days can make sleeping less comfortable, try your best to stay cool for a full night’s rest. A regular, adequate sleep cycle is necessary to beat summer fatigue with CFS.
There are a few ways you can maintain a healthy sleep schedule:
- Avoid daytime naps
- Stay away from caffeinated beverages
- Use air conditioning or fans
- Take a cool shower before bed
- Keep natural sleep aids handy
Using all of these strategies throughout the summer might feel like extra work, but you’ll be glad you put the effort in when you experience better sleep and more energy.
Snack on Summer Fruits
This tip might surprise you! Seasonal fruits are a great source of electrolytes, water, and vitamins. Whenever you have a day filled with summer activities approaching, prepare by packing some fruit for an emergency pick-me-up.
If you don’t think ahead of time to bring fruit, you might be stuck consuming a salty, energy-draining alternative (like a bag of chips or fast food). Slices of watermelon, citrus fruits, or peaches don’t take much time to prep and pack.
Skip the Moaning and Groaning
A positive mindset is essential for people with CFS! It may be burdensome to move through life with low energy, but feeling sorry for yourself certainly won’t help.
People with CFS can benefit from words of affirmation, journaling, meditation, and other upbeat mindset tools. Concentrating on other things besides summer fatigue will prevent your symptoms from becoming exaggerated—and eventually unbearable.
Adjust Your Wardrobe To Prevent Summer Fatigue
Since managing the effects of the summer sun internally is more challenging for people with CFS, you must think of ways to manage temperatures from the outside. Consider your summer clothing and accessories!
If you’re going someplace with limited shade, bring your own! An umbrella is priceless for those with CFS. Always have a pair of sunglasses and a cooling hat with you, and choose lighter fabrics whenever possible.
Dressing appropriately helps prevent you from overheating and losing energy, so you can enjoy more of what makes summer wonderful.
Summer fatigue is more manageable when you understand what causes it! Use these tips and tricks to beat the heat with CFS this summer.