We all know the feeling. You spend a day out in the sun, whether you’re at the beach or just enjoying a nice day outside. And by the end of the day, you’re exhausted. You might not even want to go to bed, you’re so tired. But why is that? Why does being in the sun make you so tired?
There are actually a few scientific explanations for why being in the sun can make you feel exhausted. For one thing, exposure to sunlight helps your body produce Vitamin D, which is important for many functions including bone health. Additionally, your body works harder while you’re in the sun. It has to adjust to the new environment and regulate its internal temperature, both of which take energy.
But there’s another more specific reason why being in the sun can make you tired, and it has to do with your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is regulated by the amount of sunlight you receive. When it starts getting dark outside, your body produces a hormone called melatonin, which makes you sleepy. But when it’s light outside, melatonin production decreases and you feel more awake.
So when you go outside during the day, your body will naturally try to adapt to the new environment by suppressing melatonin production. In other words, being in the sun makes you less sleepy. But eventually, your body will get tired from fighting against sleepiness and give in, which is why you might feel exhausted after spending a long time in the sun.
Let’s look at all the reasons why being in the sun makes you tired in more depth:
Why does the sun make you tired?
Most people have experienced that feeling of exhaustion after spending a day in the sun. But why does the sun make you tired? The answer lies in dehydration. Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluid than it takes in, and it can make you feel exhausted even though you’re not actually thirsty. Drinking water won’t help if you don’t eat something salty as well, since salt helps to replenish the electrolytes that are lost through sweating.
A good way to keep yourself hydrated is to drink a lot of water and salt throughout the day. You can also take breaks in the shade and avoid strenuous activity during the hottest hours of the day. And finally, be sure to monitor your urine color. If it looks like water or apple juice, then you’re probably well-hydrated. But if it’s darker yellow, that’s an indication of dehydration. Don’t wait until you are feeling thirsty to drink water, but instead make an effort to keep hydrated throughout the day.
Dehydration not only causes fatigue, but it can also lead to headaches and dizziness. So next time you’re feeling tired after a day in the sun, remember to drink lots of fluids and take a break in the shade. And if your urine is dark yellow, that’s a sure sign that you need to drink more fluids!
Read also: Why do I feel sleepy after a shower?
2. Your immune system is activated
One possibility is that exposure to sunlight triggers an immune response in the body. This response can contribute to feelings of fatigue. Additionally, regular exposure to UV light may have a cumulative effect and lead to increased tiredness over time.
3. You are doing more than usual
When the sun is shining we are more likely to get out and about and engage in activities. Your body produces more adenosine when you’re active. Adenosine is a molecule that makes you feel sleepy. So, if you’re doing more than usual, you’ll likely feel tired afterwards. Another reason is that different people have different levels of fatigue. An accountant who spends all day sitting at a desk probably won’t feel as sleepy as a professional athlete who’s just completed a training session.
Following on from this, if you are exercising in the sun then you will naturally tire out. Outdoor exercise is great for our overall health and provides us with more energy and other benefits. However, exercise itself is tiring, and when you add in the additional heat of the sun your body has to work even harder to keep cool. This can lead to feelings of exhaustion and soreness.
5. You’ve disrupted your circadian rhythm
It’s important to remember that being in the sun can disrupt your circadian rhythm. As mentioned earlier, exposure to sunlight impacts melatonin production, which can lead to feelings of tiredness at night. Additionally, your body’s natural sleeping patterns may not sync up with the sun due to work and other commitments and this could contribute to further fatigue.
6. Your body is working harder to maintain your normal body temperature.
When you’re exposed to sunlight, your body temperature rises. In response, your brain sends signals to your skin to increase blood flow to your core organs. This helps regulate your body temperature and keep you from overheating. However, this process takes a lot of energy, which can make you feel tired. Additionally, sweating helps cool you down, but if you don’t drink enough water, you can become dehydrated. Dehydration causes fatigue, so it’s important to stay hydrated when spending time in the sun.
7. You are sunburnt
Sun exposure can quickly lead to sunburn if you do not protect your skin. When you get a sunburn, your skin is damaged by ultraviolet (UV) rays. These rays are a type of radiation that comes from the sun. Your skin uses melanin to protect itself from UV rays. Melanin is a pigment that gives your skin its color. When you get a sunburn, it means that your skin has been exposed to more UV rays than it can protect itself from. As a result, your body’s natural response is to try to heal the damage. This can take away fluids from other parts of your body, which can lead to dehydration and fatigue. In addition, inflammation caused by the sunburn can also contribute to feelings of exhaustion. So if you find yourself feeling tired after spending time in the sun, it may be because you have a sunburn.
Does vitamin D from the sun make you sleepy?
Vitamin D is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because our bodies produce it in response to sunlight. In addition to being produced by our bodies, vitamin D is also found in certain foods, such as fatty fish, cheese, and egg yolks. Vitamin D is important for many reasons, including regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and supporting immune system health. However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that vitamin D from the sun makes you sleepy. Therefore, if you’re feeling tired after being in the sun, it’s likely due to one of the other reasons mentioned above.
Instead, vitamin D is actually associated with better sleep. While there are many factors that can impact sleep, recent research suggests that low levels of vitamin D may be one reason for poor sleep.
Vitamin D is essential for our overall health, and many people don’t get enough of it. Insufficient vitamin D has been linked to shortened sleep duration, poorer sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, and increased time it takes to fall asleep at night.
If you’re struggling with poor sleep, it’s worth getting your vitamin D levels checked. If they are low, talk to your doctor about how you can increase your intake of vitamin D. Some ways to do this include taking a supplement, eating foods that are high in vitamin D, or spending time outdoors in the sun. Getting enough vitamin D may not solve all your sleep problems, but it could help you get the quality sleep you need each night.
What are the differences between regular tiredness and heat exhaustion or heat stroke?
Anyone who’s ever spent a day working in the yard on a hot summer day knows how easy it is to get tired. But what many people don’t realize is that there’s a difference between regular tiredness and heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Heat exhaustion occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough sweat to keep your core temperature within normal limits. This can happen after a long period of physical activity in hot weather. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, dizziness, and fatigue. If you experience these symptoms, it’s important to get out of the heat and into a cool, shady area. You should also drink plenty of fluids, preferably water or a sports drink.
If left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke. Heatstroke is a serious medical emergency that can lead to death as the body’s internal thermostat can no longer regulate itself. Symptoms of heatstroke include high body temperature, red, hot, and dry skin, rapid heartbeat, headache, dizziness, and confusion.
If you think someone has heatstroke, call 911 immediately and move them to a cool area. Do not give them fluids to drink. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are both serious medical conditions that require immediate treatment. By understanding the symptoms and differences between the two, you can help keep yourself safe during periods of intense heat.
How to combat feeling tired from the sun
1. Drink water:
One of the best ways to combat feelings of fatigue is to make sure you’re staying hydrated. When we’re out in the sun, we tend to perspire more, which can lead to dehydration. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body and mind feeling refreshed.
2. Eat mindfully:
What we eat can also play a role in how we’re feeling. processed foods, sugary snacks, and alcohol can all contribute to fatigue. Instead, focus on eating whole, nutritious foods that will give you sustained energy throughout the day. Choosing to eat healthily will give you more consistent energy levels throughout the day and help prevent you feeling sleepy.
3. Take Breaks in the shade:
When you’re spending time outdoors, be sure to take breaks in the shade so you’re not overexposed to the sun’s rays. Seek shade as much as possible to avoid excessive heat and sun damage. This will help you avoid those feelings of fatigue that come from being overheated.
4. Use Sun protection:
Ideally, you should protect your skin from too much sun exposure by covering up with sun-blocking fabrics. However, if this isn’t possible then you should always use sunscreen.
Wearing sunscreen is not only important for preventing skin cancer, but it can also help reduce fatigue by protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Be sure to reapply every few hours for optimal protection.
5. Avoid alcohol:
While a cold beer or glass of wine might sound refreshing when you’re out in the heat, alcohol actually dehydrates your body and can make feelings of fatigue worse. So it’s best to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages during extended periods in the sun and keep your fluid intake to soft drinks only.
6. Avoid going out in the hottest part of the day:
Finally, although it may be tempting to get outside as much as possible on a sunny day, try to avoid being outdoors during the midday hours when the sun is at its strongest. This will help you stay cooler and prevent those feelings of exhaustion that come from being out in the heat for too long.
Conclusion: Why does being in the sun make you tired?
Overall, it is clear that being in the sun can make you tired for a variety of reasons. From dehydration to disruptions in your circadian rhythm, there are a number of ways that the sun can wear you out. To avoid feeling exhausted after spending time in the sun, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and take regular breaks in the shade. Additionally, it’s important to remember that everyone has different levels of fatigue and it’s important to consider this when engaging in activities. Finally, be aware of how your circadian rhythm may be affected by the sun and take steps to ensure that you’re sleeping well at night. With a few simple tips, you can enjoy the sunshine without feeling too tired afterward!
The next time you find yourself nodding off after a day spent outdoors, remember that there’s a Scientific reason for it! Your body is working hard to adjust to the new environment and suppress sleepiness. So next time you need an afternoon nap, don’t feel guilty about it!