DID YOU KNOW … Why the Sun Makes You So Tired?

Welcome to did you know, , a bite-sized column where we aim to make wellness more digestible. On the agenda for today: why the sun makes us so effing tired, even if we’re just reading smut by the beach.



Sunlight = awake, right? It’s a little more nuanced than that. 


Multiple factors are at play when your body works overtime to keep you cool.

1. Dehydration: “Exposure to the sun increases your body temperature, which can lead to sweating and loss of fluids and electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium,” Sarah says. “Dehydration and electrolyte losses can cause fatigue, as these components are necessary for energy production.”

2. Sunburn: “Getting sunburned results in inflammation of the skin. This causes the body to expend more energy in the healing process, which can make you feel tired,” she explains.

3. Nutrient Depletion: “Spending time in the sun increases your energy use and metabolism, which can deplete your body’s stores of essential nutrients and minerals and contribute to fatigue,” she says.

4. Heat Exposure: “Because sun exposure raises your body temperature, your body has to work harder to maintain a stable internal temperature, which may result in tiredness,”
Sarah shares.

5. Low Blood Pressure: “Heat causes your blood vessels to dilate, which might lower your blood pressure and lead to feelings of tiredness or dizziness,” she explains.

6. UV Radiation: “UV radiation from the sun can damage the DNA in your skin cells, triggering an inflammatory response,” Sarah says. “The body responds to the damage by initiating repair processes that require energy. This increased energy expenditure can lead to feelings of fatigue.”

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1. “Hydrate well before, during, and after time in the sun. Drink fluids at regular intervals even if you don’t feel thirsty,” she advises.

2. “Take breaks in the shade or cool areas. This gives your body a rest from the heat of direct sunlight, and be sure to allow for adequate rest and recovery after prolonged sun exposure,” Sarah advises.

3. “Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Shoot for an SPF of at least 30 to protect your skin from UV damage,” she says. “Reapply every two hours or more often if you’re swimming or sweating.”

4. “Listen to your body. Pay attention to signs of fatigue, dizziness, or overheating, and take action immediately to cool down and hydrate,” Sarah says. “If you know you’ll be spending a lot of time in the sun, plan ahead by checking the UV index and ensuring you’ll have access to water and shade.”

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