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Feeling tired this summer? There's a reason why

"Summer Fatigue" is a real thing and here's how to fight it.

MINNEAPOLIS — The heat of summer is here, and it can take a toll on our bodies.

If you’ve been feeling tired lately, you’re not imagining it, and you’re not alone. Emily Miller is seeing a big uptick in tired people at Segue Coffee these days.

“People have been a lot more tired in the afternoon and getting that lull,” Miller says.

She works as a barista and recently noticed her customers are more tired than usual. And Emily herself has noticed a difference. "Man, I've been drinking a lot of coffee this summer," Miller laughs.

Their best seller has been their cold brew. Normally, a batch of cold brew will last them a week, but lately their batches have only been lasting two to three days. "It's probably like double or triple what we normally sell," Miller says.

Even doctors like Andie Rowland-Fisher are feeling it.

"I think I'm chronically tired,” she laughs. “I think it goes along with the job though."

Rowland-Fisher works in the emergency room at Hennepin Healthcare and says “summer fatigue” is a real thing.
 "Your heart rate increases, your blood vessels dilate and this consumes more energy," Rowland-Fisher says.

Basically the hotter and sunnier it gets, the more energy it takes to keep your body cool. High humidity can also drain your energy and with good weather like this we tend to spend more time outside.

"The sun is out longer, people stay out longer, you're up later. That could definitely make you more tired," Rowland Fisher says.

And unless you get more sleep, that tired feeling will only compound and get worse as summer goes on. Besides going to bed a little earlier, doctors also recommend looking at what you eat. Complex carbs and processed food take more energy to digest and can slow you down. They recommend eating more whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies to keep you going.

But the best advice brings us back here to the coffee house where they serve plenty of liquids to keep you hydrated. Coffee offers a quick boost of caffeine, but doctors say the benefits are only temporary.

A better long term fix is drinking more water.

“Staying hydrated is really your best bet,” Rowland-Fisher says. “When you’re dehydrated it actually causes your temperature to rise higher and it makes you feel even more tired.”

Think of your body as an air conditioner. You need water, or liquid, to keep your body operating at maximum efficiency. And speaking of air conditioners, doctors say air conditioning can also make you tired. If you run it really cold your body will burn more energy to warm itself up.

And if you go back and forth between hot and cold environments a lot, the quick temperature differences will push your body into overdrive.

"The more your body has to work to maintain its temperature the more energy you spend and the more tired you can feel," Rowland Fisher says.

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