The Sap Floweth Over
The attention spans got shorter, as did the girls' skirts.
We've all suffered from Spring Fever in one form or another. When temperatures hit the 70s for the first time, ever notice how much less traffic there is with the drive home? It's because a bunch of workers have left work early. They're playing hooky!
So is Spring Fever a real phenomenon, or is it just something we conjer up to excuse our strange behavior?
Matthew Keller, postdoctoral fellow at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics in Richmond, studied 500 people in the U.S. and Canada and found that the more time people spent outside on a sunny spring day the better their mood. He even found that there was an optimum temperature where people were most happy: 72 degrees F.
When Spring arrives, does our libido also increase?
There have been numerous studies showing that mammals definitely do breed according to seasons. Melatonin is known as the hormone that makes us sleep, and it has been thought that our increased energy in the spring months is related to the decreased duration of melatonin production, due to more daylight and shorter nights.
The idea that seasons affect moods is not a new one. For example, people that become depressed with the shortening of days is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. The "winter blues" is a very real disorder.
So the hypothesis that longer days and warmer temperatures bring us out of our funk and make us feel good isn't such a stretch. Perhaps we're seasonal animals. Or maybe it's a hormonal thing tied to sunlight and warmer weather.
Science doesn't have the definitive answer, but who cares. Get out and enjoy the weather. Cut out of work/school if you can and have some fun. The days will continue to get longer until mid-May. After the summer solstice on June 21st, daylight will begin to shorten.
And if you get caught goofing off or committing sexual harassment...just blame it on Spring Fever.