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← Is Spring Fever Real? - Instant Egghead #68

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Showing Revision 3 created 02/20/2016 by moo moo.

  1. Ahhh, spring fever.
  2. That boost of energy,
    vitality, and sexual appetite
  3. associated with spring.
  4. It's been written about
    for centuries.
  5. But does it really exist?
  6. There's definitely something
    in the springtime air.
  7. A Canadian study showed that
  8. the rate of teen pregnancy
    peaks in March,
  9. right around spring break.
  10. And another found
    that men produce the most,
  11. and the healthiest sperm
    in early spring.
  12. What's causing this seasonal shift?
  13. Scientists think, that our
    increased energy and better mood
  14. have to do with changes
    in hormone levels.
  15. An important one is melatonin,
  16. sometimes called the "sleep hormone"
  17. It's released at night and
    helps us fall asleep.
  18. When the nights are longer,
  19. we produce more melatonin.
  20. And in spring, as the nights get shorter,
  21. we produce less of it.
  22. Maybe explaining why we feel
    more awake and more active.
  23. Serotonin is another chemical
    that affects our mood.
  24. It's known as the "happiness hormone"
  25. And its levels rise
    in springtime as it gets sunnier.
  26. Anthrophologists think that
    these changes in hormone levels
  27. may have to do with
    survival and reproduction.
  28. Many animals lay low in the winter
  29. using less energy because food is scarce.
  30. Early humans might have done the same.
  31. And when food became
    more abundant in the spring,
  32. it makes sense,
    they become more... active.
  33. Not surprisingly,
    as you move toward the equator,
  34. spring fever disappears.
  35. For example, scientists have noticed
  36. that seasonal changes in
    the birth rates of field mice flatten out
  37. as you get closer to the equator.
  38. But sunshine may not be the only
  39. springtime "pick-me-up".
  40. For humans, the optimal temperature
    for good mood is 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  41. And let's face it,
  42. once the temperature starts to rise,
  43. we're wearing a lot less.
  44. For Scientific American's
    Instant Egghead,
  45. I'm Yasmin Tayag.