Spring or summer fever

14. June 2021

What makes us feel so alive?

What makes us feel so alive?

Almost everyone gets spring fever when winter comes to an end, which was something Walt Disney already knew. We want to investigate the question of what spring and summer feelings are all about. With rising temperatures, our spirits awaken because the sleep hormone melatonin is suppressed in spring and summer and then, thanks to increased exposure to the sun, the mood enhancer serotonin comes into play.

Is it the hormones?

The hormone melatonin promotes sleep. It is only produced at night, i.e. during sleep. As in the winter it stays dark for a long time in the morning, our melatonin level is also increased during the day. This leads to the fact that we feel tired, cannot get up in the morning and are often slightly out of tune.

When it gradually stays light longer in spring and summer, our spirits slowly come back to life. And we become more alert, active, and enterprising. The hormone serotonin, which is also known as the happiness hormone, is the antagonist of melatonin and is activated by sunlight.

So what happens in your body is a hormonal change with far-reaching consequences. Spring fever comes through especially in May, which is why it is still popularly known as the merry month. The term emerged because, until around the 1970s, most children were born in May – although they were conceived in September. It had little to do with feelings of spring. 

No influence on love life

One thing is for sure: In spring and summer, hormones go crazy. However, these have little impact on our love life, as many people still assume. Sex hormones play no role in our spring fever, even if the blood level of the sex hormone testosterone in men is higher in spring and summer than in autumn and winter. 

We also know now that there is probably no connection between rising testosterone levels and sexual activity, and men do not become more fertile in spring and summer either. The only fact is that the increased levels of testosterone in men make them feel more comfortable and become more active.

It is also a misconception that women get pregnant more often in the spring – which is shown by the figures. The situation is different with animals: They have to be born at the time of year when the offspring have the best chance of survival, and that is spring.

What really happens: The longer days and the sunshine brighten up our mood. We feel the same way as the plants do that awaken to new life in spring. However, spring fever of the kind that is often described is more likely to take place in films and books. Like in the TV series “Julia – Ways to Happiness” or in books with great love stories that are supposed to warm the heart and arouse spring fever. 

Let’s stay with the facts: Thanks to the longer daylight and rising temperatures in spring and summer, people feel more comfortable and lively and are happy that the cloudy winter months are over. Light clothing, sun, flowers, happy people and the fresh colours in shop windows attract attention in spring, you can feel the new zest for life everywhere. Winter depression vanishes into thin air and people look more optimistically into the future again.

No influence on love life

One thing is for sure: In spring and summer, hormones go crazy. However, these have little impact on our love life, as many people still assume. Sex hormones play no role in our spring fever, even if the blood level of the sex hormone testosterone in men is higher in spring and summer than in autumn and winter. 

We also know now that there is probably no connection between rising testosterone levels and sexual activity, and men do not become more fertile in spring and summer either. The only fact is that the increased levels of testosterone in men make them feel more comfortable and become more active.

It is also a misconception that women get pregnant more often in the spring – which is shown by the figures. The situation is different with animals: They have to be born at the time of year when the offspring have the best chance of survival, and that is spring.

What really happens: The longer days and the sunshine brighten up our mood. We feel the same way as the plants do that awaken to new life in spring. However, spring fever of the kind that is often described is more likely to take place in films and books. Like in the TV series “Julia – Ways to Happiness” or in books with great love stories that are supposed to warm the heart and arouse spring fever. 

Let’s stay with the facts: Thanks to the longer daylight and rising temperatures in spring and summer, people feel more comfortable and lively and are happy that the cloudy winter months are over. Light clothing, sun, flowers, happy people and the fresh colours in shop windows attract attention in spring, you can feel the new zest for life everywhere. Winter depression vanishes into thin air and people look more optimistically into the future again.

Feelings of happiness spread in spring and summer

The longer days lead to a lightening of the mood, with the greatest effect starting at around 23 degrees Celsius. If, on the other hand, it gets too hot, as is often the case in summer, this effect decreases significantly. But why feelings of happiness? 

“For a while they stood in silence and listened to the twittering and rustling, the roaring and singing and splashing in their forest. All the trees and all the water and all the green bushes were full of life, the strong, wild song of spring resounded from everywhere. “I stand here and feel the winter running out of me,” said Ronja. “Soon I will be so light that I can fly.” (From “Ronja the robber’s daughter” by Astrid Lindgren)

There is hardly a better way to describe it. So it is nature that drives our feelings to heights in spring and summer. It can be seen every year: As soon as the temperatures rise, we are drawn outside to nature. Every year spring and summer impel us.

The mood barometer rises in spring

Things are blooming everywhere, the trees are sprouting, there is a smell of blossom. After the long autumn and winter months, many people want to do sports outdoors. The desire to exercise is now spreading among many people and triggers downright feelings of happiness. Some go jogging, after all, this is the classic activity in outdoor sports, and depending on your running pace, you burn 500 to 700 calories per hour of jogging. Activity trackers help you measure your activity mode, the number of steps, the distance covered, the calorie consumption, the heart rate and the total movement time. So they are not only an ideal training support for athletes, but also offer an incentive to move more every day for those who do not like exercise.

Others get their bikes out of the cellar on the first warm days and off they go out into nature. The nice thing about cycling is that it can be really sociable. People go with friends or the whole family. In any case, cycling is a good start to spring. Depending on your speed, you can even burn up to 500 calories per hour. And overweight people benefit from the fact that their joints are spared.

Others look forward to hiking or spending their time on the garden trampoline. Nordic walking is still very popular. In this type of outdoor sport, your muscles are strengthened and your cardiovascular system really gets going. This is an ideal sport in spring. The main thing is that you can enjoy the sun’s rays outdoors. 

The spring grouch

However, there are also people who really start to mope around in spring. They often complain of springtime fatigue, although the phenomenon has not yet been researched. They prefer to avoid happy people and cannot stand happy faces at all. They get annoyed about summer time, the pollen count and children playing loudly. These people are called spring grouches. They complain of fatigue and circulatory problems, but light, lots of fresh air and exercise help to counter this.

In general, however, spring and summer are positive for almost everyone. So let us enjoy this time of the year to the fullest, it is and remains the perfect time to flirt and fall in love.