Monday, May 2, 2005

Apple #65: Spring Fever

Yesterday, I told someone that I thought I might have spring fever. Do people still talk about spring fever? Is it even a real thing?
  • Teachers seem to have the most to say about spring fever. Apparently, their students start going haywire in the springtime, and they want to understand why it happens and what to do about it. College students like to describe spring fever, too, as a way to explain why they're so distracted and have stopped caring about homework.
  • The funny thing is, some people say it makes you languorous and sluggish, and other people say it makes you restless and jumpy. Or you might feel both ways, in sequence.
  • Some people say that spring fever happens when there's a sudden warm spell after a long period of cold temperatures. Your body has to get rid of the extra heat, so your blood vessels dilate and your body works hard to do this. This gives you an "energetic" feeling, and makes you restless.
  • Other people say that with the change in the amount of daylight, your body's sleeping patterns change. This lowers your body's supply of noradrenaline, which reduces your memory, attention span, alertness, and overall mental energy. Once your body adjusts to the seasonal change, you get a burst of mental as well as physical energy.
  • Still others say spring fever is related to allergies. Because your body is working to fend off a lot of things that make you sneeze and that weren't a factor for several months, you may feel more light-headed or spacey, or tired, or silly.
  • Changes in air pressure may also be the culprit. Some people say that can affect your mood. Since low air pressure is associated with storms, and it rains a lot in the springtime, you may be affected first by the drop in air pressure and second by the fact that it's raining out and you can't go run around outside like your body might be itching to do.
  • Some student advisers say that with the warm weather, students start wearing fewer clothes, and co-eds are distracted by all the freshly revealed flesh. When the students emerge from the funk stage of spring fever and enter into the energetic stage, all those bare arms and legs make the students "ready for some lovin'."
Based on all these different descriptions of what spring fever is, and all the various explanations for it, I'm going to conclude that 1) nobody really knows what it is; and 2) everybody feels funky in the springtime.

Utah Education Network, weather trivia, What is spring fever?
Janet Frazier, "Spring and Summer Issues for School Employees," NCAE Safe and Healthy School Site
"Spring Fever: Welcome to silly season," Parenting Special Needs,
"Spring Fever!" The Crusader, April 23, 2004, Holy Cross College
"Question: Why can't I concentrate when spring rolls around?" The Captain's Log, vol 36 issue 21, Christopher Newport University

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