Ah the sun. As in the star at the centre of our solar system, not the controversial news rag.
What is it about sunshine that causes such joy? More importantly, why is it that spring and summer see a massive surge of romanticism? Granted it could be as simple as more people are out and about and thus mixing more. It could also be that people are wearing less, revealing more skin and increasing the amount of pheromones released into the air.
But, according to a thing called science, there are more reasons why sunshine really is a progenitor or love, lust and generally delicious dalliances.
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates our circadian rhythms – our sleep patterns. Exposure to sunlight causes a reduction in levels helping us feel more awake. As exposure reduces, melatonin levels rise and our bodies prepare for sleep.
In the summer, the contrast between night and day is greater resulting in a more regulated sleep pattern. It also acts as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory.
Think better skin, more energy, a sharper mind – All attractive traits right?
To those of you with a medical background I’m not going to engage in the debate around whether Vitamin D is a vitamin or hormone. To those of you who don’t, please welcome Vitamin D!
Healthy bones is probably the best known effect of Vitamin D synthesis and while skeletal rigidity is fairly important while dating we’re more interested in the effects it has on mood.
In fact, Vitamin D has been described as one commentator as ‘the sexiest vitamin around’.
For men, Vitamin D increases testosterone levels and for women oestrogen. In other words, Vitamin D increases your libido. I’ll say that again – vitamin D INCREASES your LIBIDO!
And if that’s not enough, Vitamin D regulates and increases the release of dopamine and serotonin, both important mood enhancers. Serotonin is particularly good at increasing our empathy and ability to socialise. It’s the key neurotransmitter released by MDMA – or so I hear.
Both these elements also combat the negative effects of alcohol, which, let’s be honest, is probably the most tried and tested narcotic relaxant for singles in London.
Yup, the catch term for those general feel-good, relax, socialise and enjoy chemicals. Exposure to sunlight is a great stimulator of endorphin release which again improves mood, heightens awareness, increases sociability and generally make you feel really, really nice.
It’s also thought that greater endorphin release increases your capacity for critical thinking so should your date perhaps not quite be the one, your exposure to sunshine could be the difference between a regretful decision the next morning or a pleasant platonic evening and a new friend.
So my advice is don’t be shy. Of course be careful about exposure. But enjoy the sun in good company and indulge in some of this great cities beer gardens and parks. Be adventurous and have fun. My next article will be a guide to the city’s best summer date destinations.
And if you're looking to meet someone to enjoy the sunshine with, you could do much worse than checking out one of our spring time dating events in London.
WORDS BY JOHN DAVIS