Hormone Effect: Why Christmas Makes Us Nutty


Easier said than done, Mike Ludwig, a professor of neuropsychology at the University of Edinburgh, said in a 2011 editorial in the Journal of Neuroendocrinology. The final feelings of contentment only begin to settle on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, once the preparation rush, whether we're ready or not, is over.

"The 'love hormone' oxytocin induces feelings of trust and generosity," Ludwig wrote in the editorial.

Nearly 70 percent of Americans feel fatigued by the holiday hustle, according to survey results by the American Psychological Association.

"The experience is sufficiently traumatic that sensible plans are made to do everything different for the next year and to negotiate a multilateral reduction in the extent to which behavior is misaligned," wrote Ludwig.

It might be worth drafting a new game plan sooner rather than later, because the cycle starts again about 300 days after Christmas.

"It is inevitable that, once again," Ludwig wrote, "we will again totally surrender to the effects of our Christmas hormones."

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