Seasonal affective disorder is the medical term used to describe what most people call winter blues or winter depression. It happens to many people with the arrival of cold, gray winter days. This mood disorder is today often treated very easily and comfortably- by using tanning beds.
About seasonal affective disorder
This mood disorder is often described as a form of depression. It is characterized by melancholy, mood swings, pessimism, hopelessness, anxiety, irritability, lack of appetite or cravings for certain foods, insomnia, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating and memory problems.
This disorder happens during winter because the days are shorter and the weather is rarely sunny. It has been scientifically proven that the lack of light affects the production of melatonin in the pineal gland. The production of melatonin increases and since this is a sleep-inducing hormone, it causes the feeling of drowsiness and the lack of energy.
Melatonin is synchronized with the production of a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which, among other things, regulates functions such as appetite, mood and memory. Melatonin and serotonin cannot be produced at the same time. When melatonin is secreted, serotonin is inhibited. Lack of serotonin affects the mood and in some people it triggers the depression.
Seasonal affective disorder and tanning beds
One of the best options for handling seasonal affective disorder is the light therapy. It does not necessarily need to be done in tanning beds, but since during the winter sunny days are rare and short, sometimes tanning beds are the only option.
Sunlight is very beneficial for several processes in the body. It increases the production of serotonin, which has a direct effect on the mood. In addition, it promotes accumulation of vitamin D. Vitamin D has antioxidant properties, it is important for healthy bones, helps against psoriasis and in some cases against cancer, and it also acts as a mood modulator.
Exposure to UV rays promotes the synthesis of vitamin D in the skin. This is why many people who frequently use tanning beds have noticed improvement in their mood, especially during winter.
However, it is well known that excessive exposure to UV rays carries certain risks, like skin aging and potentially skin cancer. For this reason it is recommended to make the best out of those few sunny days during winter and to spend an hour or two outdoors whenever it is possible. If the problems associated with seasonal affective disorder persist or become particularly severe, then it is recommended to go to a tanning salon, but only for a short while and not very frequently.