Seasonal Affective Disorder And Tanning Salons

Seasonal Affective Disorder And Tanning Salons



With the​ arrival of​ the​ cold season, besides cold-driven nuisance, some persons experience drawbacks regarding the​ general state, lack of​ energy and​ depression of​ unknown origin. it​ was scientifically ascertained that the​ lack of​ light favors the​ production of​ melatonin by the​ pineal gland, a​ hormone inducing sleep. That is​ why, during the​ cold seasons when days are shorter and​ the​ sunlight is​ scarce, we often feel sleepy or​ drowsy. Also, even during spring and​ summer, if​ the​ tendency is​ to​ keep most of​ the​ time indoors at​ home or​ at​ the​ office, the​ effect may be similar, though not as​ severe.

Well, if​ drowsiness were the​ only impact generated by season changes, things would be easier to​ solve (with a​ little coffee maybe!). the​ problem is​ that melatonin secretion is​ synchronized with the​ production of​ a​ neurotransmitter, serotonin, which is​ involved in​ several physiological processes such as​ temperature, blood-pressure regulation and​ in​ neuropsychological functions such as​ appetite, memory and​ mood. the​ two do not work together at​ the​ same time. When melatonin is​ secreted, serotonin production is​ inhibited. Lack of​ serotonin causes disorders such as​ chronic fatigue syndrome and​ reflects its effects on mood also, triggering depression in​ some persons.

Melatonin is​ active at​ night and​ serotonin is​ active in​ the​ daytime. Also, there is​ the​ age factor that contributes to​ the​ balance of​ the​ two chemicals: the​ secretion of​ melatonin decreases with age. There has been established that the​ link between serotonin and​ melatonin along with their dependence on the​ body clock may explain the​ depression experienced by the​ people suffering from the​ disorder called Seasonal Affective Disorder - SAD. Depression, sleep problems, weight gain, anxiety, joint pain, irritability, stress, headaches are some of​ the​ symptoms that may appear when we suffer from SAD.

The problem is​ primarily caused by the​ lack of​ sunlight. it​ has been scientifically proven that sunlight favors increase in​ serotonin levels and​ favors vitamin D accumulation. Besides having anti-osteoporotic, immunomodulatory, anticarcinogenic, antipsoriatic, antioxidant properties, vitamin D is​ also a​ mood-modulator.

UV rays exposure favors vitamin D synthesis in​ the​ skin. That is​ why persons who go to​ tanning salons have noticed mood improvement and​ keep the​ habit in​ order to​ maintain the​ state of​ well-being. However, it​ is​ common knowledge that the​ effects of​ the​ UV exposure are not always the​ most desirable ones. if​ going to​ tanning salons becomes a​ habit, then recurrent, prolonged UV exposure may result in​ consequences such as​ premature skin aging and​ eventually skin cancer.

Light therapy represents a​ way to​ treat SAD. Light operates on the​ body in​ two ways: through skin impact or​ by entering your eyes. Only UV light has effects on the​ skin, while the​ light that has effects by entering your eyes needs not be UV, it​ just has to​ be bright. Its energizing effect comes from the​ fact that it​ stimulates the​ production of​ serotonin. the​ simplest way to​ get enough bright light is​ to​ spend an​ hour a​ day or​ more outdoors, where the​ light levels range from 1,000 to​ 50,000 lux or​ more, compared to​ room lighting, which is​ about 50-200 lux.

If your schedule or​ the​ weather does not permit it, an​ alternative is​ to​ purchase a​ light therapy device. for​ optimum effects, the​ light source either has to​ be very bright - 5,000 lux or​ more - or​ it​ has to​ be in​ a​ particular spectrum - around 460 nanometers, which is​ in​ the​ blue range. According to​ new research, blue range light will provide benefits even if​ at​ a​ dimmer level. Most companies producing light bulbs make full spectrum lights that may successfully replace sunlight.

Yet, there are side effects that bright artificial light may induce, namely it​ may interfere with sleep (especially when exposure is​ made in​ the​ evening hours) or​ even trigger in​ some people a​ mania - condition called bipolar disorder (known as​ manic depression).

The safest remains the​ natural outdoor light, on condition that UV protection is​ used.




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