Can Indoor Tanning Help with Seasonal Affective Disorder?


Winter is here, and some of you might already be experiencing the winter blues or what is more formally known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Essentially, SAD is a type of depression that sets in due to seasonal changes. During the winter months, it comes about due to a lack of natural sunlight, which decreases the serotonin levels produced by the body. What is serotonin, you ask? Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for balancing our moods and is often referred to as the happy chemical. Therefore, it’s no surprise that low serotonin levels lead to SAD. Indoor tanning has been proposed as a potential cure for SAD. So, how true are these claims?


Seasonal Affective Disorder?


After much research, the truth is that indoor tanning does not inevitably cure SAD. However, it could potentially reduce the symptoms of this condition by exposing you to a little bit of sunshine. If you experience SAD, your doctor is likely to recommend light therapy, which relies on white light rather than UV light, which is what is emitted by tanning beds. This is usually used as the reason why tanning beds are not appropriate for treating SAD. Nevertheless, one cannot ignore the fact that tanning beds allow your body to make vitamin D, which in turn promotes the production of serotonin. As a result, you are likely to experience lesser symptoms of SAD.


If you have symptoms of SAD, ideally, you should consult your doctor, and they will guide you on which type of treatment to take. Notably, regular exercise and a healthy diet can help alleviate symptoms. Alternatively, you could always walk down to a tanning salon near you and make an indoor tanning appointment. And then maybe, just maybe it will help you bring the sunshine back during these gloomy winter days.