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Combating SADS: tanning, pills, crazy lights, ets.

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  • Combating SADS: tanning, pills, crazy lights, ets.

    Okay, so for the first winter ever.. I'm trying to combat my seasonal affect disorder. As it is, I tend to hibernate through the winters, which is contrary to my normal behavior. Also, my sex drive decreases.. which is lame, I'm usually VERY high drive. Anybody have experience with this? I have a girl in my rotation who recommended tanning for very short amounts of time. Well, I went earlier this week, just for 5 minutes. The next two days I felt fantastic; I didn't feel like hibernating and my sex drive was noticeably higher. However, after the fact, I did some research and every thing I read basically says that tanning in a tanning bed is always bad (except for the tanning lobbyists, of course).

    My girlfriend also just bought me one of those crazy bright lights that people are supposed to use in the winter. I'm skeptical, but I'm giving it a try as well.

    I've considered Vitamin D supplements as well, instead of tanning. However, I generally dislike taking pills. I consider this a worse case scenario, but if I can get the same good-feeling as I did from tanning, then I'm game.

    Anybody got any tips? Is tanning once or twice a week for just 5 minutes really that bad? Has anybody found other remedies I should try?


  • #2
    Tanning may improve your feeling of looking
    good, but the rays are different from sun UVA,
    hence no vitamin D. Sunboxes really do work
    to improve mood. Try to get outside on a sunny
    day and expose whatever skin you can. Also, skiing
    and snowboarding on sunny days provide a huge
    vitamin D and mood boost.


    • #3
      That's actually contrary to what I've been reading. Granted, different beds have different types of UV (A & B). I read that it helps with vitamin D deficiency (and other disorders like psoriasis), but it also increases risks of skin cancer. The cancer thing is why most people suggest not using tanning booths. I'm just curious about the risks of using them 5-10 minutes a week over the winter months.

      Obviously direct sun is better, but there's not that much around at the moment.


      • #4
        JWS, in one of his youtube videos, mentioned using a sunbed for 5 minutes every week or two throughout the winter so perhaps he will chip in.

        I'm interested in this question actually as well though, I've been looking into sunbeds to possibly combat my (mild-medium) bacne, and also to get more sunlight as Scotland is pretty grey and dull for most of the year... But the skin cancer thing and the ageing skin thing are a problem... I wonder though if 5 minutes on a sunbed is the equivalent of x(however much longer) basking in the actual-sun - then are they equally as good/bad for you, or is the super intensity of a sunbed more harmful than an equivalent 2 hours (or whatever) in the sun?


        • #5
          take the pills, avoid tanning (especially in the US, where for whatever reasons tanning beds seem to not be strictly regulated and are quite intense)

          * take at least 2,000 IU Vit D3 (that's x5 RDA), balance it with extra Vit A and vit K2

          * take L-Tryptophan and L-Theanine pills - these are amino acids which are supposed to improve the serotonin production by the brain. L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, so you also get it from any complete protein (though probably not in a high enough amount to fight depression). L-Theanine is found in tea, but again you probably can't get a very high amount just by drinking tea

          * Omega-3 fatty acids: EHA/DHA from fish, or ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid) from plants. These are linked to reducing the depression symptoms. So either consume extra fish, or just buy a bottle of cod liver oil, or omega3 pills. While getting enough EHA/DHA is doable by eating extra fish, I'm not sure you can get that much ALA from foods



          • #6
            Holynecrobatman!! Found this when came to post about:

            The slight amphetamine-like effect tanning has on me!

            Its true and I dont think I need to explain my fellow tanners what I mean by this. Yes, you dont notice it normally, but if you forget tanning for some weeks during winter season, and then get your shit together and get back on scheduled tanning sessions. THEN you know the change Im referring to.

            We can also flip it and talk about the feeling that you need more food, more sleep and fewer tasks, as your lack of stored sunshine gets lower and lower. Especially the food part is like DAY and NIGHT for me.

            I can talk about its effect on skin problems and risk for catching colds.
            I can also talk about some bad effects I have experienced when starting with too heavy dosage.
            And lets not forget that tanning bed tanners in USA get skin cancer from it!!! I think I saw somewhere that almost all cases are from USA.


            • #7
              Iíve been using a light specifically designed for SAD for years, and it definitely seems to help during the winter months.