The brains of frequent tanners may be similar to those of addicts.
People who frequently use tanning beds experience changes in brain activity during their tanning sessions that mimic the patterns of drug addiction, new research shows.
I suspect that the euphoria that the tanners are feeling is driven by vitamin d seeking behavior.
What do you think?
A very interesting idea - but the article does not support it. Here's why:
First of all, tanning beds do not equal natural sunlight. Vitamin D production is usually not significant with most beds (unless they are specifically designed for that purpose).
And B). Dopamine is released by many things, including accomplishing a goal. Simply going to a tanning salon could stimulate the reward center. It doesn't have to be the UV.
That's not to say that we aren't addicted to Vitamin D. But if we are, then why is there such a huge world-wide deficiency?
The main stream medical " wisdom " has been spouting off alot lately about how we are addicted to tanning. Remember these these are the same people who tell diabetics to eat more carbs. We are attracted to the sun because it is natural for us.The effects from tanning indoors are very similar. All tanning beds will help you synthesize Vitamin D, but there are differences based on the type of bed number of lamps & lamp phosphor's.
I can only speak for myself here... I've experienced both drug addiction and frequent tanning, and I really don't have a whole lot to report in the way of similarities here...I feel relaxed when I tan, but not excessively so, and my mood is improved by tanning overall, but not necessarily each time I tan...I know I'm just needing the d, and prior to embracing my destiny as a sun worshipper, I had a hell of a lot of depressive periods that are now a rarity, so I just don't see how it's not good medicine for me.
You may be right - but I look forward to tanning and basking in the sun in the same way I look forward to soaking in the tub. A lot. I do put mag sulphate in my bath, so maybe I'm seeking that? I dunno, but I'm totally okay with rewarding my dopamine receptors with healthy(ish) behavior.
Here's my take, there are natural reward pathways for doing the right thing for your body, or something that is near the right thing. Sun light is good, sun-like light, still pretty good.
Also, I get cold in the winter, and the tanning bed is nice and warm. Just getting that break from the cold feels like a 20 minute vacation to a nice sunny beach without the stress of travel, and I'm sure that lights up all sorts of feel good receptors in my brain too.
I think it is a health promoting reward seeking behavior. Studies like that strike me as being a bit puritanical, heaven forbid people base their decisions on what feels good.
Could the reason for the "addiction" to tanning have more to do with the fact that you can't really do anything else while you are doing it other than maybe listen to some music? There's no computer, cell phone, tv, friends, or family members to distract you. It's quiet and peaceful with no interruptions. It seems like it could be similar to the kinds of results you get from regular meditation.