How long should you stay in an infrared sauna for?
Optimizing Infrared Sauna Sessions: How Long Should You Stay in?
Infrared saunas have gained recognition for their potential health benefits, which include relaxation, improved circulation, and even pain relief. But a common question among users is, “How long should I stay in an infrared sauna to maximize its advantages while ensuring safety?” To answer this question, let’s explore the scientific studies and guidelines that offer insights into the ideal duration for infrared sauna sessions.
Understanding Infrared Sauna Session DurationsThe ideal duration for an infrared sauna session is not one-size-fits-all, as it depends on individual factors and wellness goals. However, scientific research and expert recommendations provide valuable insights into session lengths that can be effective and safe:
1. Heat Tolerance: The primary factor influencing how long you should stay in an infrared sauna is your own heat tolerance. Unlike traditional saunas, which can reach extremely high temperatures, infrared saunas operate at more moderate levels (typically between 120°F to 140°F or 49°C to 60°C). NB: Sun Stream saunas have a maximum temperature setting of 65’c. Nevertheless, each person’s tolerance for heat varies, so it’s essential to listen to your body.
2. Session Duration Recommendations: Experts typically recommend starting with 15 to 30-minute sessions for beginners. This duration allows your body to acclimate to the heat gradually. Over time, as your tolerance increases, you can extend your sessions to 45 minutes to an hour.
3. Individual Health Goals: The purpose of your infrared sauna session can influence its duration. If you’re using the sauna for relaxation and stress reduction, shorter sessions may suffice. Conversely, those seeking therapeutic benefits, such as pain relief or detoxification, might benefit from longer sessions over time.
Scientific Studies on Session Durations
Several scientific studies have examined the effects of different session durations in infrared saunas, shedding light on the potential benefits and safety considerations:
1. Cardiovascular Health: A study by Beever in 2009, published in the “Canadian Journal of Diabetes,” found that infrared sauna sessions lasting 15 minutes at a time, performed three times a week over a period of three weeks, resulted in significant improvements in vascular endothelial function. This suggests that relatively short sessions can have a positive impact on cardiovascular health.
2. Pain Relief: Research on pain relief in conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis often involves longer sessions. Studies indicate that benefits are more pronounced after 30 to 45 minutes, with some users reporting pain reduction during and after sessions.
3. Detoxification: Detoxification benefits may be achieved in shorter sessions, but some individuals engage in more extended sessions, up to an hour, to enhance the sweating process and promote detoxification.
4. Stress Reduction: Infrared saunas are known for their relaxation benefits, and even short sessions can help reduce stress and improve sleep quality. Regular use over time may lead to more profound relaxation effects.
While infrared saunas are generally considered safe, it’s essential to prioritize safety during your sessions:
1. Hydration: Stay well-hydrated before, during, and after your session. Proper hydration helps your body regulate temperature and promotes sweating, which is vital for detoxification.
2. Temperature Monitoring: Be mindful of the sauna’s temperature. Most infrared saunas allow you to adjust the heat settings. However you can pay more attention to the amount you are sweating rather than the cabin temperature. If you are sweating heavily at 50’c for example, and this is a temperature you feel more comfortable at, there is no need to allow the sauna to reach its maximum temperarure. You want to be able to enjoy the session so you feel more inclined to use the sauna more often.
3. Listen to Your Body: Pay close attention to how your body responds to the heat. If you feel lightheaded, dizzy, or uncomfortable, exit the sauna immediately and cool down.
4. Medical Conditions: If you have underlying medical conditions or take medications that affect your ability to tolerate heat, consult with a healthcare professional before using an infrared sauna. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific health needs.
In conclusion, the ideal duration for an infrared sauna session varies depending on individual factors and health goals. Scientific studies suggest that beginners can start with 15 to 30-minute sessions and gradually extend them as they become more accustomed to the heat. Ultimately, the key to reaping the benefits of infrared sauna therapy while ensuring safety is to find a duration that works for you and to prioritize consistent use for long-term wellness. Always listen to your body and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about sauna therapy.