Finding the Right Sauna Temperature for Health Benefits

Finding the Right Sauna Temperature for Health Benefits

Discovering the perfect sauna temperature for health benefits is more than just a quest for relaxation; it's an essential step toward optimizing your wellness routine.

While it's widely acknowledged that sauna sessions can contribute to improved health, understanding that not all sauna experiences are created equal is crucial. Our bodies, remarkable in their complexity, respond differently to varying degrees of heat.

Therefore, identifying the best sauna temperature isn't just about cranking up the heat; it's about fostering an environment where relaxation meets health optimization.

Best Sauna Temperature For Health Benefits

When it comes to reaping the significant health benefits saunas offer, knowing the right temperature setting is key. Studies show that a controlled and balanced sauna experience maximizes wellness benefits.

Specifically, for traditional saunas, maintaining a temperature range between 155–195 F (70–90 C) is advisable. This range is optimal since it heats the body effectively without posing risks associated with overly high temperatures, such as protein degradation, which can occur above 210 F (100 C).

On the other hand, infrared saunas, which utilize light waves to generate heat, operate effectively at a slightly cooler range of 104–140 F (40–60 C). While this range does not fully mimic the intense heat of traditional saunas, it still offers substantial health advantages, making it a safer option for those sensitive to higher temperatures.

To make the most of your sauna sessions, it's crucial to stay within these recommended temperature ranges, ensuring both safety and efficacy in achieving your health and wellness goals.

What Is an Unsafe Sauna Temperature?

Navigating sauna temperatures safely is crucial, especially when we consider what's too hot. Going beyond 210 F (100 C) can pose risks. At these high temperatures, the proteins that are vital for our body's functions start to break down.

This is something we definitely want to avoid to keep our sauna experiences healthy and beneficial. Keeping an eye on the temperature gauge and limiting our time in extremely hot environments helps ensure our sauna sessions improve our well-being without harm.

What Happens if Sauna Is Too Hot?

When the sauna gets too hot, it's not just uncomfortable—it can be dangerous. If you sit in a sauna that's too hot, especially one with high humidity, you can get really hurt. You might think that the hotter it gets, the more you'll sweat and the better it'll be for you. But that's not true.

What really matters is your body's inside temperature, not how hot your skin feels. Making the sauna too hot can seriously burn you, and that's no good for anyone's health.

What Are the Proven Health Benefits of Sauna Use?

What Are the Proven Health Benefits of Sauna Use?

Sauna bathing offers more than relaxation and comfort; it brings with it a host of scientifically backed health benefits.

1. Improved Heart Health

Regular sauna visits can do wonders for your heart and blood vessels. One big study from Finland found that men who used the sauna a lot had a much lower chance of dying suddenly from heart problems. To get these awesome benefits, you should aim to use the sauna for more than 20 minutes at a time, at least four times a week.

Here’s what else cool research says a sauna can do for your heart:

  • If someone has heart failure (when the heart isn’t pumping as well as it should), going to the sauna can make their symptoms better and help them exercise more.
  • For people with coronary artery disease (that’s when the heart’s arteries are narrow or blocked), using the sauna every day can make more oxygen reach the heart. This might lower the risk of dying from this heart condition.
  • Folks with peripheral artery disease have trouble with blood flow to their legs, but after sauna bathing, they could walk further without pain.
  • Saunas can even make your cholesterol numbers look better, which is great for overall heart health.

These heart benefits become even stronger when you mix in regular exercise.

2. Lower Blood Pressure Benefits

Using a sauna might make your heart rate go up and push up your blood pressure at first—kinda like what happens when you exercise. But the cool thing is, over time, hanging out in the sauna can actually help lower your blood pressure.

This is super helpful for people who already have high blood pressure because it can bring their numbers down. And for folks who don't have high blood pressure, spending time in the sauna can help lower the chance of getting it later on.

3. Lower Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Tanjaniina Laukkanen and other researchers found that if guys use the sauna a lot—like four to seven times a week—they might cut their chances of getting brain problems like dementia and Alzheimer's by more than 50%.

That's a big deal because these are serious conditions that affect memory and thinking as you get older.

4. Recovery for Sore Muscles

When you sit in the heat of a sauna, your body starts to produce more of something called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

This cool stuff helps with fixing and rebuilding your muscles, making you feel better faster. Plus, the heat makes more blood flow to your muscles.

When more blood gets to your muscles, it helps in healing them quicker because they get more of the oxygen and nutrients they need to recover.

5. Eases Joint Pain and Improves Range of Motion

Sauna sessions have shown promise in aiding individuals suffering from conditions that usually result in muscle and joint pain and limit how well they can move.

For example, folks dealing with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis have reported experiencing less pain and improved flexibility after incorporating sauna sessions into their routine.

Similarly, individuals with fibromyalgia and chronic back pain have noticed significant reductions in their ongoing pain levels. Perhaps the most compelling benefit is the reported boost in quality of life by people living with chronic pain following regular sauna use.

6. Stress Reduction and Fewer Depressive Symptoms

Regular sauna use is pretty awesome for chilling out and reducing stress. When you're hanging out in that warm, cozy space, your body's level of a stress hormone called cortisol can actually go down.

Plus, if you’re someone who's dealing with depression, spending time in a sauna might help you feel better.

7. Fewer Colds and Viral Illnesses

Believe it or not, hitting the sauna could also keep you from getting sick so often. People who enjoy sauna sessions once or twice a week seem to catch fewer colds and other yucky viral infections.

In fact, regular sauna-goers have shared that they get about half as many colds compared to folks who never step foot in one.

8. Improved Skin Health

Regular visits to the sauna might not change your skin much if it's already healthy. But, if you have a skin condition called psoriasis where your skin gets all flaky and red, using the sauna could really help.

9. Enhanced Sleep Quality

One reason why you might sleep better after using a sauna is because it warms up your body. This can help reset your body's internal clock, also known as your circadian rhythm. After getting heated up in a sauna, folks often mention they have a really good sleep that night.

10. Breathing Improvements for Asthma and COPD

Using a sauna can make almost everyone breathe a bit easier and improve lung function, and it's especially helpful if you have asthma, bronchitis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

People who deal with these breathing troubles report feeling much better after spending some time in a sauna.

This study by NICO J.M. back this up by showing that their lungs actually work better post-sauna. While the improvements might be small, the difference in how they feel is big and worth noting.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I use a sauna for health benefits?

To get the most out of sauna use for your health, it's recommended to enjoy it 2 to 3 times a week. This frequency allows your body to adapt and fully benefit from the heat without overdoing it.

How should I prepare for sauna exposure?

Before you hit the sauna, remember to drink a lot of water. Since you'll be sweating out toxins and water, it's good to have a pint of water beforehand to keep yourself hydrated.

What is a safe time period to stay in the sauna?

A good rule of thumb for sauna use is to aim for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. If you're used to the sauna, you might stay a bit longer, but it's best not to push it.

The Takeaway: Health Benefits From Sauna Heat

The Takeaway: Health Benefits From Sauna Heat

Using a sauna can bring lots of health benefits, like helping your muscles, easing joint pain, reducing stress, improving your skin, and even helping you breathe and sleep better. Just remember to use it safely—drink plenty of water and don't stay in too long.

Finding the right temperature that feels good for you is key to getting all these awesome benefits without any downsides.

Want to learn more about how a sauna can up your health game, or are you looking to find the perfect sauna for your home? We've got many sauna options, either infrared or traditional steam saunas, that will suit your needs. Check out our blog section to help you make the best choice.

If you've got questions, our team is always ready to help. Contact us today and start reaping the benefits of regular sauna use.