Infrared saunas have been a popular health trend for a number of years now. With so much buzz surrounding this type of therapy, it’s natural to have questions about how often you should use them and for how long.
You should go to an infrared sauna 3 times per week and stay for 30 minutes/ session to achieve benefits like stress reduction, increased metabolism, and regulated blood circulation. If you’re new to infrared saunas, start with 5 minute-sessions and never exceed 45 minutes due to the risk of heat stroke and other health complications.
Keep reading to learn for how long and how often you should use an infrared sauna, some of the benefits of including sessions in your wellness routine, and the optimal schedule for detoxifying your body!
How long should you use an infrared sauna (session time)?
Trying to figure out what type of sauna you should use and how exactly to incorporate it into your lifestyle can be daunting. The good news is that infrared saunas provide some of the most diverse benefits- so how long should you use them?
Generally speaking, you should spend an average of 30 minutes inside of an infrared sauna. According to a 2015 study that followed 10 healthy men, spending half an hour inside of an infrared sauna vs. a traditional sauna results in better neuromuscular system recovery from maximal endurance performance.
Furthermore, because of how an infrared sauna works, FIRS bathing is less stressful for the body and provides a more bearable experience.
The best infrared sauna session time for beginners
If you’re a new infrared sauna user, start slow. The last thing you want to do is push it too far the first time and turn yourself off to the idea altogether.
As a beginner, with any type of sauna (including an infrared), start with 5-minute sessions. Then, work your way up to 15 and 30 minutes inside over the next few weeks. Always consult your doctor first if you suffer from preexisting conditions.
The beauty of infrared saunas is that they heat your body from the inside out instead of heating the air around you first. This process enables them to work efficiently without being unbearably hot or making it difficult to breathe.
As a result, you’re able to spend more time inside and yield greater health results.
The best infrared sauna session time after exercise
Because your body is already tired after exercise, it’s best to keep your infrared sauna session to a minimum.
After exercise, it is recommended to wait 10 minutes before stepping into an infrared sauna due to the risk of dehydration and dizziness. Spend a maximum of 15 minutes inside to allow for your respiratory and cardiovascular systems to recover.
A 2019 physiology study stated that your body’s adaptation to training requires regular periods of intense but relatively brief physiological stress or fatigue, followed by longer periods of recovery. If the training or the recovery methods are too intense, athletes will suffer long-term.
Even more alarming, a Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology study found that while infrared-light therapy is beneficial in small doses, increasing infrared sauna exposure thereafter leads to inhibition and, eventually, destruction of your bodily systems.
Maximum infrared sauna session time
If you’re feeling like you’ve gotten the hang of spending time in an infrared sauna, how far should you push it?
The maximum recommended time to spend inside an infrared sauna is 45 minutes, according to the most recent data. Anything longer will increase your risk for undesirable health problems and acute injury.
According to a 2001 study from the American Journal of Medicine, excessive sauna exposure can result in dry skin, severe aortic stenosis, and acute myocardial infarctions. It’s critical to hydrate before and after and to listen to your body throughout.
Quick Tip: If you’re planning on spending more time in the sauna than usual, make sure you aren’t alone, or you notify someone so that you don’t risk an unfortunate accident.
How long should an infrared sauna session be to get all the benefits?
In order to experience some of the exceptional benefits that an infrared sauna provides, is there a minimum threshold?
You should spend at least 20 minutes inside of a 120˚F infrared sauna to reap the most benefits. While beginners should start at 5 minutes/session, the goal is to eventually work your way up to 20 minutes, then 30.
As described by the same 2001 study mentioned above, once you’ve spent 20 minutes inside on a consistent schedule, you may experience lower blood pressure and relief from asthma and chronic bronchitis.
How long should you use an infrared sauna to lose weight?
In order to lose weight, you need to follow a specific recipe when it comes to infrared sauna sessions.
To promote weight loss, spend 30 minutes inside an infrared sauna. That is the perfect amount of time to stimulate a stress reaction from your body and induce a metabolic response.
While you want to stress your body in a minor way to elicit weight loss, if you disrupt too much, you risk inhibiting your system’s normal functions and causing more harm than good.
PYY is the hormone that tells us we’re hungry (or not). A 2015 study found that stress can actually inhibit PYY secretion in obese and normal-weight women. That can be problematic when you’re trying to shed a few pounds.
How long should you sit in an infrared sauna to detox?
The way your body detoxifies itself while in a sauna is through sweating. How long does this process take to begin?
As a general rule of thumb, it takes the average person about 8 minutes to begin sweating in a sauna. Although infrared saunas are slightly less hot, they’re still incredibly efficient.
Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, a recognized detoxifying expert, found that far infrared saunas are the most effective in assisting our body’s detoxification process of harmful chemicals like mercury due to their deep-tissue penetration ability.
How often should you use an infrared sauna?
Now that we know 30 minutes is the best amount of time to spend per sauna session, how many sessions should you do per week or month?
You should use an infrared sauna 2-4 times per week, with 3x being the most common if cleared by your physician. This schedule allows you to experience the most positive effects.
Anything more or less will either result in an adverse impact or have no advantage whatsoever.
How often do you need to use an infrared sauna to benefit?
What is the sweet spot for infrared sauna usage as it relates to maximizing benefits?
Use an infrared sauna 3 times per week to achieve clearer and tighter skin, reduce joint and muscle pain, improve circulation, detoxify, and relax.
Adhering to a predetermined schedule is pivotal in achieving optimal results.
How often should you use an infrared sauna for weight loss?
How many times per week should you visit the infrared sauna to lose weight?
To use a traditional sauna for weight loss, as with the other benefits mentioned above, you should aim to do a session 3x per week.
A 2014 study that tracked BML (body mass loss) and BMI (body mass index) in sedentary adults after sauna use found that those who were overweight or obese showed the greatest BML.
Of note: If your body gets too used to the sauna, it will adapt, thus slowing down your metabolism. That’s why three is the perfect number- it exposes your body to stress, but not so often that it allows for adaptation. Try going on different days of the week to further this confusion!
Can you use an infrared sauna every day?
Infrared saunas show promising benefits when used three times per week, but what about daily?
Infrared saunas are the safest type of saunas to use every day. That being said, you should limit your time inside to 10 minutes or less in order to limit the risk for adverse effects.
It is still preferable to alternate days you go to the sauna in order to best benefit unless otherwise instructed by your physician.
Potential benefits of using an infrared sauna regularly
Infrared saunas are notoriously enjoyable to spend time in (and it doesn’t hurt that they’re great for your health)! There are, however, specific advantages worth mentioning.
The biggest potential benefits of a regular infrared sauna schedule are:
- Improved blood circulation
- Immune system health support
- Stress reduction
- Sleep management
- Increased metabolism
We’ll get more specific below.
Improved Blood Circulation
Blood circulation is important for keeping your body’s tissues healthy. Having poor blood circulation can lead to serious health complications, including heart disease and diabetes.
Infrared saunas ensure your circulatory system functions properly by helping expand blood vessels and improve blood flow through your arteries.
Immune System Health Support
Infrared saunas have been shown to support the body’s immune system in more ways than one.
The main way they do this is by increasing your body’s natural production of white blood cells. White blood cells are crucial for fighting disease and infection within the body.
You probably already know that stress is a nasty catalyst that’s closely tied to poor health and disease. The good news is that infrared saunas can help your body combat stress in ways you might not even expect!
Infrared therapy increases the production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine- all of which are neurotransmitters that the body naturally produces in order to cope with stress.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that inhibits appetite, boosts mood, and regulates sleep patterns. These all play a crucial role in managing stress.
Having trouble sleeping? Some people say that infrared saunas help them sleep better at night.
The reason for this is that infrared saunas raise your core body temperature, which in turn regulates blood flow and resting heart rate. Both of these help with falling asleep more quickly and soundly.
The core temperature increase that I just mentioned is also the reason why infrared saunas can help you lose weight.
When your body heats up, it burns more calories in order to regulate itself- even when you’re not exercising. Infrared saunas, when paired properly with exercise, are also a great way to extend your workout.
So, how often and for how long should you use an infrared sauna?
Infrared saunas are a great way to reduce stress and increase metabolism while regulating blood circulation in just 30 minutes. If you’re new to this type of therapy, start with 5 minute-sessions and never exceed 45 minutes due to the risk of heatstroke and other complications.
Always consult your physician first!