Using a sauna can raise the skin temperature to roughly 40°C, so it is not uncommon to lose up to a pint of sweat when spending time in a sauna!
Yet while there’s no doubt that a sauna can feel extremely refreshing, as saunas are usually heated to a temperature of about 70°C to 90°C – a temperature close to that at which water boils – are there any issues with using a sauna before bed?
In this article you will find out what using a sauna before bed can do to your body. We will also highlight the more general effects of sauna use on your body too. Some of it may be quite surprising….
Using a Sauna Before Bed: The Effects You Need To Know
Even though saunas are not that popular in western countries, they are hugely popular in countries like Finland, Russia and Korea.
In fact Finland is the country with the highest number of saunas in the world, and the Guinness World Records organization estimates that there are more than three million saunas in Finland alone! Which means there is one sauna for every two people living in Finland.
Russia is another country with a large number of saunas, but the saunas in Russia are locally known as banya, and most Russians even consider 212°F (100°Celsius) as a decent sauna temperature. It’s no wonder then that some Russians often jokingly refer to the saunas in Finland as mere “warm huts”.
Each sauna is considered to have a different character. However most saunas do not allow eating, drinking, or discussions about a person’s religion, job or title.
So why are they used? Because saunas can provide incredible relaxation and a variety of health benefits as they help reduce minor aches and pains in the body. They are also a place of healing, as they mend tired muscles and purify the soul and clear the mind.
However using a sauna before bed has several effects on the body. Some are beneficial to the body, but some aren’t too desirable.
Below we show you what you can expect when using a sauna before bed:
Using A Sauna Before Bed: What To Expect
As for what to expect when using a sauna before bed, here are a few possibilities:
1. A Good Night’s Sleep
Many people find it difficult to sleep due to all the hectic work they have engaged in during the day. Many also find it difficult to sleep because they suffer from sleeping disorders.
However using a sauna before bed is known to help the body relax and gets many people into sleeping mode.
2. Great Relaxation
The silence, the solitude, and the heat that saunas offer can help many people relax.
After the sauna raises your body’s temperature, your heated body will automatically work to readjust the temperature. The cooling-down of your body after using a sauna will leave you relaxed and calm enough to lull you into a good night’s sleep.
Sometimes burns occur when using a sauna, but most times those burns are accidental and caused by either touching the heater or other hot surfaces in the sauna.
Burns are often minor, but they can also be fatal. This is why it is not advisable to drink any alcoholic drinks before using a sauna so as not to pass out in the sauna, as this could lead to burns and other dangerous injuries.
4. Alleviating Physical Pain
Using a sauna before bed may help remove and alleviate pain like body or muscle soreness and headaches. In fact using a sauna effectively is known to alleviate physical pains and aches that can disturb a person’s sleep.
5. Going to Sleep Without Using Sleeping Pills
A sauna can make a person sleep better, even those that have had to use sleeping pills constantly to get a decent night’s rest. By using a sauna before bed, some with sleep disorders will be able to get to sleep much easier.
More General Effects Of Using A Sauna Before Bed
1. It Improves Cardiovascular Health
Cardiovascular diseases are heart conditions like high blood pressure and cardiac arrest. Research carried out in Finland has suggested that people that use saunas have a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than people that do not use a sauna.
2. May Decreases Depression & Anxiety
Some people suffering from depression or anxiety may find saunas helpful, as saunas can help relax your body, muscles and also help clear your mind.
Side Effects Of Using A Sauna
There are, of course, some side effects to using a sauna. Especially if you use one in excess. Some of the more severe side effects include:
The heat a sauna generates might make a person overheat. Furthermore, if a sauna is used for a very long session, it might cause heatstroke for the user.
Saunas can also make some people dizzy and nauseous. Most people with health conditions like kidney disease may suffer more from dehydration and so have to very careful. If that sounds like you, then ask your doctor before using a sauna.
2. Increase in Blood Pressure
Sometimes people might use a swimming pool immediately after using a sauna. However it is not advisable to switch from the heat of a sauna to the coldness of a swimming pool immediately after as it might cause high blood pressure.
3. It Might Affect Reproductive Organs
Using a sauna might affect men’s reproductive organs, and may lead to low sperm count in men. The low sperm count might be due to an increase in the testicles’ temperature.
Women should also be wary of using a sauna while pregnant, as this may cause abnormalities in the embryo.
Extended Use Can Lead to Death
A sauna’s temperature is not meant to be endured for long, as the normal human body operates at a much lower temperature.
Staying in a sauna for longer than the average time is not advisable. According to research in 2010, a World Sauna Championship finalist died after being exposed to extreme heat for an extended period of time.
Using a Sauna Before Bed: Our Final Thoughts
Even though using a sauna before bed is good for your body and aids sleeping, it can also have quite a number of side effects if used for too long.
A beginner should spend a maximum of just a few minutes per sauna session, and at least 10 minutes break between each session for the body to cool down. If you have health concerns or issues then we advise talking to your doctor before starting to use a sauna.