How Long Should You Stay in a Sauna?

How Long Should You Stay in a Sauna

The sauna offers a wide range of health benefits. It is always a good choice when you want to unwind or plan a relaxation time after a workout. But how long should you stay in the sauna?

Here are a few tips that can be followed and kept in mind whenever you are planning for a sauna.

Sauna Bath and Timings

Sauna Bath and Timings

The heat provided in a sauna is dry to humid, and the temperature varies from 150-195°F and not more than 212°F. The general recommended length of stay is 5 to 10 minutes at a time, with cooling breaks in between.

There are several types of saunas used today, and the most readily available ones are:

  • Wood-burning: In this method, stoves heat the sauna rocks and keep the temperature high.
  • Electric: These are most commonly used saunas that use electric heaters.
  • Infrared: Infrared sauna radiates heat that warms the body directly and offers similar benefits at a lower temperature.
  • Smoke: In this type, a stove burns wood that heats the air and rocks at the top of the stove. Once the sauna warms up, smoke is vented out. The doors are closed so that the heat remains.

How Long Should You Stay in a Sauna

A: Beginners

For beginners, it is always an excellent choice to take a sauna for a short time initially. A time of not more than 5 to 10 minutes is ideal for those doing it for the first time and the next few times.

B: After exercise

If you want to do a sauna after exercising, plan not to take it immediately. Wait for at least 10 minutes before taking a sauna bath.

C: Regulars

For those who take sauna baths regularly, you should not spend more than 15 to 20 minutes in the sauna bath. If it is not advisable to redo the sauna bath after a break immediately as it may lead to harmful effects on your health. The longer time you spend in the sauna, you may risk dehydration.

Benefits of Sauna Bath

A few minutes in the sauna is an excellent idea and has several health benefits. Though a sauna is popular for socializing, relaxation, and fun, using it at the end of a tiring day or the end of your workout can greatly benefit your health.

Here are some health benefits offered by sauna:

  • Reduced risk of stroke: Frequent sauna bathing, as much as four to seven times a week, lowers the risk of heart stroke (1).
  • Improved heart function: The heart function of people improves with frequent sauna bathing (2).
  • Lowered risk of dementia: Regularly sauna bathing may result in lower cases of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (3).
  • Lowered muscle soreness and inflammation: A far-infrared sauna helps to reduce system inflammations and muscle soreness after a workout. Infrared sauna use varies from two to five times per week.

Possible Risks Associated with Sauna for a Long Duration

Sauna has been associated with few potential risks that includes momentary decline in men’s infertility and dehydration (4).

Use the sauna only for the time that is safe for you to avoid getting dehydrated.

While saunas are usually considered safe, it is vital that you follow all the guidelines and use it properly to take all the benefits and enjoy.

Tips for Using a Sauna

To benefit from the maximum gains of a sauna, you need to follow the instructions provided by the instructors. There are different rules for gym saunas and public saunas. As the sauna is typically enjoyed naked, it is important that you follow the procedures.

Here are a few tips to make your sauna experience more memorable and enjoyable:

  • Ensure that you know all the procedures before you hit the sauna. Learn the rules and expectations at the sauna centre you want to visit. Carry all the requirements along with you.
  • You can take the sauna either in a towel or wearing a swimsuit. Most people find it better and more comfortable to be wrapped in a towel. Also, take a towel along with you to sit on.
  • Shower before you take the sauna. Taking a quick shower is a common courtesy to your fellow sauna takers.
  • If you find yourself seated closest to the stones above the stove, then you are expected to splash a little water over the stones regularly so that they release more steam. If you do not know how to do this, you may ask fellow people around or the instructors.
  • Once you are done with the sauna bath, it is generally recommended to take a cold shower or dip in icy water before visiting any other session.
  • Ensure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If at any point of time you feel uneasy, step out of the sauna bath and drink some water.
  • Do not do it if you are not ready for a second round. Take a quick shower and step out.
  • If you are taking a sauna bath for the first time, pay attention to how other people are behaving to understand what would be appropriate to do in that location.
  • Taking a sauna bath for weight loss is not a good idea, as it is just the loss of water in body water.


The sauna is a pleasant and rejuvenating session. However, it is vital to understand that sauna is a process that should be taken slow.

While a sauna is generally considered safe and offers numerous advantages, it is important that you stay hydrated throughout. Overdoing the sauna may lead to potential health hazards.

It is also important to understand yourself and how your body responds to heat. If you are worried, talk to your healthcare provider to take detailed instructions to follow during the sauna bath.

The staff at the sauna’s location usually provide instructions and tips to make the experience a joyous one. In case you are pregnant or have some chronic ailment, consult your doctor before planning a visit to the sauna. Taking deep breaths during sauna and relaxing with a calm mind is paramount.

Image Source : freepik

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