Saunas have been used for centuries for their health benefits, and today, we know more than ever about how good they can be for us.
If you’re looking to maximize the relaxation and stress relief benefits of a sauna, or want to get the most out of the health benefits, here’s what you need to know about how often to use a sauna.
Several studies have shown that regular sauna sessions can be beneficial to us, but none of the studies can tell you exactly how often you should go to the sauna. The general recommendation is to use a 160-180°F (71-82°C) sauna once or twice a week, but this depends on your personal preference. Some experts recommend 4 sessions per week, while many people even use the sauna daily.
My preference is to use the sauna twice a week. For many Finnish people, Wednesdays and Saturdays are traditional sauna days, but that’s more of a tradition than a recommendation.
Introduction: Why Saunas Are Good for You
Saunas have been used for centuries as a way to relax the body, and there is a growing body of evidence that supports the many health benefits of sauna use.
According to studies, regular sauna use can help to improve circulation, relieve pain, reduce stress levels, and improve skin health. In addition, saunas can also boost the immune system, making it easier for the body to fight off infection.
For people who are looking for a natural way to improve their health, saunas are an excellent choice.
How Often to Use a Sauna for Maximum Health Benefits
Watch this video with Tim Ferris and Dr. Peter Attia discussing the benefits of saunas. In the video, Dr. Attia mentions that his recommendation is to do 4 sauna sessions per week, 20 minutes at a time at 80 degrees Celcius.
How often you should go to the sauna depends also on your heat tolerance, how used to the sauna you are, and also what your fitness level and general health are.
During each session, it is important to drink plenty of fluids and avoid staying in the sauna for more than 15-20 minutes.
For those with medical conditions or who are pregnant, it is best to consult a doctor before using a sauna. Used in moderation, a sauna can be an excellent way to improve your health and well-being.
Does the Type of Sauna Matter? Traditional vs. Infra-Red vs. Steam Room
Does how often you should use the sauna depend on the type of sauna?
No, it doesn’t.
While different types of saunas typically have different levels of humidity and the temperatures vary slightly (read more about sauna temperatures and humidity), it doesn’t really matter so much how often you should go in the sauna.
Traditional Finnish-style saunas are the hottest saunas, with temperatures sometimes going above 200F. The higher heat might
Anecdotally, I always notice that if I use the sauna longer time or in higher than normal temperatures, I am less likely to want to go back to the sauna the next day.
Your body might prefer more time off from the heat if you use the sauna for a longer time or in higher temperatures. But you should listen to your body and do what feels right for you.
How Often Should You Go to the Sauna for Maximum Relaxation and Stress Relief
Relaxation and stress relief are highly subjective topics, and as I said above, no scientific study will give an exact answer to how often to use the sauna for maximum relaxation.
Funny enough, going to the sauna increases your stress hormone Cortisol.
This may sound weird… Aren’t saunas supposed to make you relax, so how increasing my stress hormone level help with this? The answer is that heat stress temporarily increases your cortisol levels, but the long-term effect is that regular sauna sessions will help you lower stress levels and help your body recover faster.
Watch this video about the benefits of saunas for people with high-stress jobs:
Most experts recommend using the sauna 3-4 times per week. This gives your body ample time to adjust to the heat and reap the full benefits of heat stress. If you are new to saunas, start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the length of time you spend in the heat. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids before and after your sauna session.
Can You Use the Sauna Twice a Day?
Do you get more health benefits and stress reduction if you use the sauna twice a day? The answer is, I don’t know. There is little science about that exact question either.
As a Finn, there have been many days in my life when I went to sauna twice a day. This is quite common, for example when Finnish people go to the lake house or have a lot of time on their hands during their holidays.
If you do decide to go to the sauna twice in one day, make sure you get enough electrolytes and keep hydrated. Take breaks between the sauna sessions.
Conclusion: How Often to Use the Sauna
A sauna experience can be enjoyable, relaxing, and even therapeutic. However, it is important to use the sauna safely and responsibly in order to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks.
The general recommendation is that healthy adults can safely use a sauna 2-3 times per week. If you are new to using a sauna, start with shorter sessions (10-15 minutes) with lower temperatures (150-160 degrees Fahrenheit) and gradually increase the time as your body adjusts.
The key is to listen to your body and not overdo it. When using a sauna, it is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your session.
How often do you go to the sauna? Let me know in the comments if you have feedback or more questions about the topic!