Saunas have long been a popular way to relax, unwind, and reap the various health benefits they offer. As a sauna enthusiast, you may have wondered when the best time is to use a sauna to maximize its advantages.
The optimal time for sauna use is subjective, with several factors to consider, such as your personal schedule, the intended purpose for using the sauna, and your body's response to heat. For many people, morning sauna sessions are an excellent way to start the day. If evening relaxation is more your style, using the sauna after work can help alleviate stress, providing a restorative effect that promotes better sleep. As you get to know your body and its response to sauna use at different times, you'll be better equipped to decide the best time for visiting a sauna that aligns with your specific needs and preferences.
Dive into the article to learn about the pros and cons of using the sauna at different times of the day.
Table of Contents
- Best Time to Use Sauna? Morning or Evening?
Best Time to Use Sauna? Morning or Evening?
The best time to use the sauna depends on what you are looking to get out of it. Using it in the morning can help wake you up whereas using an infrared sauna in the evening can help you wind down and sleep better. So the best time to use the sauna depends on what you wish to achieve by using the sauna.
Using Sauna in the Morning
A sauna is not often associated with wakefulness or productivity. But research shows that starting the day in a sauna can boost performance.
A study was conducted in Japan where participants had to start their day in a steam sauna room. Researchers would follow these participants throughout the day and monitor their performance as well as physiological responses to the sauna sessions.
Unsurprisingly the participants demonstrated a low heat rate because they felt relaxed during the day. What caught the attention of the researcher was the presence of heightened alpha brain waves in the participants. Alpha frequency also called alpha waves are known to increase your creativity levels. In fact, harnessing your brain’s alpha waves can help you enter a flow state, which allows you to do deep work with less effort.
So morning could be the best time to use a sauna if you wish to boost your productivity.
Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of using the sauna in the morning before moving on to the next section.
- Start the day with a relaxed and wakeful energy
- Be alert and focused throughout the day
- With sauna ticked off your list, you have one less thing to do
- May need to wake up early to make time for the morning sauna
Sauna in the Evening
While starting the day with a steam sauna can help boost wakefulness and productivity, ending the day in an infrared sauna can promote better sleep. Infrared lights encourage melatonin (a sleep-promoting hormone) production in the brain.
There are a number of studies about the sleep benefits of infrared therapy. In a study conducted on patients with traumatic brain injury, participants were exposed to red and near-infrared light sessions on a daily basis. By the end of the study, researchers discovered that the participants were sleeping for an hour more every night. From this, researchers concluded that infrared lights can go a long way to improving sleep.
- Helps relax and disconnect from work
- Improves sleep quality
- May need to postpone bedtime by an hour to squeeze in sauna time
Can Your Use Sauna Twice a Day?
Yes, you can use the sauna twice a day. We recommend using the steam sauna during the day and the infrared sauna at night. Research shows that a steam sauna helps boost wakefulness and productivity throughout the day. And the infrared sauna helps your sleep better.
Can You Use Sauna Right After Waking Up?
Yes, you can use the sauna after waking up. When you sleep your core temperature plummets. If you use the sauna after waking up, your core temperature rises, offsetting the decrease in your body temperature. This fluctuation of temperature wakes you up instantly.
If you want to use the sauna in the morning, go for a steam sauna and avoid infrared saunas. Infrared saunas are known to increase sleep-promoting hormones in your brain. It’s best to use an infrared sauna at night as it helps you sleep better.
Can Your Use Sauna Right Before Going to Sleep?
Yes, you can use a sauna right before going to sleep. But you need to ensure that you are using a sauna that’ll help you sleep better like an infrared sauna. Infrared saunas help encourage the brain to produce more melatonin, a sleep-promoting hormone and therefore promote sleep. Other saunas like a steam sauna help boost wakefulness and productivity therefore you should stay away from a traditional sauna before going to sleep.
Best Time to Use Sauna Before or After Workout
A sauna session, following an intense workout, helps alleviate muscle pain and accelerates the recovery process. That said, there are benefits to using the sauna before a workout. Spending a few minutes in the sauna before working out helps you feel warm up before hitting the gym. So the best time to use the sauna depends on how to want to use the sauna.
Best Time to Use Sauna at Gym
You can use a sauna before working out to warm up your body before you start to exercise. You can also use the sauna after working out to alleviate muscle pain and accelerate the recovery process. So the best time to use the sauna at a gym depends on why you want to visit the sauna. Ask yourself: Do you want to reward yourself with a nice sauna session following an intense workout or do you prefer using the sauna for a warm-up session?
Best Time to Use Infrared Sauna
The best time to use an infrared sauna is at night or evening, closer to bedtime. Infrared light promotes the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that regulates night and day cycles or sleep-wake cycles. More melatonin equals better sleep. Hence infrared saunas should be used at night.
We discussed how the use of a steam sauna in the morning can boost wakefulness and productivity. And how using the infrared sauna in the evening promotes better sleep. So it’s safe to say that you can use the sauna in the morning as well as in the evening. But be careful about the type of sauna you are using. Our recommendation is to use the steam sauna in the morning and an infrared sauna in the evening.
That said, you need to figure out what works for you. If you find using the steam sauna at night refreshes you and you are able to sleep better, then use a steam sauna at night. You do you!
(Feature image by Alina_Z from Pixabay)