I love saunas! Not once have I gotten out of the Sauna and felt worse off! But like many of you, at first, I had many questions. Like, how long to stay in the sauna.

After mastering the basics, i discovered the best ways to maximise each session.

I want to guide you through some amazing biohacking strategies to amplify every second you spend in the Sauna. Do you know the optimal time to soak in the Sauna or how to turbocharge the health perks of each session?

If not, You’re in the right place. Think of this as your ultimate playbook for mastering your sauna time. So, are you ready to elevate your sauna game? Let’s start the journey! 馃敟

What is Sauna Biohacking?

Sauna biohacking isn’t just a trend鈥攊t’s a revolution in wellness. Imagine taking the age-old benefits of sauna sessions and cranking them up a notch. That’s what this is all about. Instead of just sweating it out, you’ll strategically maximise every moment.

With specific techniques and mindful tweaks, you’re not just sitting in the heat but optimising it. Shorter sessions? Potentially. Better results? Absolutely.

It’s about harnessing the traditional Sauna and room’s power in newer, smarter ways. It’s where tradition meets innovation. Let’s learn to supercharge that traditional sauna this time.

What type of Sauna is healthiest?

Choosing the right Sauna boils down to understanding the unique health benefits each sauna type offers. Let’s delve into the three primary sauna types and their evidence-backed health advantages:

Traditional Saunas (or typical Finnish Saunas)

Traditional saunas use heaters or wood-burning stoves to produce heat. The addition heat of rapid cooling of water on heated rocks creates steam and heat, intensifying the warmth.

Health Benefits:

路       Detoxification and Heart Health: Regular sauna usage is linked to various health benefits. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that men who took frequent saunas had a significantly reduced risk of sudden cardiac death and coronary heart diseases1.

路       Improved Circulation and Relaxation: The high heat expands blood vessels, enhancing blood flow and promoting relaxation.

Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas use infrared lamps to warm your own body temperature directly without heating the air around you.

Health Benefits:

路       Detoxification: Infrared saunas can aid in the excretion of heavy metals. A review in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health highlighted the detoxification benefits of sweating, suggesting that the infrared light of saunas can play a role2.

路       Skin Health: Infrared sauna use can lead to improvements in skin appearance, including elasticity and texture.

How long to stay in the sauna is very personal. woman in an infrared sauna

Steam Rooms (or Turkish Baths)

Steam rooms emphasize moist heat by producing steam and wet heat, leading to lower temperatures, high temperatures and 100% humidity and lower temperatures.

Health Benefits:

路       Respiratory Relief: A study in the European Respiratory Journal found that steam room usage can provide relief for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)4.

路       Skin Hydration and Cleansing: The moisture helps open and cleanse pores, promoting healthier skin.

In conclusion, while traditional saunas have long-standing research backing their benefits, infrared saunas and steam rooms offer unique advantages.

The best sauna usage choice depends on personal health goals and preferences. And it comes down to what’s in your area – if you’re using a public sauna room, or your budget if you’re using an at-home sauna. All in all, I think any amount sauna use is better than no sauna use.

If you’re thinking of buying your own sauna I have a complete guide here.

inside traditional sauna with herbs and steam

Why Dive into Sauna Biohacking?

Sauna biohacking? Sounds techie, but it’s straightforward and transformative. Here’s why you’ll love it:

Supercharged Benefits:

Regular saunas? Great. Biohacked saunas? Mind-blowing. Amplify your relaxation, supercharge detoxification, and unlock health perks with saunas that leave you feeling invincible.

Time-Saving Magic:

Time’s precious. Biohacking ensures every sauna minute packs a punch. Achieve in 15 minutes what used to take 30. Efficiency redefined.

A Holistic Win:

This isn’t just about your body. Biohacking wraps the mind, body, and surroundings into a powerful wellness cocktail. Emerge, not just rejuvenated but utterly rebalanced.

In a nutshell? Sauna biohacking is your fast-track ticket to wellness stardom. Elevate. Enhance. Enjoy. Why settle for basic when biohacked brilliance awaits? Dive in!

Step-by-Step Guide to Biohacking Your Sauna Sessions

Biohacking your sauna time doesn’t require an engineering degree; it’s all about simple, smart tweaks. Let’s dive into how you can elevate every second:

Hydration Protocol – Not Just Any Water

Stay hydrated, sure, but let’s notch it up. Sip on electrolyte-infused water during your sauna session. This powerhouse not only hydrates but replenishes those vital minerals sweated out, ensuring you bounce back feeling refreshed and recharged.

Strategic Timing – It’s All in the Clock

Consider a pre-sauna workout to elevate your heart rate for heightened detox and relaxation. Following up with an empty stomach sauna can amplify detox and other benefits too. Timing is everything!

Aromatherapy Enhancements – Set the Mood

Introduce essential oils like Eucalyptus or lavender into your sauna ritual. A couple of drops on the sauna rocks, and you’re transported into aromatic heaven. Bonus? They open up the respiratory system and zen out the mind. If you want to learn more about Eucalyptus’s other benefits in your Sauna, look at this article.

Deep Breathing Mastery

Harness the power of deep diaphragmatic breathing. It has so many health benefits; it calms the mind, boosts oxygen circulation, and ensures an even heat distribution, transforming your session into a meditation.

I’ve recently become a certified breathwork instructor, and I highly recommend adding breathwork into your sauna sessions. There are so many types out there you are sure to find something that suits your goals and something that you find exciting to do.

man in sauna doing breathwork and meditation

Contrast Therapy – Hot Meets Cold Plunge

Switch between scorching saunas and cold plunges or showers. This invigorating combo boosts circulation, tightens skin, and gets the heart racing. The ultimate sauna rollercoaster!

I love utilising traditional saunas for both hot and cold therapies. If you are interested in finding out more about sauna use, look at this article which runs you through a sauna and cold plunge routine.

Stretch & Soothe in the Sauna

Let’s face it: a sauna isn’t just about sweating; it’s an oasis of relaxation. And the intense warmth? It’s your muscles’ best friend, making them more pliable than ever. Introducing gentle stretching exercises during your sauna time can be a game-changer.

Not only does it help release built-up tension, but it also boosts flexibility, making those pesky tight spots a thing of the past. And while we’re talking about maximizing your sauna time, a quick note on etiquette: always sit on a towel. It’s not just about hygiene; it’s about respecting the communal space and those sharing it with you. After all, a mindful sauna session is the best kind!

Red Light Delight

Ahhh, the magic of red light therapy. This therapeutic technique uses low-level wavelengths of infrared light to treat skin issues, scars, such as wrinkles, and persistent wounds.

Here’s why it’s worth it.

Skin Rejuvenation:

Collagen is the magic behind youthful skin. Red light therapy has been shown to significantly increase collagen density, according to a 2007 study in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology.

Muscle Recovery:

For those post-workout aches, red light therapy can speed up muscle recovery by reducing inflammation chronic pain. Findings from The American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (2016) underscore its benefits.

Mood and Sleep Enhancer:

Improve your mood and catch better Zs! Exposure to red light has been linked to positive effects better sleep and increased serotonin production, as highlighted in a 2012 study in Sleep Medicine Reviews.

So, next time you’re warming up in the hot room of the Sauna, consider giving red light therapy a whirl. Pairing the detoxifying effects and high temperature of the infrared Sauna with the rejuvenating benefits of red light could be your ticket to ultimate wellness! Just remember, while both therapies offer incredible benefits individually, always do your research and consult with a health professional to ensure they’re right for you when combined.

red light therapy pannel

Soundwaves & Saunas: Dive Deeper with Binaural Beats

Combining the sensory experience of a sauna with the auditory magic of binaural beats can transcend your relaxation to new levels. Here’s why you should consider syncing up your next sauna session with these entrancing soundwaves:

1.     Brainwave Entrainment: Binaural beats work on the principle of brainwave entrainment. By playing two slightly different frequencies in each ear, your brain perceives a third tone; that’s the mathematical difference between the two. According to a 2017 study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, this can lead to enhanced focus, relaxation, or even improved sleep.

2.     Deepened Relaxation: The gentle, rhythmic beats can enhance the relaxing environment of the Sauna, making it easier for your mind to release stress and drift into a state of calm.

3.     Meditative Boost: For those who find meditation challenging, binaural beats provide a nudge to reach those deep, meditative states. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2018) suggests that binaural beats can enhance various aspects of mood and sleep, making it an ally for your mindfulness journey.

So, the next time you’re prepping for a sauna, remember to preload some binaural beats. Some of my favourite frequencies are 432Hz, 888Hz and 528Hz.

If you are after something really interesting, try the “Gateway Tapes” by Robert Monroe. He developed a series of audio recordings designed to guide listeners into altered states of consciousness. Monroe, the founder of The Monroe Institute, developed these tapes as part of the Hemi-Sync program, aiming to facilitate personal exploration and growth through sound-induced brainwave synchronization. I really enjoy listening to these tapes, and hey, if the CIA thought they were worthy of experimenting with, then why not ?!?

Afterglow Skincare

After you exit the Sauna, your pores are open, and your skin is at its most receptive. This post-sauna window is the golden hour for skincare. When you apply a nourishing serum or moisturizer during this time, it’s able to penetrate deeper into the skin layers, delivering essential nutrients and locking in moisture more effectively.

The intense heat here has boosted circulation, ensuring an even distribution of these skincare products. The result? Hydrated, radiant skin that feels as rejuvenated as the rest of you. Your skin will be left feeling soft, supple, and incredibly thankful. On the same note – if you are about to go and do spend some time getting dirty doing some gardening, make sure you splash some cold water on your face to close those pores back up so they don’t fill with grease or dirt!

Steamy Herbal Infusions

Saunas are not just about the heat; they can also be a sensory experience. By introducing fresh herbs such as lavender or rosemary into your session, you transform your regular sauna visit into a botanical haven. These herbs, when heated, release aromatic oils that not only smell divine but also have therapeutic properties.

Lavender is renowned for its calming effects, perfect for winding down after a long day, while rosemary can sharpen focus and improve memory. Breathing in these fragrant infusions not only soothes the mind but can also have subtle benefits for respiratory health. So, the next time you’re gearing up for a sauna, remember to bring some of your favourite herbs and elevate your experience to a therapeutic escape.

eucalyptus leaves and oil to add into sauna

Safety First – Know Your Limits

Biohacks are exciting, but it’s vital to remember one size doesn’t fit all. What works wonders for one person might not for another. Always start slowly, pay attention to your body’s signals, and don’t push beyond your comfort zone. Your sauna experience should be rejuvenating, not stressful. Prioritize safety, find what feels right for you, and enjoy every steamy, therapeutic moment. Stay safe and savour the warmth!

Hydration Protocol Stay hydrated.

Replenishment. Sweating in the high temperatures and dry air of the Sauna can drain essential minerals and electrolytes from your body, potentially leaving you feeling fatigued or dizzy.

1.     Start Early: Begin your hydration process at least an hour before your sauna session. This primes your body and ensures you’re well-hydrated even before you start sweating.

2.     Mineral-Infused Magic: Skip the regular water and go for electrolyte-infused options or add a pinch of Himalayan pink salt to your drink. These additions pack in essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium that regular water lacks.

3.     Avoid Sugary Drinks: Sports drinks might seem tempting, but they often come loaded with sugars and artificial flavours. Stick to natural sources or water-enhancing electrolyte tablets.

4.     Post-Sauna Replenishment: Once your session is done, drink another glass of mineral-infused water. Your body absorbs liquids more efficiently post-sauna, making it an ideal time to replenish.

5.     Listen to Your Body: If you’re feeling thirsty, drink up. If you feel lightheaded or unusually tired after a sauna, it could be a sign that you need more hydration.

By staying properly hydrated, you’ll ensure that your sauna experience remains both enjoyable generally safe and beneficial. Your body, especially your skin and muscles, will thank you for the extra attention to hydration!

Strategic Timing, How long to stay in the Sauna room

When it comes to saunas, longer isn’t always better. In fact, by strategically timing your saunas sessions, you can reap more benefits without overstaying your heated welcome.

1.     The Two-Part Punch: Splitting your sauna time into two shorter sessions with a break can elevate detox. During the break, your body starts to cool down, only to be reintroduced to the heat, making it work harder to regulate temperature.

2.     Cooling Down Matters: Use your break to take a quick cold shower or a plunge if you’re brave enough. This sudden temperature shift enhances circulation, tightens the skin, and can even boost your immune response.

3.     Listen to Your Body: If you’re new to saunas or this method, start with shorter sessions, like 10 minutes, and gradually increase as you become more accustomed. Your body will give you signals; it’s essential to heed them.

4.     Consistency Over Duration: Instead of spending an hour once a once per week in the Sauna, consider shorter, more frequent sessions. This can be gentler on your body while still delivering the desired benefits.

Remember, it’s not about how long you’re in the Sauna but how you utilize that time. By mastering the art of strategic timing, you’re set to get better sleep and optimize active recovery at every heated moment.

How Long to Stay in a Sauna Session

Fierstein says the Sauna has health and safety benefits. Generally speaking, sessions of sauna bath must not exceed fifteen鈥搕wenty minutes. Healthy people already accustomed to utilizing the traditional saunas, can extend it up to 30 minutes, but it can go longer. Ascher recommends introducing 5-10 minutes of traditional sauna in use to the first-time user. It depends on the personal preference of the person using the Sauna. Mikhael says hydration should always remain a priority during sauna use.

Key Considerations for Successful Sauna Biohacking

Venturing into the realm of sauna biohacking is an exciting journey, but it’s crucial to tailor the experience to your unique needs. Here’s what to bear in mind:

1.     Individual Tolerance: Some can withstand longer sessions, while others might find shorter bursts more beneficial. Begin with minimal exposure and gradually extend your time as you gauge your comfort and endurance.

2.     Hydration Level: Even seasoned sauna-goers can face dehydration if not adequately hydrated. Ensure you’re well-hydrated before entering, and consider sipping on electrolyte-infused water to replenish lost minerals. Wellness shots can be a fantastic little boost in vitamins and minerals the body craves after a sauna. I’ve got a rundown on the whole trend here.

water bottle with glasses containing lemon and orange pieces

3.     Medical History: If you have pre-existing medical conditions, especially related to heart or respiratory issues, always consult a doctor before making changes to your sauna routine.

4.     Pre-Sauna Meals: Eating a heavy meal before your session might make you feel sluggish or nauseous. Opt for a light snack, if needed, at least an hour before.

5.     Clothing & Accessories: While many enjoy saunas in minimal clothing to maximize heat exposure, ensure what you wear is comfortable and breathable. Consider using headbands or hats to regulate head temperature.

6.     Cool Down: Always allow your body to cool down after exiting. This not only feels refreshing but aids in circulation and toxin removal.

7.     Regular Maintenance: Ensure the Sauna is clean and well-maintained to avoid bacterial build-up, which can affect the skin and overall health.

By staying attuned to these considerations and adapting based on personal preference and experience, you’ll be on the path to mastering the art of sauna biohacking safely and effectively.

Taking it to the Next Level: Advanced Biohacking Tips

Ready to elevate your sauna experience even more? Here are some advanced techniques that seasoned sauna users, enthusiasts and biohackers swear by:

1.     Infrared Saunas: Unlike traditional infrared saunas that heat the air around you, infrared saunas use infrared lamps to penetrate your skin directly, reaching deeper layers. This can stimulate detoxification, improve skin health, and offer deeper relaxation. A study in the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy showed that infrared saunas’ light can even boost collagen production, making skin appear youthful and radiant.

2.     Cold Plunges: After sweating it out, immerse yourself in a cold plunge pool or take a cold shower. This sharp temperature contrast can boost circulation, reduce muscle soreness, and invigorate your senses. According to the International Journal of Sports Medicine, alternating hot-cold exposures can also enhance recovery after athletic performance.

3.     Wim Hof Breathing: this breathing technique combines deep breaths with cold exposure. Practising this before a cold plunge can elevate your resilience to cold and optimize the benefits of cold water immersion.

4.     Sauna Fasting: Some biohackers suggest entering the Sauna in a fasted state to amplify the detox process further and promote fat loss. However, this can be intense, so always listen to your body and ensure you’re well-hydrated.

5.     Nootropics & Adaptogens: Incorporating supplements like Rhodiola or Ashwagandha can amplify the stress-relieving and focus-enhancing effects of your sauna sessions. Always consult with a healthcare professional before trying new supplements.

When you’re looking to push boundaries and extract the maximum benefits from your sauna sessions, these advanced techniques can be game-changers. Remember to prioritize safety and tune into your body’s signals.

Alternatives to Traditional Saunas

Steam rooms, infrared sauna blankets or hydrotherapy sessions can be excellent alternatives, offering distinct benefits while still promoting relaxation and detoxification.

personal sauna blanket


Wrapping Up and My Experience With Sauna Biohacking

Exploring Cold Plunges and Beyond

Learning about sauna hacking has been an invigorating journey for me. I remember the first time I tried a cold shower after a sauna session; the rush of adrenaline mixed with that incredible sense of rejuvenation was something I had never experienced before.

It felt like every cell in my body was awakened, and I was genuinely present. I enjoy the mental component of forcing yourself into a cold water plunge – even when your whole body is saying, GET OUT. Heat stress is one thing but Cold water immersion is a whole new type of stress on the body, and it’s one that took me a while to master. Ready to master the ice bath?

Aromatherapy and Radiant Skin

The aromatherapy enhancements, especially using eucalyptus, turned my sessions into a spa-like experience. I often use eucalyptus when I feel congested or felt a cold coming on. If you’d like to know more I have a full article on the benefits.

Exploring Infrared Sessions

I also experimented with infrared sessions, starting with a sauna blanket. My skin felt softer and more radiant, and I loved the feeling of a post-workout session to help reduce muscle pain.

Mindful Timing and Detoxification

I very rarely sauna after a meal for me i don’t get the same benefits as when I’m fasted. While it was intense at the start, the clarity of mind and the heightened sense of detoxification I felt afterwards made it worth the effort.

Sauna biohacking has transformed what was once a simple wellness routine into an enhanced, personalised ritual. Each tweak and adjustment made the experience more attuned to my needs.

And the best part? You don’t have to be a wellness guru to get started. By integrating these tips and listening to your body, you can elevate your regular sauna and sessions, making each moment truly transformative.

Want even more from your sauna sesions?!?

Explore my article on contrast therapy to supercharge your health journey! Elevate your wellness game now.

Potential Risks of Sauna Bathing

Sauna bathing, while a popular leisure activity, isn’t suitable for everyone. While many healthy individuals relish the warm embrace of Finnish saunas, they aren’t universally recommended. Specifically, individuals with cardiovascular issues should exercise caution. The intense heat can strain the heart, posing risks of heart failure.

Who Should Think Twice Before Entering a Sauna?

1.     Pregnant Women: They’re advised to avoid saunas and hot tubs. The elevated temperatures can pose risks during pregnancy.

2.     Dehydration Risk: If you’re severely dehydrated, skip the sauna. Hydration is crucial before and after a session.

3.     Those with Blood Pressure Concerns: Certain individuals might experience blood pressure fluctuations in the heat. Furthermore certain medications, some medications can impact how your body responds to heat therapy and to saunas.

4.     Ectopic Pregnancies: Women facing this condition should avoid saunas.

Daily Infrared Sauna Use: Is It Safe?

Daily infrared sauna sessions can offer numerous benefits for those without specific health conditions. Some research even points to enhanced mental health outcomes with regular infrared sauna. However, always consult with a health professional to determine what’s best for you.

FAQ’S

1.     How long do you have to sit in a sauna to detox your body?

The idea of “detoxing” in a sauna is popular. While traditional saunas often can promote sweating, which helps eliminate some waste products, there isn’t a set time that guarantees detoxification. Typically, 15-20 minutes is a standard duration for a sauna user, but always listen to your body.

2.     How long is it OK to stay in an infrared sauna?

Most experts recommend starting with sessions of 10-15 minutes for beginners, gradually working up to 20-30 minutes. Staying in a sauna for prolonged periods can dehydrate, so always hydrate and take breaks if needed.

3.     Is a regular sauna good for losing belly fat?

While saunas can result in short-term weight loss due to fluid loss from sweating, they aren’t a method for burning belly fat. Combining sauna sessions with a balanced diet and exercise can promote overall wellness.

4.     Do saunas help get rid of toxins?

Saunas increase sweat production, which can help the body eliminate some waste products. However, the notion of saunas as a detox tool is an oversimplification. While they can aid in the excretion of certain substances, the kidneys and liver are your primary detox organs.

5.     Should I sauna before or after workout?

It’s generally recommended to use the sauna after a workout. Saunas can help relax muscles, improve circulation, and aid in recovery. Using a sauna before a workout can lead to increased dehydration and may affect workout performance. If you are after some more advice on sauna etiquette, have a look here.