steam room

There is no better way to get a nice deep sweet than in a steam room or a sauna. The dry heat used by saunas open up your pores allowing you to sweet faster than a workout. But what are benefits of a sauna and why are more and more doctors recommending its usage. Is it the fact that just a few minutes a day can help your body unwind and your muscles relax allowing you to get relief after a long day? Or is it the fact that it can be used to lose weight? Well, why don’t we look at some possible reasons?

1) Saunas relieve stress.

Stress relief is stated as the number one benefit of using a sauna. Heat from the sauna provides stress relief in many ways when you think about it. First off, it is a warm, soothing, and quiet place that allows you to get away from all the distractions of your life and the outside world. As you sit in the heat, endorphins are released. Endorphins are the bodies natural way of making you “feel good”. The heat relaxes your muscles and relieves tension which allows you to relax and de-stress.

2) Saunas relax muscles and soothe aches/pains in both muscles and joints.

According to the North American Sauna Society, endorphins released during your time in the sauna cause a mild tranquilizing effect which has the ability to minimize the pain of sore muscles, arthritis, and an intense workout. As your body temperature rises your blood vessels dilate and blood circulation increases which helps speed up the bodies natural healing process of minor cuts and bruises.

So you can use the heat and steam from a sauna after participating in physical sports to promote muscle relaxation by reducing muscle tension.

3) Saunas flush toxins.

If you are like me than you may not sweat on a daily basis or much during a workout. But deep sweating is good because it provides many benefits to your health. A sauna allows you to achieve a deep sweat because it raises the temperature of your bodies core. Sweating is primarily designed to bring down the bodies temperature, however, deep sweating in a sauna can reduce levels of copper, zinc, nickel, mercury, and chemical. These toxins are commonly absorbed from our day to day interaction with the environment. This is one of the reasons doctors recommend the usage of saunas as a detox for the body. Feeling yucky?

4) Sauna cleanses the skin.

The use of heat and steam is one of the oldest beauty tricks for cleaning the skin and face. I am sure you are familiar with a steam facial so imagine sitting in a sauna. The hot environment of the sauna is a great way to open up your pores to wash away impurities and cause your capillaries to dilate which increases blood flow to the skin. This deep sweat cleanses the skin and replaces dead skin cells. You are left with softer, smoother looking skin.

5) Saunas can induce a deeper sleep.

Enjoying the heat from a sauna is not only invigorating and great for your muscles it can be a natural way to help you fall to sleep. If done two hours before sleep for no longer than 20 minutes, a nice session in the sauna can be used to treat insomnia and have you sleeping like a baby.

The reason being, the sauna relaxes your body and brings down your blood pressure which you need to rest but it also helps you calm down your mind from a long stressful day. Raising your body temperature in the sauna means your body has to readjust your temperature afterward, this cooling down before bed can help lull you off to sleep.

6) Saunas bring about recreational and social benefits.

The sauna is something you can enjoy in a relaxing setting all on your own or you have the benefit of sharing an intimate social moment with your family, friends, and/or partner. The environment is very private which allows for intimate, open, and quiet conversations. It is also a great place to spend time with your partner to both de-stress without any distractions.

7) Saunas improve cardiovascular performance.

When you sit in the sauna your plasma increases, which is great because it increases blood flow to the heart, decreasing how hard your heart has to work to pump the normal amount of blood. This is said to help lower your heart rate and reduce the strain on your heart lowering your risk for heart disease.

With regular sauna usage, you can also train your heart muscles and improve your heart rate because your heart rate can rise from 60 – 70 bpm (beats per minute) to 110-120 bpm in the sauna and can sink to below normal during your cool off.

8) Saunas burn calories.

Have you ever been told by a personal trainer that the more you sweat the harder you are working. Well, it takes a lot of work to sweat as much as you do in just a few minutes of a sauna session. There have been people who have reported losing 5 pounds after just one sauna session and even athletes use them.

A person could actually sweat off calories during a session. Someone weighing 160 lbs. will burn about 300 calories during a 30-minute session in the sauna, although it would be mostly water weight. Sadly, the effect can be short-lived because you could drink or eat something and gain that right back.

9) Saunas can help fight illness.

According to researchers in Europe, there is a protein called Dermcidin found in the human skin that is activated when we sweat. This protein is able to kill harmful microbes and it can even fight off ones that are resistant to antibiotics.

German sauna medical researchers have shown that saunas can significantly reduce the incidences of colds and influenza in regular users. While in the sauna your body produces white blood cells more rapidly which helps fight illnesses and kills viruses. Also, the sauna can relieve the discomfort from sinus congestion and allergies. The steam also helps clear up congestion, similar to the Vicks vapor machines parents use for their children.

10) Saunas just feel good.

The last benefit is the most obvious one. The sauna just feels good to you and your body. The time spent in the sauna is like your own personal pampered retreat to help you relax and de-stress. Every sauna user will tell you the same- it just feels good.

 Safety Tips

While saunas are generally safe, there are some precautions you should take. For one, just like when you workout, sweating can cause dehydration which can lead to dizziness, headaches, or serious health conditions if not taken seriously. So be sure to hydrate yourself before and after your sauna usage.

Saunas run at 190 degrees Fahrenheit so there is a risk of hyperthermia so be sure not to stay in there no longer than 15 to 20 minutes to reduce that risk. If you start to feel lightheaded or uncomfortable, leave immediately.People who have underlying health issues, such as an irregular heartbeat or diabetes, can face greater risks from sauna use. If you have chronic health issues or are pregnant, talk to your doctor before using the sauna. Also, do not use drugs or alcohol while using a sauna because you may not be able to tell when you become overheated. Children under the age of 5 should not use saunas.


Sitting in a sauna is a great way to make you feel good, look good, and sleep better. Whether you had a bad day, have sore muscles, or just want a peaceful nights rest, the sauna can benefit you in many different ways.

So what do you think, does a sauna sound worth it? Have you got to experience a sauna session? Share your experience below.

20 thoughts on “What are Benefits of a Sauna – 10 Unexpected Benefits”

  1. Great advice, Melissa! I’ve never heard that a session in the sauna could help with sleeplessness. That is good to know. I did know that we sweat out toxins but hadn’t really considered exactly what that meant. Thanks for the article, this will be much help to stressed out mothers(and middle-aged dads)

    1. Hi Joseph,
      I am glad you found the article useful. It is amazing how many things are useful to our overall health. Though my site is targeted at mothers, I try to ensure my info will help all with their stress. Thank you so much for your comment!

  2. Thank You so much for the information, I realize when I go to the Sauna, I have not been taking the safety into consideration. Thank you for the information.

    1. Hi Dusty,
      I am glad you found something useful from this article. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Thank you for the information Melissa. My husband uses a sauna pretty religiously and I haven’t really been taking advantage of all these benefits. These are some amazing benefits and I’m glad I read this post! I especially love the fact that it can help with sleep. I’m just curious, is there a limit to how often you should use a sauna to relieve stress and help with sleep. Like could it be a daily thing? I assume so but thought I would ask 🙂

    1. Hi Kayla,
      That is a great question. As long as you are taking precaution when using a sauna, ie. making sure you stay hydrated and speaking with a doctor if you have an underlying health condition or are pregnant, it is okay to actually use the sauna. As long as you feel okay you can continue, it really depends on you and your body basically. So yes a daily thing is actually great and will help increase some of the benefits. Thanks for asking and for commenting!

  4. Hello,
    This is a awesome article! I never realized how beneficial Saunas can be. Also awesome to learn how Saunas make us relaxed.

    1. Hi Stacie,
      I am glad you found the article useful, always nice when we learn something beneficial to our health. Thanks for the comment!

  5. I go for a sauna twice a week down my local Gym, I love it and although we are not supposed to I shave my beard in there as it cleans out my pores at the same time. It is the only 2 nights of the week that I have an amazing night sleep. Is it OK to have a sauna every day?

    1. Hi Matthew,
      Yes, it is stated that you can use a sauna every day as long as you do not have any underlying health conditions and are not pregnant if so you should ask a doctor. As long as you take safety precautions, by staying hydrated, then you are fine. It just depends on your body basically, if you feel okay and isn’t feeling dizzy then you can enjoy the sauna because the more you use it the more you increase certain benefits. Thanks for the comment!

  6. These are indeed unexpected benefits, especially the one about inducing deeper sleep. To be honest I always considered to go to a sauna but I am a bit skeptical about going into a public sauna. I am considering the possibility of having a sauna at home. Do you think that could be possible?

    1. Hi Dira,
      I can understand why you would be skeptical of public saunas, there are a couple of DIY projects that would allow you to have a sauna at home. Or you can read my article here that would allow you an easy way to make your own sauna out of your bath tub. I hope that helps!

  7. I have my own infrared sauna so found this article very interesting and I can attest to the benefits of sweating. Thank you!

    1. Hi Holly,
      That is so awesome! I am glad you can confirm the benefits, thanks for commenting!

  8. Great, I didn’t know it before that sauna does help to release stress. This is really a nice article which I think everyone should read. Great and really important points you have explained about sauna and stress. Great article, I am a fan of you Melissa, you always provide us with superb information. Thank you so so much.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I am blushing from your compliments, I really appreciate it. I am glad you found the article useful and I thank you for commenting! 🙂

  9. I’ve never lived in a culture where taking a sauna is an acceptable group activity, but I’ve always been fascinated by it. especially the Scandinavian cultures that then go jump in the snow right after. Sounds extreme, but it’s probably SO good for circulation. I also had no idea saunas helped with insomnia. thanks for the great info as always!

    1. I think the Scandinavians are very brave, I don’t think I could ever jump in an ice pool. Or how people jump in the ice pools in Alaska and then get into the sauna after. But you are right it is probably amazing for circulation. I am glad you found the info useful!

  10. Wow, I have just finished reading a great article about how to make sauna at home, It was super and now benefits of sauna. I have become a huge fan of your work. Your website should be shared with every mum in the world. I am going to share it with all mums I know…

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Once again I appreciate you taking the time to comment. It is moms like you that inspire me to continue on. I am glad you find the info useful and thanks for sharing. 😀

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