A sauna is a heated room or small building where people experience dry heat sessions. Saunas have been used for centuries to promote relaxation, detoxification, and overall well-being. However, it’s important to understand how long you should stay in a sauna to maximize its benefits while ensuring your safety.

Are Saunas Generally Safe?

Saunas are generally safe, but precautions should be taken. Consult a healthcare professional before use, especially if you have health concerns. Stay hydrated before, during, and after sessions to prevent dehydration. Exit if you feel uncomfortable or lightheaded. Start with shorter sessions (10-15 minutes) and increase gradually. Avoid heavy meals before sauna use to prevent discomfort. Opt for light snacks if hungry.

How Long Should You Use a Sauna For?

Sauna session duration varies based on factors like heat tolerance, health, and experience. Typically, sessions last 10 to 20 minutes, starting shorter for beginners and increasing gradually. Exit if discomfort or overheating occurs to avoid heat-related issues. Hydration is crucial; drink water before and after to prevent dehydration. Different sauna types may have different recommended durations; infrared saunas, for instance, may allow longer sessions due to lower temperatures.

What Factors to Consider Before Using a Sauna?

  • Overall Health: Consult a healthcare professional if you have underlying health conditions.
  • Experience Level: First-time users should start with shorter sessions (around 10 minutes) to allow gradual adaptation to the heat.
  • Temperature and Humidity: Higher levels can increase stress on the body; start with lower temperatures and gradually increase.
  • Hydration: Drink plenty of water before and after to prevent dehydration caused by significant sweating.
  • Timing: Consider personal preference for using the sauna in the morning for invigoration or in the evening for relaxation.

What Happens to Your Body if You Stay in a Sauna For Too Long?

Staying in a sauna for too long can have adverse effects on your body. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can cause symptoms like dizziness, nausea, dehydration, and fainting. Excessive sauna use can lead to electrolyte imbalances, straining your heart and overall health.

Effects can vary based on factors like age, health, and hydration levels. Older adults and those with certain medical conditions may be more susceptible to these effects. While saunas promote detoxification, excessive sweating can lead to the loss of essential minerals. Replenish lost nutrients by staying hydrated and consuming electrolyte-rich foods.

Can You Die From Staying in a Sauna Too Long?

While it’s highly unlikely for a healthy individual to die from sauna use within reasonable limits, extreme exposure to high temperatures can be life-threatening, leading to severe heat-related illnesses.

Following recommended guidelines for sauna use, including appropriate session lengths and staying hydrated, is crucial for a safe experience. Sauna bathing has been practiced for centuries across cultures, with various types such as traditional dry saunas, steam saunas, and infrared saunas, each offering unique benefits. For example, infrared saunas use infrared light to heat the body directly, potentially aiding in relaxation and pain relief.

How Often Can You Use a Sauna?

The frequency of sauna use depends on individual preferences and overall health. Most experts recommend using saunas 2-3 times per week for optimal benefits. However, it’s essential to listen to your body and not overexert yourself.

It’s worth mentioning that sauna use should be complemented with a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient rest and sleep.


When it comes to using a sauna, the duration of your session is key. Starting with shorter sessions and gradually increasing the duration allows your body to adapt to the heat. It’s essential to prioritize your safety and listen to your body’s cues.

Before using a sauna, consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any underlying health concerns. By following the recommended guidelines and being mindful of your body’s limits, you can enjoy the benefits of sauna sessions, such as relaxation and improved circulation, while minimizing any potential risks.