Can Sitting in Your Sauna Improve Sleep?
It’s time to hit the hay, but your mind is racing; you can’t stop thinking about all the things you have to do tomorrow. Maybe you turn on a funny movie, but it doesn’t seem to help. You feel like you’ve tried everything, but have you tried sitting in your sauna for 15 minutes, 90 minutes before bedtime?
Saunas have been used as relaxing, therapeutic tools for centuries; maybe all you need is to turn back to this simple technology to find the rest and rejuvenation you deserve.
From disease prevention to improved cognitive and mental health, regularly sitting in your sauna offers a wide variety of health benefits. Luckily, this long list of how saunas improve quality of life also includes better sleep. It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before using a sauna for any reason.
Before you go to bed, your body temperature naturally drops, which helps signal that it’s time for some R & R. Interestingly, sitting in a hot sauna about an hour and a half before bed can help speed up this process by initiating body cooling. Just make sure you give your body time to drop its temperature and turn your home thermostat to a setting that supports winding down.
Chronic pain can be a reason people don’t get enough sleep. And to make matters worse, sleeping less can lead to worse pain. The good news is that researchers have found that sitting in a sauna can help reduce pain by increasing blood flow. That means sitting in a sauna before bed might help you experience luxurious, pain-free shut-eye.
Stress Relief & Relaxation
Saunas are most commonly used as a tool for stress release and relaxation. While the stress response can vary, some research indicates that regular visits to the sauna can decrease levels of the hormone associated with stress, cortisol. High cortisol levels may lead to insomnia, so it’s best to keep this hormone balanced, especially in the evening hours.
Sauna Users Report Better Sleep
In a global survey of almost 500 sauna users, people reported improved sleep and mental well-being as some of their favorite benefits of sauna use.
No matter what keeps you from getting the sleep you deserve, there is a good chance that time in the heat can help. Instead of counting sheep, try climbing into your sauna about an hour and a half before bedtime every night and see if it helps relax you into a deep slumber.