Preparing for Your Infrared Sauna Session
Preparing for Your Infrared Sauna Session
January 31st, 2023 | Infrared, Best Practices
Learn How to Safely and Effectively Use an Infrared Sauna!
Whether it’s your first infrared sauna session or it’s been a while, safety should always be your top priority. While an infrared sauna comes with many health benefits, sweating very heavily makes becoming dehydrated easier if you don’t actively prepare.
In this article, we’re going to go over our top preparation tips for your next infrared sauna session, as well as offer ways to help you relax—so you can truly reap all of the benefits. After all, an infrared sauna session should help you feel relaxed and rejuvenated. So, what can you do to achieve that? Let’s take a look!
What Does an Infrared Sauna Session Involve?
First up, let’s define what an infrared sauna session involves exactly. An infrared sauna uses light to create heat. This means it actually heats your body directly, whereas a traditional sauna heats the air first, then your body.
Infrared sauna therapy may involve the use of an actual sauna space or a sauna blanket. An infrared sauna blanket is a device that wraps around your body and doesn’t utilize as much permanent space as an actual sauna structure. This is a more affordable option and offers individuals with less space an opportunity to experience the benefits of infrared sauna therapy within the comfort of their home.
Many individuals participate in infrared sauna sessions, whether they use a blanket or a regular sauna, for its health benefits. These include:
● Increased relaxation1
● Improved sports performance2
● Decreased pain and joint stiffness3
● Enhanced energy levels4
● Decreased blood pressure
● Improved skin appearance
On top of these health benefits, an infrared sauna can provide that much-needed alone time, allowing you to reset. Below, we go over what you should know before you dive headfirst into your first infrared sauna session.
7 Tips to Prepare for Your First Infrared Sauna Session
Infrared sauna sessions help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, also known as your rest and digest system5. In other words, this type of self-care can help you de-stress and fully relax from the chaos in your day-to-day. The parasympathetic nervous system shuts off the stress response (and cortisol), promoting healing and balance throughout your body and mind.
However, if you’re feeling dizzy or thirsty throughout your session, this can definitely throw a wrench in your attempt to relax. So, how can you make your infrared sauna session as relaxing as possible? Here are a few tips.
1. Drink Water Before, During, and After Your Session
Staying properly hydrated means consuming adequate water before, during, and after each infrared sauna session. Consider bringing a water bottle with you into your sauna session so that if you do happen to get thirsty, you have it ready to go (and it won’t interrupt your session!).
2. Don’t Forget About Electrolytes
Common electrolyte imbalances associated with dehydration include sodium, potassium, and chloride dysfunctions6. Ensuring you stay hydrated isn’t all about water! Thus, it might be worthwhile to evaluate your diet, and make sure you are consuming foods high in electrolytes. Our number one, all natural, recommendation is coconut water!
3. Try Meditating Before or During Your Infrared Sauna Session
Priming your body and mind for relaxation takes a little bit of work. If you want to truly obtain the benefits of your infrared sauna session, it might be worthwhile to practice meditation or deep breathing beforehand or during! There are various phone apps you can use for guided or timed meditations and deep breathing techniques, give them a try and you won’t regret it.
4. Wear Loose Clothing (Or None At All!)
If you decide to wear clothing, opt for loose, cotton clothing, which won’t cause skin irritation. Alternatively, you may want to forego clothes altogether and wear a towel or swimsuit. Do whatever makes you comfortable here. The key is to avoid heavy clothes that will cause you to feel overheated.
5. Avoid Alcohol Before Your Session
Alcohol dehydrates the body. Thus, it’s best to steer clear of it before your session and for a little bit afterward. Alcohol could lead to dizziness, nausea, and other undesirable side effects, especially when combined with sauna therapy.
6. Pay Attention to the Length of Your Session
If you’re new to infrared sauna sessions, opt for no more than 30 minutes for your first time. Overdoing it in any one sauna session can lead to an unfair negative perspective on a healthy habit you should indulge in! If you’re new, it’s best to increase your time across the span of a few sessions.
7. Shower Before and After
To avoid skin irritation during your infrared sauna session, take a shower beforehand. This will remove any oils or lotions that could cause rashes when combined with high heat, which could also pose a distraction as you try to relax. Additionally, don’t forget a cool shower afterward. This combination induces a deep, deep state of relaxation by trigger neurotransmitters which support a euphoric feeling.