Top 10 Benefits of Infrared Sauna Blankets (Everything You Need to Know)
May 29th, 2022
(7 Minute Read)
It seems like everyone is getting their sweat on these days – hot yoga, spin classes, and high intensity workouts are all growing in popularity. But, what if there was a way to sweat out toxins, improve your immune system, and increase your metabolism without stepping foot into the gym?
Infrared sauna blankets may not be the sexiest wellness tool on the market, but with impressive benefits, many of which are backed by clinical research, they’re an effective way to boost your physical and emotional well-being.
Here, we’ll uncover the top benefits of infrared sauna blankets, and show you why they shouldn’t be dismissed as another gimmick on the market. First, let’s delve into how infrared heat works.
What is An Infrared Sauna Blanket?
An infrared sauna blanket uses infrared light wavelengths to penetrate the body, causing your body temperature to rise. As a result, you’ll experience intense sweating, producing many impressive health benefits.
Unlike a traditional sauna which simply warms the air around you, infrared wavelengths penetrate deep layers of the skin, including the subcutaneous layer of tissue just below the dermis1.
This is one of the reasons why infrared heat is used as a safe way to keep newborn babies warm2.
For adult health, an infrared sauna blanket is a low-cost, convenient way to heal and detox the body at cellular level. While ultraviolet light has harmful effects on the body, infrared light assists cell repair safely. And, if you’re wondering about exposure to electric and magnetic fields (EMF), using a trustworthy sauna blanket brand with zero EMF exposure is the most effective way to use them safely.
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The Top Benefits of An Infrared Sauna Blanket
Here are the top 10 benefits of infrared sauna blankets, including the scientific research behind them.
If you’re looking to drop a couple of pounds, using an infrared sauna blanket can aid weight loss thanks to increased metabolism.
Research has found sauna sessions to consistently increase heart rate, resulting in calorie burn. In just one study we looked at, individuals were found to burn up to 150 calories every 10 minutes3. While this is relevant to muscle mass and BMI, it is evident in research nonetheless.
When our muscles are heated, they produce heat shock proteins. These exact proteins are also formed during exercise. Animal studies have shown that when heat and exercise combine, the cells responsible for energy production increase activity by 62%4, accelerating the metabolic rate as the body attempts to cool itself down.
To receive optimal benefits of infrared sauna blankets for weight loss, it’s best to combine heat exposure with a low calorie, balanced diet.
There are several misconceptions regarding the detoxification benefits of sauna blankets. Contrary to popular belief, sweating via infrared heat has been shown to potentially lead to the normalization of mercury levels within the body5. These toxins are associated with cancer, kidney damage, and other diseases6.
While it’s important to know that it’s the kidneys and liver that are responsible for detoxifying our bodies, perspiration has been found to contain a range of toxins, including heavy metals and petrochemicals7 suggesting that an increase in perspiration may boost the detoxification process.
An infrared sauna blanket improves sleep by helping to balance a stress hormone known as cortisol8. High levels of cortisol lead to ‘fight or flight’ responses within the body, producing sharpened senses, increased heart rate, and a spike in blood sugar levels. When we feel more on edge, sleeping patterns are likely to be affected. Therefore, by balancing cortisol levels, the body is more relaxed, promoting improved sleep cycles.
On the subject of mood, researchers have found increased benefits of heat therapy on mental health. For example, one study observed a reduction in general fatigue and mental complaints in mildly depressed subjects9 .
Whole body heating has also been linked to increased serotonin levels in major depressive disorder. Even after one session, patients demonstrated a small but significant improvement10.
Alleviates Aches and Pains
One of the most well-known advantages of general sauna use is the alleviation of aches and pains. Infrared light, in particular, can aid the reduction of joint pain11, particularly in those with rheumatoid arthritis.
Chronic low back pain has also been found to be reduced by as much as 50% over a 7 week period when using infrared therapy12. Since infrared is a light therapy that safely targets the body at cellular level, it provides more effective pain relief than topical products, such as a ‘deep heating cream’. Plus, it treats the body without having to consume pharmaceutical medication.
Accelerates Muscle Recovery
There’s a good reason why many gyms are incorporating infrared saunas into their facilities. Infrared boasts a positive impact on post workout recovery13.
How so? Well, there are considerable benefits of infrared on muscle recovery. In particular, this type of therapy improves blood circulation14, delivering essential nutrients to the muscles for faster recovery. It also increases lymphatic flow to accelerate the disposal of cellular waste - an aspect that further boosts muscle recovery.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Infrared sauna therapy is noted for the positive effects on cardiovascular health, including in heart failure patients15. This may be associated with infrared saunas producing an increased heart rate due to the body attempting to cool itself down following intense heat exposure.
Infrared light also works to reduce blood pressure16 - a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease17.
Strengthens the Immune System
There may be a number of reasons behind infrared therapy’s beneficial impact on the immune system. We’ve already mentioned the advantageous effects on the heart, detoxification process, and stress levels, but infrared also works to boost immunity response.
When the body’s core temperature is elevated, an immune response is triggered to produce white blood cells that fight infection. Traditional sauna bathing is shown to reduce the risk of catching a common cold18, and as infrared saunas penetrate the skin at a deeper level, they may potentially offer amplified benefits for immune health.
There’s no denying that increased perspiration will give your skin a healthy glow, but infrared can help to slow the aging process since it boosts collagen production19 .
Collagen is the main protein in the body, responsible for skin elasticity, healthy joints, and tissue support. As you age, collagen production decreases, which is why wrinkles occur. With regular use of an infrared sauna blanket, skin rejuvenation is likely to increase, including better texture and plumpness of the skin20.
Health benefits aside, an infrared sauna blanket is a convenient and more affordable investment than installing a sauna within your home.
As a compact and lightweight product, you can take it anywhere you go. It’s especially handy for athletes who are traveling due to competitions and need to recover while out on the road.
What To Know Before Using An Infrared Sauna Blanket
Now we’ve covered the main benefits of infrared sauna blankets, you should know the best way to use them. Infrared therapy has produced no side effects in clinical trials, but it’s important to understand the precautions for any wellness device.
Some things to keep in mind when using an infrared sauna blanket include:
- Hydration - make sure you drink plenty of water before any sauna session. As you’re perspiring, you don’t want to lose too much water to become dehydrated.
- Give your body time to cool down afterwards and sip water to increase hydration levels.
- You may feel lightheaded after use since the body is sweating intensely. If you experience this, sit down and rest until your body temperature is back to normal.
- If you’re feeling unwell, skip your blanket session until you’re feeling better.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before using a sauna blanket.
Experience The Benefits of Infrared Sauna Blankets
If you’re considering investing in an infrared sauna blanket, you have an abundance of benefits to look forward to. Sauna blankets are more than the latest health craze, and with medical journals offering scientific evidence to back up the claims, you can be confident in making the right purchase for your wellness.