Sauna Safety: How Long Should You Stay? Find Out Here!

Saunas have been cherished for centuries as places of relaxation, rejuvenation, and wellness. However, like any form of heat therapy, it’s essential to understand how to use saunas safely to reap the full benefits without risking harm. One common question that arises is: How long should you stay in a sauna? In this article, we’ll explore sauna safety guidelines and provide insights into the optimal duration for a safe and enjoyable sauna experience.

Understanding Sauna Heat

Before delving into the ideal duration for sauna sessions, it’s crucial to understand how saunas work. Saunas typically operate at high temperatures, ranging from 150°F to 195°F (65°C to 90°C), with humidity levels varying depending on the type of sauna. The heat in a sauna induces sweating, which helps cleanse the body of toxins, improves circulation, and promotes relaxation.

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Factors to Consider

Several factors influence how long you should stay in a sauna. These include:

Personal Health and Tolerance

Individuals with certain health conditions, such as cardiovascular issues or respiratory problems, may need to limit their time in a sauna or avoid it altogether. Additionally, each person’s tolerance to heat varies, so it’s essential to listen to your body and adjust your sauna sessions accordingly.

Hydration Levels

Staying hydrated is crucial when using a sauna, as the heat can cause significant fluid loss through sweating. Before entering a sauna, ensure you are well-hydrated and continue to drink water throughout your session to prevent dehydration.

Sauna Type

The type of sauna you’re using also affects how long you should stay. Traditional saunas, which use heated rocks to generate steam, tend to have higher temperatures and humidity levels than infrared saunas, which use infrared light to heat the body directly. As a result, the recommended duration may vary between sauna types.

Safe Sauna Duration Guidelines

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how long you should stay in a sauna, there are general guidelines you can follow to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Start Slowly

If you’re new to using saunas or haven’t used one in a while, start with shorter sessions to allow your body to acclimate to the heat. Begin with 10 to 15-minute sessions and gradually increase the duration as you become more accustomed to the heat.

Pay Attention to Your Body

Listen to your body’s signals while in the sauna. If you start feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or uncomfortable, exit the sauna immediately and cool down. Overexposure to heat can lead to heat exhaustion or heatstroke, so it’s essential to prioritize safety.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna session to replenish lost fluids and prevent dehydration. Avoid consuming alcohol or caffeinated beverages, as they can further dehydrate the body.

Limit Session Duration

As a general rule of thumb, most experts recommend limiting sauna sessions to 15 to 20 minutes for traditional saunas and 20 to 30 minutes for infrared saunas. However, individual tolerance levels may vary, so adjust the duration based on how you feel.

Take Breaks

To prevent overheating, take breaks between sauna sessions to cool down and hydrate. Allow your body to regulate its temperature before returning to the sauna for another session.

Potential Risks of Prolonged Sauna Use

While sauna therapy offers numerous health benefits when used responsibly, prolonged or excessive sauna use can pose risks to your health. Some potential risks include:

  • Dehydration: Excessive sweating in the sauna can lead to dehydration if fluids are not replenished adequately.
  • Heat-Related Illnesses: Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can increase the risk of heat exhaustion or heatstroke, especially in individuals with underlying health conditions.
  • Cardiovascular Strain: The heat and humidity in saunas can place strain on the cardiovascular system, potentially leading to elevated heart rate or blood pressure in susceptible individuals.


Saunas offer a myriad of health benefits, from relaxation and stress reduction to improved circulation and detoxification. However, it’s essential to use saunas safely and responsibly to avoid potential risks to your health. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of sauna therapy while minimizing the risk of adverse effects. Remember to listen to your body, stay hydrated, and limit your sauna sessions to a duration that feels comfortable for you. With proper precautions, saunas can be a valuable addition to your wellness routine.