How Long Should You Stay in a Sauna?

Saunas have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many people touting their health benefits. However, one question that often arises is how long should you stay in a sauna? While some people may be able to handle longer sessions, others may need to limit their time to avoid negative effects.

How to Use a Sauna

For Beginners

For those who are new to using a sauna, it is important to take things slowly at first. The heat can be intense and overwhelming, so it is best to start with shorter sessions and gradually work up to longer ones.

Here are some tips for beginners:

  • Start with a session of 5-10 minutes, and gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable.
  • Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after your sauna session to stay hydrated.
  • Sit on a towel or bench cover to prevent slipping and to maintain hygiene.
  • Avoid using any lotions, oils, or perfumes before entering the sauna, as these can cause skin irritation or make breathing more difficult.
  • Take a cool shower or plunge into a cold pool after your sauna session to help cool down your body and close your pores.

For Experienced Users

For those who are more experienced with using a sauna, longer sessions may be appropriate. However, it is still important to take precautions and listen to your body.

Here are some tips for experienced users:

  • Gradually increase the temperature and duration of your sauna sessions over time.
  • Take breaks as needed to cool down and drink water.
  • Experiment with different sauna types, such as infrared or steam saunas, to see which works best for your body.
  • Consider incorporating aromatherapy or other relaxation techniques into your sauna session.
  • Always listen to your body and stop your session if you feel dizzy or uncomfortable.

Overall, it is important to approach sauna use with caution and respect for your body. By following these tips, both beginners and experienced users can enjoy the benefits of sauna sessions while minimizing the risk of injury or discomfort.

sauna bath

How Long Should You Stay in a Sauna?

The ideal time to spend in a sauna depends on various factors, such as personal preference, health status, and the type of sauna. Generally, it is recommended to stay in a sauna for 10-20 minutes at a time, with a break of 5-10 minutes in between sessions.

For beginners or those with certain health conditions, it's best to start with shorter sessions of 5-10 minutes and gradually increase the time. It's important to listen to your body and not push yourself beyond your limits.

It's also important to stay hydrated while in the sauna. Drinking water before and after the session can help prevent dehydration. It's recommended to avoid alcohol and caffeine before and after sauna use, as they can dehydrate the body.

Additionally, the type of sauna can affect the ideal time to spend in it. Infrared saunas, for example, tend to have lower temperatures and can be used for longer periods of time, up to 30 minutes. However, traditional saunas with higher temperatures may require shorter sessions.

Overall, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before using a sauna, especially if you have any underlying health conditions. By following the recommended time guidelines and staying hydrated, sauna use can provide numerous health benefits.

Optimal Sauna Time to Achieve Health Goals

The duration of sauna sessions can vary depending on the individual's health goals. Here are some general guidelines for sauna duration based on specific health goals:

General Wellness

For general wellness, a sauna session of 10-15 minutes is recommended. This duration is enough to boost circulation, relax the muscles, and promote a sense of relaxation and well-being.


For detoxification purposes, a sauna session of 20-30 minutes is recommended. This duration allows the body to sweat out toxins and impurities, leading to a deep cleansing effect.

Cardiovascular Health

For cardiovascular health, a sauna session of 15-20 minutes is recommended. This duration can help improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, leading to better heart health.

Pain Relief

For pain relief, a sauna session of 20-30 minutes is recommended. This duration can help relieve back pain, muscle and joint pain, as well as alleviate headaches and migraines. 

Athletic Performance

For athletic performance, a sauna session of 15-20 minutes is recommended. This duration can help improve endurance and speed up recovery after exercise.

It is important to note that these are general guidelines and individual needs may vary. It is recommended to start with shorter sauna sessions and gradually increase the duration as tolerated. It is also important to stay hydrated and to listen to your body's signals during sauna sessions.

Sauna Safety Precautions

Saunas are a great way to relax and unwind, but it's important to take safety precautions to avoid any potential risks. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind before entering a sauna:

Dehydration and Hydration

Saunas can cause dehydration, so it's important to drink plenty of water before and after using a sauna. It's recommended to drink at least 16 ounces of water before entering a sauna and to continue drinking water after leaving. Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine before entering a sauna as they can worsen dehydration.

Temperature Control

It's important to ensure that the sauna temperature is not too hot for the individual. The ideal temperature for a sauna is between 150-190°F. If the temperature feels too hot, it's important to leave the sauna immediately. Individuals should also avoid staying in the sauna for too long and limit their sessions to no more than 15-20 minutes.

Cool Down Process

After leaving the sauna, individuals should take their time to cool down. This can be done by taking a cool shower or stepping into a cool room. It's important to avoid going into cold water immediately after leaving the sauna as it can cause shock to the body.

Overall, it's important to listen to your body and take caution when using a sauna. If an individual experiences any discomfort or symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, or overheating, they should leave the sauna immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.

Post-Sauna Care

After spending time in a sauna, it's important to take proper care of your body. Here are some tips for post-sauna care:


After a sauna session, it's recommended to take a shower to rinse off any sweat or toxins that may have accumulated on your skin. The shower should be at a comfortable temperature, not too hot or too cold. It's important to avoid using soap or other products that may irritate the skin, as the pores are open and sensitive after a sauna.

Cold Shower

Taking a cold shower after a sauna is a great way to close the pores and invigorate the body. It can also help to reduce inflammation and soreness in the muscles. However, it's important to gradually adjust to the cold water, starting with lukewarm water and gradually decreasing the temperature.


Drinking water before, during, and after a sauna is essential to prevent dehydration. It's recommended to drink at least 2-3 glasses of water before entering the sauna, and to continue drinking water throughout the session. After the sauna, it's important to replenish the body's fluids with plenty of water.


Sweating is the body's natural way of detoxifying and eliminating toxins. After a sauna, it's important to towel off any excess sweat and change into clean, dry clothes. It's also recommended to rest and relax for a few minutes after the sauna to allow the body to fully recover.

Overall, taking care of your body after a sauna is just as important as the sauna itself. By following these post-sauna care tips, you can ensure that your body is properly hydrated, detoxified, and rejuvenated.

Wrapping Up

The ideal duration for a sauna session varies based on individual preferences, tolerance levels, and health considerations. While there's no one-size-fits-all answer, it's crucial to prioritize safety and listen to your body.

For beginners, starting with shorter sessions of 10 to 15 minutes allows your body to acclimate to the heat gradually. More experienced sauna-goers may extend their sessions up to 30 minutes or even longer, but always while staying attentive to how they feel.

Remember that sauna time is all about finding your sweet spot – not too hot, not too long. Make it an adventure, adjust your sauna style to pamper yourself, and keep it cool!

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