So you’re thinking about getting in a small room that is heated to almost oven temperatures, also known as an infrared sauna? Are you sure that is safe? Not only is it safe, it can do incredible things to improve your health! But before you start reaping the benefits of infrared sauna use, you need to know some of the safety concerns of an infrared sauna .
1. Check with your doctor first!
The first thing you should know is to always consult with a medical professional before you start using an infrared sauna. An infrared sauna can be beneficial but it is an extreme temperature environment and it is always a good idea to get checked out before you brave any new adventure. This is especially a good idea if you have pre-existing medical conditions.
2. How long should you stay in an infrared sauna?
Using a infrared sauna can feel great! It relaxes your muscles and can cause stress to melt away. However, the time within an infrared sauna needs to be limited. It is recommended that a sauna session range between 20 and 30 minutes at max. A timer should be displayed at all times for the user to track how much time has passed. Although you will become relaxed, you should never sleep inside a sauna. This is a recipe for disaster. Users should remain alert and aware at all times. If you feel yourself getting drowsy, nauseous, dizzy or just an overall feeling of weirdness, these are a major safety concern, exit the sauna immediately.
3. What temperatures are safe for infrared sauna use?
According to Canada’s Queens University guidelines, the temperature in the sauna should be regulated at all times. In an infrared sauna, the temperature should not exceed 85°C, 185°F. Also, in a wet environment, such as a steam room, temperatures should not exceed 60°C, 140°F. Most of today’s infrared home saunas reach a maximum temperature of around 150°F. Most importantly, temperatures should be tailored to the individual’s comfort level and should NOT exceed these extremes. A temperature gage should be displayed for the users to see at all times. Once again, if you feel yourself getting drowsy, nauseous, dizzy or just an overall feeling of weirdness, these are a major safety concern, exit the sauna immediately.
4. Stay hydrated
It is recommended that you take a bottle of water with you into the infrared sauna. An infrared sauna is an environment that is designed to make you sweat excessively. When the body sweats it is purging water and losing electrolytes. Without proper replenishment, a user could become dehydrated.
5. Breathing while in the infrared sauna.
Breathing in hot air can be beneficial for a person’s respiratory system, however it should be done with caution. If you use a steam based (wet) sauna, the air in the room will be thicker than that of an infrared sauna (dry). It can be useful to take a towel, saturated with cold water, into the infrared sauna with you. You can use this towel to place over your mouth from time to time. This can also be used to place on top of your head to keep your head cool. If you feel yourself short of breath at any time during the session exit the infrared sauna immediately.
7. Can you use an infrared sauna while pregnant?
NO. Pregnant women should NOT use an infrared sauna in any way, shape or form for any period of time. Exposing a pregnant woman to extreme heat is not a good idea in any environment. We definitely don’t want to do this on purpose. Extreme heat can cause contractions to start and result in a premature birth or even miscarriage. The increased temperatures can increase the risks for birth defects or fetal damage. A pregnant woman should never use a sauna. This is a major safety concern.
8. Can children use an infrared sauna?
Yes, and no. It is recommended that children under the age of 10 do not use an infrared sauna. A child’s body can not regulate temperature like that of an adult and their perspiration systems have not fully developed yet. Children above the age of 10 should keep their sauna sessions at a length of 10 minutes or less. A child should NEVER use an infrared sauna without the supervision of an adult.
9. Can you use an infrared sauna while on prescription medication?
Yes, a person can use an infrared sauna while on prescription medication, but proceed with caution. It is highly suggested that you check with your medical professional before doing so. Certain medications react differently while in the human body and exposed to extreme heat. An excellent example of this is patch-based (transdermal) medications. When sweating, the absorption rate of the medication can change drastically and lead to unwanted results.
10. Can you use an infrared sauna if I have a serious medical condition?
Yes, a person with a serious medical condition can use an infrared sauna, but once again, it should be done with caution. The first thing you should do before engaging in infrared sauna therapy is consult with your doctor or medical professional. Medical issues can vary based on each individual and the nature of the condition. Each situation has a different treatment and different medications. The only way to make sure it is safe for you is to clear it through your doctor first. You should avoid using an infrared sauna completely if you have had a stroke, issues with the heart, heart attack, any active tumor, multiple sclerosis, and silicone implants. Yes ladies, breast implants and extreme heat do not mix. The silicone implant can hold heat for a long period of time, they could melt or even rupture.
11. Can you use alcohol and an infrared sauna?
NO. Do not ever mix alcohol and infrared sauna use together. This is a major infrared sauna safety concern. Combining the two can result in unwanted health issues. The most noticeable side effect of alcohol is the presence of poor judgement. Poor or impaired judgment can cause you to make bad decisions such as staying in a sauna too long. Increased temperatures and alcohol have been known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disorders such as arrhythmia, low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, shock or even sudden death. This is why it is not recommended that people get in hot tubs while consuming alcohol. Alcohol and extreme heat do not mix. Please keep them separate.