Saunas have been around for centuries, and have long been touted for their many health benefits. From improved cardiovascular health to reduced stress, there are many reasons why people choose to spend time in a sauna.
But, one question that often comes up is whether saunas can make you feel tired?
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the science of saunas, and explore whether there is any truth to the claim that saunas can make you feel fatigued.
Short answer: sauna can make you tired
Saunas can cause feelings of tiredness and fatigue due to the heat and sweating promoting relaxation and release of endorphins, leading to sleepiness, and changes in blood pressure that can make you feel tired or sometimes even dizzy.
However, the effects of saunas on fatigue can vary depending on whether it’s an acute effect or a long-term effect.
Acute effects, such as feeling tired after a sauna session, are usually short-lived, while long-term effects, such as improved cardiovascular health and enhanced overall well-being, can be achieved with regular sauna use.
The science of saunas (short version)
Saunas work by heating the body through sweating. The heat causes the blood vessels to dilate, which increases blood flow and heart rate. This process is similar to what happens during exercise, and as a result, the cardiovascular effects of sauna are comparable to a moderate exercise.
But saunas do more than just improve cardiovascular health. The heat also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. Additionally, saunas can help reduce stress by promoting relaxation and helping to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Why does a sauna make you tired?
Saunas have many benefits, but one question that often comes up is whether saunas can make you feel tired. In this section, we’ll explore some of the potential reasons why saunas may cause fatigue.
One of the primary reasons why saunas can make you feel tired is because they promote relaxation.
The heat and sweating caused by saunas can help to release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. This can lead to feelings of relaxation and calm, which can make you feel sleepy.
Additionally, saunas can help to reduce stress by promoting relaxation and helping to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Another potential cause of sauna-related fatigue is changes in blood pressure.
According to research, sauna bathing can acutely increase blood pressure while in the sauna. However, after the sauna, blood pressure can drop below the pre-sauna level.
This drop in blood pressure can make you feel tired or dizzy. Low blood pressure is also known as hypotension and it can be a symptom of dehydration.
It’s important to note that these are just theories, and more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between saunas and fatigue.
However, understanding the potential causes of sauna-related fatigue can help you take steps to minimize your risk of feeling fatigued after a sauna session.
One possibility is that the heat and sweating caused by saunas can lead to dehydration, which can make you feel tired and fatigued, or even sick.
Acute VS long-term effects
It’s important to note that the effects of saunas on fatigue can vary depending on whether we are talking about the acute effects or the long-term effects.
Acute effects refer to the immediate feelings or changes that occur after a single sauna session, such as feeling tired or experiencing changes in blood pressure.
On the other hand, long-term effects refer to the changes that occur over time as a result of regular sauna use.
When it comes to the acute effects, as mentioned before, it is not uncommon for people to feel tired after a sauna session. However, it is important to note that these effects are usually short-lived and should subside relatively quickly.
In contrast, the long-term effects of sauna use are overwhelmingly positive. Regular sauna use has been found to improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension and heart failure.
Additionally, saunas can enhance overall well-being, by reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
It’s worth noting that the long-term effects of saunas may take some time to become apparent, and it’s important to stick with a regular sauna routine to see the full benefits.
Factors that affect sauna-related fatigue
There are a number of factors that can impact how likely you are to experience fatigue after a sauna. Age, overall health, and fitness level can all play a role.
Certain medications and underlying medical conditions may also increase the risk of sauna-related fatigue. If you are taking any medications or have any health concerns, it’s important to speak with your doctor before starting a sauna routine.
While saunas have many benefits, they may also cause fatigue in some people. The mechanism behind this is not entirely clear, but relaxation, changes in blood pressure, dehydration and changes in hormone levels are all possible explanations.
However, it’s important to remember that not all research supports the idea that saunas can make you feel tired, and individual factors can play a big role in how you respond to saunas.
If you’re concerned about sauna-related fatigue, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk. Staying hydrated and taking breaks during your sauna session can help. Additionally, it’s important to speak with your doctor if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking any medications.
Overall, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between saunas and fatigue.
In the meantime, it’s best to approach saunas with caution and listen to your body. If you feel fatigued after a sauna, it’s probably best to take a break and give your body a chance to recover.
FAQ – Feeling tired after sauna
Is it normal to feel tired after a sauna?
It is not uncommon to feel tired after a sauna, but it can depend on various factors such as individual’s health status, sauna frequency, duration and temperature.
How long does the feeling of tiredness last after a sauna?
The feeling of fatigue after a sauna can vary, but generally it should be short-lived. It’s important to listen to your body and rest if you are feeling tired after a sauna.
how to avoid feeling tired after a sauna?
Staying hydrated and taking breaks during your sauna session can help to minimize the risk of fatigue. Additionally, it’s important to speak with your doctor if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking any medications.
Can saunas be used to help with insomnia and improve sleep quality?
Saunas may help with insomnia by promoting relaxation and reducing stress, which can improve sleep quality. However, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between saunas and sleep.
Are there any benefits to feeling tired after a sauna?
Feeling tired after a sauna may be a sign of relaxation, which can have positive effects on overall well-being. If you use a sauna at night, this can also help you fall asleep faster.
Are there any differences in the effects on fatigue between different types of saunas, such as traditional Finnish saunas, infrared saunas and steam saunas?
The effects of different types of saunas on fatigue may vary. More research is needed to fully understand the differences between traditional Finnish saunas, infrared saunas and steam saunas.