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Article: The Best Time to Use a Sauna: Morning vs. Evening Sessions

The Best Time to Use a Sauna: Morning vs. Evening Sessions

The Best Time to Use a Sauna: Morning vs. Evening Sessions

Written by Chris Lang

Numerous studies have shown the many health benefits of sauna use for individuals of various ages, health conditions, and lifestyles. Now that the positive effects of regular sauna bathing on your overall health are no longer debated, another question arises – what is the best time of day to use a sauna?

Though there are some proponents of afternoon sessions, most experts suggest either using the sauna in the morning or going with an evening sauna session. So, which one is it?

There are excellent reasons for incorporating sauna bathing into your morning routine. This article will explain why, detailing all the benefits of sauna in the morning. Of course, you’ll also get to learn about the opposing side and present the potential advantages of using the sauna in the evening.

The Allure of Morning Sauna Sessions

Before diving into the positive effects of a sauna, let’s explore the appeal of morning sauna use from a physiological standpoint.

Starting Your Day With Warmth and Relaxation

Let’s face it – most people are not morning people. If you fall under this category, you might wonder what could possibly make you sweat it out in a sauna first thing in the morning. But one look at the many benefits of a morning sauna session can help change your mind.

When you use your sauna in the morning, you set a positive tone for the rest of your day. How? With sweating comes increased blood circulation and oxygen delivery to the muscles. This allows you to feel more energized from the get-go.

Interestingly, your brain will experience a similar boost. A 2015 study showed that using the sauna in the morning can significantly improve your mental acuity throughout the day. With higher levels of mental focus, you are likely to experience increased productivity and efficiency in your daily tasks.

That’s not to mention how relaxed you’ll feel after the heat of the sauna stimulates the release of endorphins, also known as the “feel-good” hormones. Talk about starting your day off on the right foot!

Understanding the Impact of Sauna on the Body

Though important, relaxation isn’t the only benefit that regular sauna use in the morning provides your body. Here’s how a morning sauna session can help with your overall health and wellness.

Boosting Blood Flow and Core Temperature

When using a sauna, your body temperature rises significantly. This triggers your body’s thermoregulatory response, which has one goal – to maintain a stable inner temperature.

Your body will go about achieving that goal in two ways – by sweating excessively and dilating your blood vessels. Both of these responses offer unique benefits to your overall well-being.

Excessive sweating does wonders for your skin, leading to some incredible examples of sauna skin before and after incorporating sauna bathing into your skincare routine. Some people may find that sweating also helps flush out the harmful toxins from your body, starting your day with a refreshed feeling.

Dilated blood vessels, on the other hand, promote better blood circulation throughout the body. This, in turn, leads to a whole host of health benefits, from easing pain to improving cardiovascular health. If you suffer from any of these conditions, using the sauna in the morning can help you feel better and ready to conquer any challenge that may come your way.

Rejuvenation Through Heat Exposure

Though using the sauna in the morning can lead to many long-term benefits, it’s important to discuss the immediate results of this activity. Exposure to heat early in the morning has incredible rejuvenation effects on your body and mind. It basically awakens every part of your body, from your brain to your muscles, making you instantly refreshed and alert.

Health Benefits of Morning Sauna Use

By now, you’re probably already ready to buy an at-home sauna and start your every day with a bang. But let’s look into the health benefits of using a sauna in the morning in more detail to solidify this decision.

Detoxification First Thing in the Morning

Unfortunately, toxins are constantly accumulating in your body. In fact, this might happen even during sleep. Though more research is needed to establish a definite link between sweating and expelling toxins, many people find sweating through sauna sessions beneficial for its potential detoxifying effect. And what better way to start your day than getting rid of harmful substances that only weigh you down?

Enhanced Muscle Relaxation and Recovery

As the heat generated by a sauna dilates blood vessels, it also increases the blood flow to muscles, delivering much-needed nutrients and oxygen. The heat will also stimulate the production of heat shock proteins, which are in charge of repairing damaged cells and promoting overall cellular health. The result? The muscles recover faster, especially after an injury or a workout.

Past studies have found that increased blood circulation and heat exposure can also help reduce muscle soreness and improve joint movement, ridding you of the oh-so-unpleasant morning stiffness. According to some research, regular sauna bathing can even help ease arthritis pain, making it an all-around helping hand in issues with the musculoskeletal system.

The Role of Sauna in Boosting Mental Clarity

A 2015 study conducted in Japan examined whether using the sauna and shower in the morning has positive effects on human physiological functions and work efficiency throughout the day. The answer was a resounding yes.

The study found that the individuals who used the sauna early in the morning performed better during their daily tasks. In other words, a morning sauna session significantly enhances alertness and cognitive function, making you feel more awake throughout the day. As a result, you’re far less likely to make errors and feel stressed as the day goes by.

Comparing Morning and Evening Sauna Sessions

OK, now that you know the many benefits of sauna in the morning, let’s compare them to those brought by sauna bathing in the evening.

Morning Sauna vs. Evening Relaxation

As mentioned earlier, using a sauna is an excellent way to start your day properly. But it’s also a great way to end it.

A sauna in the evening helps you unwind and reduce stress after a long day. With relaxation in the evening comes better sleep. Regular sauna use has been proven to improve your body’s ability to seamlessly transition from a state of vigilance into a state of relaxation, perfect for a good night’s sleep. So, if you struggle with insomnia, you know what to do.

However, sauna bathing in the evening can work a little too well, leaving you too drowsy to engage in any activities before bedtime. That’s why it’s better to take care of any important tasks before entering the sauna. Interestingly, this makes the effects of a morning and evening sauna almost opposite, as one wakes you up and the other winds you down.

But keep in mind that some past studies have also linked morning sauna sessions with better sleep, giving them a significant advantage over their evening counterparts.

Optimal Time for Sauna Use Based on Health Goals

Before diving into the specifics, let’s first define what a “morning” or “evening” session means. The optimal time for a morning sauna session is from 6 to 10 a.m., while an evening one should occur between 6 and 9 p.m.

But which of these time frames should you choose? Truthfully, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Sure, morning sauna use might offer more health benefits, but not everyone can make it work. Also, your health goals might align more with those provided by evening sauna sessions.

Luckily, the choice is pretty simple. If stress relief and relaxation are your main focus, you might benefit more from using a sauna in the evening. If, however, you want to lose weight, improve your cognitive function, or boost your energy levels, morning sauna sessions are the solution.

Of course, this isn’t the only factor involved in choosing when it’s best to use your sauna. Other important considerations include the following:

  • Workout regimen. A post-workout sauna session can significantly aid your recovery and enhance your overall athletic performance. That’s why you should always schedule your sauna session around your workout, be it in the morning or evening.

  • Personal schedule. You might prefer a sauna at night or in the morning, but if it doesn’t work with your schedule, there’s no point in forcing it. For instance, if you start working quite early, it might be best to leave sauna bathing for the evening. Similarly, social obligations in the evening may motivate you to complete your sauna time in the morning.

  • Lifestyle. Let’s say you’re not a morning person but want to change that with morning sauna sessions. If you push it too hard, you might just end up disliking sauna bathing altogether. The only way to stick to a sauna routine long-term is to align it with your personal energy levels.

  • Climate. Even your climate can dictate the optimal time for a sauna session. Those living in colder areas will enjoy the experience a hot sauna offers in the morning. For warmer climates, an evening session is the best way to go.

Integrating Sauna Into Your Morning Routine

If you choose to use sauna in the morning, here’s how to make sauna bathing effortlessly part of your routine.

Tips for a Successful Morning Sauna Session

As any sauna bather will tell you, there’s much more to this activity than simply cranking up the heat and sitting there. By following these tips, you’ll ensure each morning sauna session is nothing but a delight.

  • Give yourself enough time to enjoy the sauna experience fully. Waking up late and rushing through your session will achieve the opposite effect of the intended relaxation.

  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your morning session. This will help prevent dehydration and aid in the detoxification process.

  • Give yourself time to adjust. Understandably, your body will take some time to adapt to excessive heat first thing in the morning. So, start with lower temperatures and shorter sessions and work your way up.

Sauna Types and Their Unique Morning Benefits

There’s more than one type of sauna. Though these types share most of the health benefits associated with sauna bathing, some also bring unique qualities into the mix. Let’s explore them.

  • Traditional saunas. Traditional saunas use wood burning or electric heaters to warm the air, which, in turn, increases your body temperature. These saunas achieve the highest temperatures, allowing you to kickstart your metabolism efficiently in the morning.

  • Infrared saunas. Infrared saunas rely on infrared light to heat your body directly. They operate under lower temperatures, allowing you to have a longer sauna session in the morning. More time spent in the sauna means more relaxation and a better start to your day.

  • Steam saunas. In steam rooms, everything is high, both heat and humidity. This can help open up your airways in the morning.

  • Himalayan salt saunas. Though this salt can be added to virtually any sauna, we single out Himalayan salt saunas for their incredible ability to elevate your mood in the morning.

Personalizing Your Sauna Experience

Sauna bathing, morning or evening, is all about feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Here’s how you can personalize your sauna experience to maximize these feelings.

Listening to Your Body’s Needs

Due to the nature of morning sauna sessions, you might not always be fully awake before entering the cabin. That’s why it’s crucial to always listen to your body when it comes to the length and temperature of your session. Some days, you’ll be able to enjoy a hot 20-minute session with no issues. On others, this might feel too much, and that’s perfectly fine. As soon as you feel like you’ve had enough, exit the cabin.

Aromatherapy and Other Enhancements to Morning Sauna Sessions

With a few well-thought-out additions, a morning sauna session can become a full-fledged wellness ritual you’ll never want to stop. So, consider the following:

  • Incorporating aromatherapy to help enhance relaxation

  • Using your sauna time for morning meditation

  • Purchasing a sauna with a built-in sound system and playing your favorite playlist

  • Using soft lighting to create a soothing atmosphere

Safety and Precautions for Morning Sauna Use

Though sauna bathing in the morning brings numerous health and wellness benefits, you must take some precautions to ensure your safety.

Consultation With Healthcare Professionals

First things first – consult with a healthcare professional before using a sauna. This is especially important for individuals with specific health conditions like heart problems or respiratory issues. Consulting with a healthcare professional will help you determine whether you can use the sauna in the morning and, if so, how often and for how long.

Hydration and Sauna Safety

Getting the green light to go sauna bathing in the morning isn’t the only precaution you should take. Here’s what else to pay attention to:

  • Stay well hydrated at all times.

  • Avoid drinking alcohol before entering the sauna.

  • Leave the sauna immediately if you start feeling unwell.

  • Give yourself enough time to cool off afterward.

  • Limit your time spent in the sauna. (Up to 20 minutes in traditional saunas and 30 in their infrared counterparts.)

Start Your Day Off With a Bang

Given the many benefits of a sauna in the morning, you’re probably already crafting your new and improved wellness routine featuring a sauna cabin. But even if you can’t make morning sessions work, don’t give up. Use the sauna whenever your body needs it the most (or your schedule permits), and you’ll still reap its awards.

Invest in a personal sauna from Komowa, and you’ll always have time for this delightful activity.

 

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