Best Times to Use a Sauna: Maximizing Your Experience

With the increasing popularity of saunas for relaxation and potential health benefits, many people are curious about when the best time to use a sauna is. While everyone’s personal preferences and schedules may vary, some general recommendations can help maximize the benefits of sauna sessions.

One consideration when deciding on the best time to use a sauna is determining the desired outcome of the session. This may be for relaxation, health benefits, or other specific goals.

For example, some choose to enjoy morning sauna sessions to improve circulation and detoxification, which can help kickstart the day with an invigorating experience. On the other hand, many people find that using the sauna in the late afternoon or evening can help maximize the sleep benefits associated with sauna use.

Benefits of Using a Sauna

One of the key advantages of sauna usage is improved circulation and detoxification. As your body heats up in the sauna, your heart rate increases, and blood vessels dilate, promoting the flow of oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. This process can be particularly beneficial in the morning, as it helps in waking up and energizing the body.

Regular sauna use has been linked to numerous health benefits, including improved heart health. The dry heat of a sauna, which can reach up to 185° F, can help increase skin temperature to about 104° F within minutes. This elevated temperature results in sweating, which in turn, helps support cardiovascular health.

Furthermore, using a sauna after a workout can offer several benefits to users. Some of these benefits include:

  • Sloughing off dry skin cells, leading to better circulation and enhanced collagen production
  • Clearing pores as sweating can help remove impurities and debris
  • Relaxing the muscles and reducing muscle soreness after exercising

According to a study, using a sauna four to seven times per week can significantly reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by as much as 58%. In addition, sauna use helps in widening blood vessels and improving circulation, which reduces blood pressure.

Best Times to Use a Sauna – Factors to Consider

Man in dark steamy sauna, with a clock behind time.

Individual Preferences

When deciding on the best time to use a sauna, individual preferences play a crucial role. Some people may prefer starting their day with a revitalizing sauna session in the morning, while others might find relaxation in a sauna session during the evening after a long day at work. Consider your personal habits and daily routines while determining your ideal sauna schedule.

Health Conditions

Using a sauna can have different effects on individuals with various health conditions. For example, if you are an athlete planning to participate in a competition, having a sauna session before the event can improve muscle function, blood flow, and overall athletic performance. People with certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis, can also benefit from regular sauna usage by experiencing reduced symptoms.

Sauna Type

The type of sauna you use can impact the best time for sessions. Traditional saunas, with temperature ranges of 150°F to 195°F (65°C to 90°C), require sufficient warm-up periods and cooling-down times. Infrared saunas, on the other hand, heat the body more directly and require less time to achieve results. Consider both the benefits and drawbacks of each sauna type before scheduling a session.

Optimal Times of the Day

Depending on your personal preference and daily routine, there are various times throughout the day that can be ideal for using a sauna. In this section, we will explore the optimal times of the day, including morning, afternoon, and evening sessions.


Using a sauna in the morning can provide an energizing start to your day, as it may enhance mental focus and clarity throughout the day. A morning sauna session can also help to awaken your senses and prepare your body for a productive day ahead.


An afternoon sauna session might be suitable if you need a midday break or want to recharge your energy levels. While there is not as much research centered around afternoon sauna use, some people find that taking a sauna break during the workday can help alleviate stress and support overall well-being.


Using a sauna in the evening can promote relaxation and better sleep. As an evening sauna session helps your body ease into a relaxed state, it can lead to a deeper, more restful night’s sleep. Additionally, using a sauna after an evening workout may aid in muscle recovery and relaxation.

Best Times Related to Physical Activities

Before Workout

Using a sauna before a workout can be beneficial for some individuals. A light sauna session pre-exercise helps warm up the body and loosen up the muscles, potentially reducing the risk of injuries. However, it is essential to be mindful of potential dehydration risks when using a sauna before a workout. To avoid any adverse effects, always remain hydrated and limit the sauna session to a suitable duration.

After Workout

Many people prefer using a sauna after their workout for muscle recovery. The heat from the sauna promotes circulation, helping to alleviate muscle soreness, reduce inflammation, and remove toxins from the body.

Regardless of your preferred time, it is essential to slowly build up your sauna usage to minimize potential side effects. Start with shorter sessions, lasting around 5 to 10 minutes, and gradually increase the duration to 25 to 30 minutes over time. Always listen to your body and adjust the sauna session appropriately based on how you feel.

Frequency and Duration

Zen and sauna, with a clock showing the best time.

Using a sauna regularly and for the optimal duration can maximize the benefits you receive from the experience. While the ideal frequency and duration can vary depending on individual preferences, there are some general guidelines you can follow.

For beginners, it’s recommended to start with shorter sessions, about 10 to 15 minutes long, and gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable with the experience. Many sauna enthusiasts aim for sessions lasting between 15 to 30 minutes for maximum benefits.

As for frequency, some people enjoy sauna sessions several times a week, while others may prefer using a sauna once a week. It’s crucial to pay attention to your body and comfort levels to determine the most suitable sauna frequency for you. Here are some general recommendations:

  • Beginners: 1-2 times a week
  • Intermediate users: 2-3 times a week
  • Advanced users: 4-7 times a week

It’s essential to remember to always stay hydrated during and after your sauna sessions, as the increased heat can lead to excessive sweating and potential dehydration. Keep a water bottle handy, and consider sipping water at regular intervals.

Precautions and Safety Tips

Before making the most of your sauna experience, there are important precautions and safety tips you should be aware of. Ensuring your safety during your sauna sessions can help you fully enjoy the benefits of the activity.

First things first, don’t stay in the sauna too long. It’s generally recommended to limit your time to 15-20 minutes per session. Spending excessive time in the sauna can lead to dehydration, overheating, or even heatstroke. It’s crucial to listen to your body and know when it’s time to step out.

Following the sauna session, take the time to cool down. This can be done by simply sitting outside the sauna or taking a cold shower. Allowing your body to rest as well as hydrate can help prevent dizzy spells and ensure a more comfortable experience overall.

Bringing a clean, cotton towel to sit on is another essential safety measure. This can help protect the benches from body oils and keep you clean as you sweat.

Lastly, those with existing health conditions should consult a medical professional prior to using a sauna to prevent potential health risks. Pregnant women or individuals with heart conditions should take extra precautions when deciding to use a sauna.

By following these precautions and safety tips, you can optimize your sauna experience and ensure a safe and enjoyable time.


In determining the best time to use a sauna, individual preferences and schedules play a significant role. Whether you opt for morning or evening sessions, the key is to find a time that works for you and allows you to fully enjoy the benefits of this rejuvenating practice.

Using a sauna at any time can provide relaxation and health benefits, such as reducing minor aches and pains. Furthermore, spending time in a warm and quiet environment can improve brain function by promoting blood circulation to the brain cells, ultimately benefiting mental health.

To make the most of your sauna experience, remember to follow safety guidelines and listen to your body’s needs. Overall, finding the right time for your sauna sessions can contribute to a more enjoyable and rewarding experience, enhancing your overall well-being.

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