Disadvantages of a Sauna: Infrared Sauna Dangers.
There are many benefits to using saunas in your everyday life. It doesn’t matter if you opt to use infrared saunas, wet saunas, or dry saunas.
As with anything, saunas come with certain risks and drawbacks.
To make an informed decision on the product you choose to use in your everyday life, you should be armed with as much information as possible.
We’ll help you today by highlighting some of the downsides and dangers associated with saunas, especially infrared saunas. With this information at your fingertips, you’ll be empowered to determine which path is best for you to take.
Before we begin, let’s briefly review the issues.
What Is a Sauna?
A sauna is a small room kept at a high level of heat. Temperatures in a sauna can range from 158°F/70°C to 212°F/100°C.
The sauna is usually constructed of cedar or spruce wood, and it’s completely empty inside, except for benches.
Some saunas are large enough to fit a dozen or so people, while others are meant for personal use.
Types of Saunas
There are a few different types of saunas, as well.
Traditional saunas hail from either Finnish or Turkish origins. Finnish saunas use dry heat to bring the room to a certain temperature, while Turkish saunas involve a lot of steam and moisture.
Even among these saunas, there’s some variation in how the heat is created.
In some saunas, electrical heat is used. A heater in the room keeps the room hot while maintaining low levels of humidity. Other saunas use wood as the heat source. These saunas also have high temperature and low humidity.
To achieve the requisite moisture levels in a Turkish-style sauna, one must ladle water over hot rocks. When water touches the rocks, the hot rocks transform the water into steam.
Another popular type of sauna is an infrared sauna. In these saunas, the heat comes from unique lamps in the room. The infrared lamps emit light waves into the sauna room, resulting in heat. Though infrared sauna rooms are warm, they will generally never reach the temperatures of traditional saunas. Also, there will likely never be moisture in an infrared sauna room.
Why Do People Use Saunas?
People use saunas for many reasons. Much research has been carried out into the many benefits that can be provided by spending time in a sauna. These benefits can be both physical and mental.
It doesn’t really matter how the sauna is heated or what type of sauna it is; there is a broad range of benefits to be had.
- Circulation: When someone sits in a sauna, the heat in the room will cause their heart rate to increase substantially, sometimes up to 150 beats per minute. When this happens, the blood vessels will widen, and circulation is improved.
- Stress: The heat in the sauna is relaxing. When combined with improved circulation, this can result in a highly relaxed state.
- Pain: Joint mobility improvement, less muscle soreness, and a reduction in pain from arthritis can all come from the heat and increased circulation from the sauna.
- Heart Health: It goes without saying that improved circulation will benefit the heart, and there are many studies to back this up. People who use a sauna are less likely to die from heart attacks or other heart-related illnesses.
- Brain Health: Studies found people who used a sauna a few times each week were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
- Breathing: The heat in a sauna helps to open airways and reduce phlegm, as well as soothing asthma.
- Skin: Sauna users found skin ailments were often improved when they spent time in a sauna.
- Anxiety and Depression: Time spent in a sauna has been shown to increase endorphins, the chemicals in your brain that make you feel happy. Sauna users report feeling less anxious and depressed after a sauna session.
With all these great benefits, who wouldn’t want to climb right into a sauna?
Unfortunately, not everyone takes the time to consider the risks associated with time spent in a sauna. But we’ll offer a balanced view and do that right now.
Risks While Using Saunas
There are several things you should keep in mind when using a sauna.
You should take every precaution possible when trying something new. If you aren’t sure how using a sauna might affect you or your health, be sure to speak with your doctor beforehand.
The primary risk associated with sauna use is dehydration. When you are in the sauna, even a 15-minute session can result in your body losing a pint of sweat. If you’re not careful, you can quickly become dehydrated. Be especially cautious if you have any history of kidney disease.
The high temperatures inside a sauna can cause many people to feel nauseous, and some even become physically sick. If you’re getting overheated, turn down the temperature or get out before it becomes overwhelming.
Again, many people report feeling dizzy in the sauna because of those high temperatures. Many people have been taken from the sauna by ambulance because they became dizzy and then fainted.
If you get too hot in the sauna, you can experience heatstroke. A 26-year-old man was reported in the news and became the subject of many studies after he experienced multiple organ failure after a stint in the sauna.
Infrared Sauna Dangers
With infrared saunas, the risks are much the same as they are with traditional saunas.
Overheating, dehydration, nausea, and vomiting along with dizziness, are all possible flashpoints.
In addition to these risks, you need to be aware of risks associated specifically with infrared saunas.
The infrared light in infrared saunas is absorbed quickly by silicone. The silicone can melt or leak out of the implant, or even become deformed and break the shell. You should speak to your doctor if you have silicone implants and they can tell you if an infrared sauna is safe for you.
Infrared saunas use light and heat from sources that produce electromagnetic field radiation (EMF). There’s some concern that high rates of EMF exposure could result in cancer developing, so be mindful of the time you spend in your infrared sauna.
Infrared Sauna Dangers Eyes
As infrared saunas use infrared light to produce the heat and benefits of the sauna, you need to protect your eyes. Goggles usually used for tanning beds are a great option here, but you can choose to close your eyes as well.