What are the health benefits of sauna?

Sources:

Sauna use provides several significant health benefits:

  1. Cardiovascular Health:

    • Regular sauna use (two to three times per week) has been linked to a 27% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular events. Increasing the frequency to four to seven times per week reduces the risk by 50% 1.
    • The effects observed are independent of other factors such as smoking or exercise behaviors, making sauna use a reliable method to improve heart health 1.
  2. Overall Longevity:

    • Studies show that frequent sauna use can decrease all-cause mortality, meaning it enhances overall lifespan by reducing the risk of death from various health issues like cardiovascular diseases and strokes 1.
  3. Hormonal Benefits:

    • Sauna exposure can increase growth hormone levels and reduce stress hormone (cortisol) levels, mimicking the effects of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise 2.
    • Regular heat exposure sessions can also promote better cardiovascular fitness and elevated heart rates, similar to aerobic exercise 3.

      Sauna Benefits

      Andrew discusses the benefits of sauna exposure, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality. Studies have shown that regular exposure to sauna at temperatures between 80-100 degrees Celsius for 10-20 minutes, 2-7 times per week, can greatly improve longevity.

      Huberman Lab

      The Science & Health Benefits of Deliberate Heat Exposure | Huberman Lab Podcast #69
      1
      2
      3
      4
      5
      6
  4. Detoxification:

    • Saunas, particularly infrared saunas, can aid in heavy metal detoxification through sweat. Metals like cadmium, lead, and aluminum are excreted more effectively during sauna sessions 4.
  5. Immune System Support:

    • Sauna use can enhance the activity of the innate immune system. Regular sessions lead to an increase in leukocyte (white blood cell) count, which can help in preventing and managing colds and flu 5.
  6. Mental Health:

    • Exposure to high heat in saunas increases dynorphin, which subsequently enhances the effects of endorphins, improving mood and mental health after saunas 6.

For optimal benefits, sauna sessions of 10-20 minutes at temperatures between 80-100°C, maintained 2-3 times a week, are recommended. This protocol supports cardiovascular health, longevity, and overall wellness 6.

RELATED QUESTIONS

What are the effects of sauna on skin?

Sources:

Sauna use has noteworthy effects on the skin:

  1. Enhanced Blood Flow and Vasodilation:

    • Sauna prompts vasodilation, where blood vessels expand, boosting blood flow to the skin. This process carries oxygen and essential nutrients, promoting healthy skin and aiding in skin repair and rejuvenation 1.
  2. Dermatological Benefits:

    • While most data highlight the benefits of directed red light therapy on skin issues like acne and scarring, infrared saunas generally don't get hot enough to provide these benefits. However, the heat from a traditional sauna can still promote a healthier skin appearance by enhancing overall blood flow and supporting the immune system 2.
  3. Sweating and Detoxification:

    • Sauna sessions stimulate sweat production, which can help to cleanse the skin by flushing out toxins and impurities. This process can also open up pores, preventing clogged pores and potential breakouts 3.

      Sauna Cognition

      Andrew and Rhonda discuss how the sauna can enhance cognition through vasodilation and profusion of blood to the brain. Studies show that during inhales, people are better at learning information. The sauna is also associated with a lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

      Huberman Lab

      Dr. Rhonda Patrick: Micronutrients for Health & Longevity | Huberman Lab Podcast #70
      1
      2
      3
      4
      5
  4. Collagen Production and Skin Elasticity:

    • Increased heat exposure from saunas may support collagen production, which is essential for maintaining skin elasticity and reducing the signs of aging like wrinkles and sagging 4.
  5. Hormonal Impacts:

    • Regular sauna use decreases cortisol levels, the primary stress hormone. Lower cortisol levels can reduce stress-induced skin issues such as acne and eczema flare-ups, promoting clearer and healthier skin 5.

For optimal skin benefits, combining regular sauna use with proper hydration and skincare routines is advised.

RELATED QUESTIONS

Are there dermatologists' views on sauna use?

Sources:

Huberman) has discussed sauna use extensively, including perspectives on its dermatological impacts. While dermatologists' specific views on sauna use aren't directly referenced in the available clips, valuable insights are still offered:

  1. Infrared Saunas and Skin Benefits:

    • reviews literature on infrared light therapies, which highlight benefits for skin issues such as acne and scarring. Infrared saunas, which use red light, are noted for potential dermatological benefits through directed treatment rather than full-body exposure 1.
  2. General Sauna Benefits for Skin:

    • Saunas improve blood flow and nutrient delivery to the skin, promoting health and aiding in the repair and rejuvenation of skin tissues. This vasodilation effect enhances skin appearance and can support conditions like eczema by reducing stress and cortisol levels 2 3.

      Red Light Therapy

      Andrew discusses the benefits of red light therapy on skin and neurobiology. He reviews studies that show how red light therapy can improve vision and treat dermatologic issues such as acne and scarring. He also explains why whole body illumination with red lights may not be as effective as directed illumination on specific patches of skin.

      Huberman Lab

      Using Light (Sunlight, Blue Light & Red Light) to Optimize Health | Huberman Lab Podcast #68
      1
      2
      3
      4
      5
  3. Detoxification and Sweating:

    • Sauna-induced sweating helps remove toxins such as heavy metals from the body. Regular use can assist in detoxification via prolonged sweating 4 5.
  4. Comparison with Red Light Therapy:

    • While conventional saunas facilitate skin health through heat and circulation, red light therapies specifically target skin healing processes. Most studies have focused on small area treatments rather than full-body therapies commonly implemented in infrared saunas 1.
  5. Optimal Use Recommendations:

    • To gain the best dermatological benefits, regular sauna sessions with proper hydration and skin care are advised. The consistency and appropriate duration within a safe temperature range are emphasized for optimal results 3.

For a comprehensive perspective, consult medical reviews and speak with a dermatologist to understand the specific impacts and best practices for individual skin care needs.

RELATED QUESTIONS