Colds usually seem like no big deal at first: a runny nose or a small cough, perhaps a little fatigue. If left unchecked, however, you could find yourself waking up and feeling like death. The bad news is that antibiotics won’t work on a cold, and other medicines just ease your symptoms, not treat them. While a sauna isn’t a miracle cold cure, it will make you feel way, way better.

Saunas and Colds: Raising Your Body’s Temperature

Sitting in a room with a temperature of 192 degrees Farenheit has many benefits for the body: relieving hangovers, arthritis, and even the common cold. A 1989 German study found that people who used saunas twice a day only caught colds half the amount of times as people who never used saunas at all.

Here’s how it works: When you sit in a sauna, you breathe in air that’s over 80 degrees warm, inducing fever conditions in your body and raising your internal temperature. Cold viruses can’t survive these high temps.

Saunas and Colds: Improving Breathing

Saunas also help ease congestion in your sinuses and lungs and improve your breathing. The warm air opens up your air passages, making it easier to breathe and to expel mucous and other fluids from your body. As you lose these fluids, the viruses leave your body, too, and you get well faster.