How Long Should You Stay in a Sauna?

By Rosanne Knorr

A sauna can be a pleasant, relaxing experience and many people believe that it offers advantages in cleansing the body of toxins. Although bathing in a sauna can be enjoyable, it's important to remember that high temperatures can stress the body. Overheating at temperatures of 200 degrees or more is a distinct possibility so it's important to pay attention to how much time you spend in the sauna.

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Woman in sauna

Take Time to Relax

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Woman relaxing in sauna

The whole point of taking a sauna is to relax. When you first begin to take saunas, start slowly. Establish the relaxing pace by beginning with a shower, then sit on a bench in the sauna and relax for a few minutes. Hard and fast rules don't apply so if you wish to step out of the sauna to cool yourself, do so. You can then return for a few minutes at a time.

Build Up a Tolerance for Heat

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Heat element and tool in sauna

Pay attention to how you feel. The first time you take a sauna bath you may want to leave after a few minutes but if you are comfortable you can stay slightly longer—just no longer than 15 minutes. You can always go outside and cool off, then enter the sauna for another 10 minutes.

Maximum Time Frames

Women in sauna
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Women in sauna

A half hour is often the maximum time suggested for staying in a sauna, but as mentioned before, there is no specific rule. Some people who have adapted to the sauna well may stay in the sauna an hour, but that's unusual. Whatever the length of time, be aware of your body and if you experience any discomfort at all, leave and cool down.

Number of Saunas Per Week

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Woman walking out of sauna

You can enjoy a sauna several times a week as long as you are healthy. However, repeated use of the sauna, as with pools or showers, can take moisture from your skin so be sure to apply a moisturizer frequently.


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Blood pressure test

People who have heart problems, high blood pressure or pregnant women should not use a sauna. If you have a question about your ability to tolerate it, consult your doctor before using one. And, for anyone, if you feel ill, dizzy, develop a headache or other sense of being unwell, leave and cool down.