Is the Sauna Good for Anxiety? (Exploring the Science)

In today's fast-paced world, anxiety has become a common issue.

People experience different types of anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and more.

While medication and therapy are common treatments, alternative therapies, such as sauna therapy, are becoming increasingly popular.

In this article, we will explore whether sauna therapy can help alleviate anxiety symptoms.

Understanding Anxiety and its Symptoms

Before we delve into the benefits of sauna therapy for anxiety, it's essential to understand what anxiety is and its symptoms.

Anxiety is a feeling of worry or fear that can be mild or severe. Some common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Feeling nervous or restless
  • Experiencing a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Increased heart rate and sweating
  • Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything else
  • Feeling weak or tired

What is Sauna Therapy?

Sauna therapy, also known as heat therapy, involves spending time in a heated room, typically between 150°F to 195°F.

The room can either be dry or wet, depending on the type of sauna. A traditional Finnish sauna is dry, whereas a steam room is wet.

Sauna therapy is believed to have many health benefits, such as reducing stress, improving cardiovascular health, and relieving pain.

How Does Sauna Therapy Help with Anxiety?

Now that we have a basic understanding of what anxiety and sauna therapy are, let's discuss how sauna therapy can help with anxiety.

Increases Relaxation

One of the primary ways sauna therapy helps with anxiety is by promoting relaxation.

When you spend time in a sauna, your body temperature rises, and your muscles relax.

This relaxation can help ease anxiety symptoms and promote a sense of calmness.

Reduces Cortisol Levels

Another way sauna therapy helps with anxiety is by reducing cortisol levels.

Cortisol is a hormone that is released in response to stress.

When cortisol levels are high, anxiety symptoms can worsen. Sauna therapy has been shown to decrease cortisol levels, which can help alleviate anxiety symptoms.

Increases Endorphin Levels

Sauna therapy can also increase endorphin levels.

Endorphins are neurotransmitters that promote feelings of pleasure and reduce pain.

When you spend time in a sauna, your body releases endorphins, which can help alleviate anxiety symptoms.

Improves Sleep Quality

Sleep problems are a common symptom of anxiety.

Sauna therapy can help improve sleep quality, which can reduce anxiety symptoms.

Spending time in a sauna before bed can help promote relaxation and improve sleep.

Safety Considerations

While sauna therapy can be beneficial for anxiety, it's important to consider safety precautions before trying it. Here are some safety considerations to keep in mind:

  • Stay hydrated: Sauna therapy can cause dehydration, so it's essential to drink plenty of water before and after a sauna session.
  • Limit time: Spending too much time in a sauna can be dangerous. Experts recommend limiting sauna sessions to 15-20 minutes.
  • Check with your doctor: If you have any underlying health conditions, such as high blood pressure or heart disease, it's essential to check with your doctor before trying sauna therapy.


In conclusion, sauna therapy can be an effective way to alleviate anxiety symptoms.

It promotes relaxation, reduces cortisol levels, increases endorphin levels, and improves sleep quality.

However, it's important to consider safety precautions before trying sauna therapy.

Always check with your doctor and stay hydrated.

Sauna therapy can be a great addition to your anxiety treatment plan, but it shouldn't replace medication or therapy.


  1. Can sauna therapy cure anxiety?

No, sauna therapy cannot cure anxiety, but it can help alleviate anxiety

2. How often should I use sauna therapy for anxiety relief?

There is no specific recommendation for how often you should use sauna therapy for anxiety relief. However, experts suggest using it 2-3 times a week for maximum benefits.

  1. Can sauna therapy worsen anxiety symptoms?

Spending too much time in a sauna or getting dehydrated can worsen anxiety symptoms. It's important to follow safety precautions and limit sauna sessions to 15-20 minutes.

  1. Are there any side effects of sauna therapy for anxiety?

Sauna therapy is generally safe for most people. However, some individuals may experience dizziness, dehydration, or discomfort. If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to stop sauna therapy immediately and speak to your doctor.

  1. Can sauna therapy be used as a standalone treatment for anxiety?

No, sauna therapy should not be used as a standalone treatment for anxiety. It can be used as an adjunct therapy alongside medication and therapy. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any alternative therapy for anxiety.

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