How to Gradually Increase Your Sauna Time

Are you looking to get more out of your sauna sessions? Many people want to enjoy the benefits of a sauna for longer periods, but it’s not always easy to do.

How Can You Prepare for a Longer Sauna Session?

Here’s what you can do to set yourself up for success:

  1. Hydrate well before your session:
    Drink plenty of water in the hours leading up to your sauna time. When you’re well-hydrated, your body can better handle the heat and sweating that comes with a sauna session.
  2. Do some light exercise:
    A bit of gentle movement before entering the sauna can help warm up your body. This makes the transition into the hot environment easier. Try a short walk or some stretching exercises. But be careful not to overdo it – you don’t want to be tired before you even start.
  3. Eat lightly:
    Having a full stomach in the sauna can be uncomfortable. Try to eat a light meal at least an hour before your sauna session. This gives your body time to digest while ensuring you have enough energy.
  4. Bring water with you:
    Take a water bottle into the sauna. Sipping water during your session helps replace the fluids you’re losing through sweat.
  5. Start with shorter sessions:
    If you’re new to saunas, begin with just 5-10 minutes. Over time, you can slowly increase this. It’s like training for a race – you need to build up your endurance gradually.

What Can You Do to Make Your Sauna Time Feel Shorter?

  1. Practice mindfulness or meditation:
    Focusing on your breath or using guided meditation apps can help you relax and lose track of time. This not only makes your session feel shorter but also enhances the stress-relief benefits of the sauna.
  2. Bring a book or magazine:
    Reading can be a great distraction. Choose something light and easy to hold – maybe a paperback or a water-resistant e-reader. Just be aware that the heat might affect paper pages.
  3. Listen to music or podcasts:
    Bring some waterproof headphones and listen to your favorite tunes or an interesting podcast. This can make the time fly by and add an extra layer of enjoyment to your sauna experience.
  4. Try gentle stretches:
    The heat of the sauna can make your muscles more flexible. Doing some light stretches can feel good and keep you occupied. Just be careful not to overexert yourself in the heat.
  5. Make it social:
    If possible, invite a friend to join you. Chatting can make the time pass quickly, and you can motivate each other to stay in longer. Just remember to keep your voice down to respect others in the sauna.

How Can You Safely Extend Your Sauna Time?

  1. Gradually increase your time:
    Add just 2-3 minutes to your sessions each week. This slow increase allows your body to adapt to longer heat exposure. For example, if you start with 10 minutes, aim for 12-13 minutes the next week, then 15 minutes the week after.
  2. Take cool-down breaks:
    Step out of the sauna every 10-15 minutes for a short break. Splash some cool water on your face and body, or take a quick cool shower. These breaks can help you stay in the sauna for a longer overall time.
  3. Listen to your body:
    Pay attention to how you feel. If you start to feel dizzy, nauseous, or uncomfortably hot, it’s time to leave the sauna. There’s no shame in ending your session early if you’re not feeling well.
  4. Stay hydrated:
    Keep sipping water throughout your sauna session. If you’re staying in for longer periods, you might also want to consider drinks with electrolytes to replace what you’re losing through sweat.
  5. Don’t push past 20-30 minutes:
    Even as you build up your tolerance, it’s generally not recommended to stay in a sauna for more than 20-30 minutes at a time. Longer sessions can lead to dehydration and other health risks.
  6. Cool down properly:
    After your sauna session, take time to cool down gradually. Sit in a normal temperature room, take a lukewarm shower, or go for a short walk. This helps your body adjust and can make your next sauna session more comfortable.


Is it safe to stay in the sauna for a long time?
It’s safe for up to 15-20 minutes, but longer can risk dehydration and overheating.

How can I build up my tolerance for longer sauna sessions?
Gradually increase your time by 2-3 minutes each week.

What should I do to prepare for a longer sauna session?
Hydrate well, eat lightly, and do some light exercise beforehand.

How can I make the time in the sauna pass more quickly?
Try meditation, listening to music, or chatting with a friend.

What signs show it’s time to leave the sauna?
Exit if you feel dizzy, nauseous, have a rapid heartbeat, or extreme discomfort.

Leave a Comment