Is It Safe to Sleep in a Sauna?

Sleeping in a Sauna

No, you can’t sleep in a sauna as you can definitely die doing so. Anything can go wrong without the necessary precautions or when something’s done the wrong way. Going to a sauna for relaxation or medical purposes requires knowledge concerning bad practices inside a steam or electrically-heated room. It is possible to meet a life-threatening accident inside a sauna, with sleep as the preeminent cause.

Here’s Why

A sudatory or a sauna, as it is most famously known for, is a room or a building designed to bring the heat to the body in order to bring about perspiration. Perspiration is the body’s way of cooling down the body, and it has a lot of benefits. This is one of the goals a sauna meets besides hygiene.

Going to the sauna is very beneficial to the body. In fact, it fights off a lot of delicate conditions. It mainly reduces the risk for cardiovascular diseases, sudden cardiac death, high blood pressure, and may even be a good way to get rid of common colds. Saunas’ benefits are also associated with lowering pneumonia risks, inflammatory markers, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

However, One Thing Must Be Noted

Despite the number of its health benefits, going to the sauna is not advisable for some people. It may not be safe for those who have unstable angina pectoris, severe aortic stenosis, and for those who have recently suffered a heart attack. Everyone is advised to consult a doctor first before going to the sauna.

Going to the sauna also presents the risk of heat prostration, hyperthermia, heat stroke, and, in worst cases, death. The most vulnerable individuals to these risks are those who consume alcohol and those who use cocaine.

Reasons Why Sleeping in the Sauna is Unsafe

Dangers of Sleeping in a Sauna

Sauna goers usually stay inside the heated rooms for only 15-20 minutes. This is because exposure to the high temperatures for a long period of time may be dangerous. Prolonged stay in saunas presents a lot of risk such as:

  • Dehydration

Prolonged sessions in the sauna can be the cause of dehydration that may lead to severe effects if not diagnosed at an early stage.

Dehydration is the depletion of a percentage of water inside the body that is usually released by sweating. Dehydration is also one of the causes of electrolyte imbalance.

Electrolytes are substances in the body that allow the body to function in many ways, mainly physically. Without them, the body will not function ordinarily.

Severe electrolyte imbalance is one thing to avoid as this may cause comparatively severe repercussions namelyseizures, coma and cardiac arrest.

Dehydration is just one of the dangers that one can meet if he/she sleeps inside a sauna. As a matter of fact, dehydration can cause long-term effects to the body that may be detrimental to anyone’s health: dementia, decreased kidney function, intestinal failure, etc.

Primary Signs of Dehydration

  • Nausea

A good sign indicating that you’re having too much time inside a sauna is nausea. This is one of the first signs of dehydration that one can notice. Expect to feel nauseous after feeling great thirst.

Everyone is advised to drink a lot of water before going to a sauna session and rehydrate afterwards. This can prevent unsought dehydration that can lead to more complications.

  • Weakness

Electrolytes are important for the body to function. When someone loses a great amount of water in the body, he/she loses electrolytes too. This causes the body to lose its ability to function well, physically, because muscles do not have enough energy (electrolytes) to use. This is the reason why athletes drink electrolyte-rich sports drinks in order to replenish discharged electrolyte containing sweat.

  • Heat Stroke

Sweating is the body’s way of cooling itself, and with the absence of sweating during a sauna session, the chances of having a heat stroke are higher. There are people who do not sweat normally, and they are most prone to suffer from heat stroke.

During a sauna session, the body experiences a rise in temperature, which causes the body to sweat in order to cool itself off. When someone with hypohidrosis (inability to sweat normally) stays inside a sauna for a long period of time without properly sweating, he/she can experience heat stroke, which is a life-threatening condition. Heatstroke happens due to high external temperatures.

  • Blood Pressure Risks

Steam room therapy has a lot of benefits to offer and one is a great blood circulation booster. Undeterred by this fact, saunas can still be a threat to people who suffer from blood pressure problems. This is because blood pressure can have unpredictable reactions to sudden changes in temperature.

Without the approval of a doctor, someone with blood pressure problems should not use a sauna. Doing so could result in severe health complications or even death.

Staying inside the sauna for too long can cause nausea. You can avoid all the dire consequences of sleeping for too long inside a sauna, but you can wake up feeling nauseated.

  • Hypovolemic Shock

When one experiences hypovolemic shock, his/her organs fail to function. This is because the heart is unable to pump blood to the body. This can be experienced because of severe dehydration when there isn’t enough water and oxygen in the body that makes the heart’s task of pumping blood all over the body impossible.

This is a life-threatening situation that can lead to death. If not treated or diagnosed at an early age, death is unforeseeable.

  • Permanent Organ Damage

The side effects dealt with exposure to high temperatures can result in permanent organ damage. Experiencing elevated core temperatures that can harm and disrupt natural bodily functions can place anyone at risk of permanent brain, heart, and kidney damage.

Falling asleep in the sauna should be the last thing a sauna-goer should do. Doing so could lead to fatal accidents or health risks. A prolonged stay inside the sauna is dangerous to anyone, even those with the best health.

Sauna Accidents

During the year 2017 in the Czech Republic, an accident in the sauna occurred and took the lives of a mother and her daughter. They were unable to go out of the sauna because of a dysfunctional door and were trapped inside for around 90 minutes. This may have been the fault of the designers of the sauna, but this also shows that prolonged periods inside the sauna is never good.

Sauna Suits

Sauna Suit

Sauna suits are made out of either rubberized materials, PVC, or nylon and are designed to trigger profuse sweating. These suits are mostly used by athletes or those who want to lose weight at a faster rate for a period of time.

These suits are not designed to burn fat contradictory to common belief. It is gaining a huge trend today as a weight loss equipment although this may not be true at some point. It is used mostly by athletes like boxers, wrestlers, and MMA fighters to cut their weight to the required number to join specific events or competitions.

These suits work just like being in a steam-heated room but as something worn and carried while exercising.

Wearing Sauna Suits Overnight

Weight loss has been the goal of many individuals in this generation, seeing the now declining eating habits in most parts of the world, especially in the West. This is the reason for a number of trends gaining popularity overnight. Anything that concerns weight loss gains a lot of attention in a short period of time by people who are desperate to lose weight and look fit.

Sauna suits have made the spotlight in this endeavor but its effectiveness has been debunked by a lot of experts. Many articles have been written about the false weight loss claims surrounding this suit.

Sauna Suits Benefits

Sauna suits did not make a good impression during their first years after some accidents involving weight-loss and even celebrities. However, after some improvements and a little innovation, these suits have made better results. They carry with them benefits that are enjoyed by athletes and by those who want to lose weight and stay healthy. This can only be achieved through proper use.

  1. Lowers blood pressure
  2. Burns body fat
  3. Aids exercise during cold weather
  4. increases blood circulation

Is It Safe to Wear Sauna Suits for Sports?

Sauna suits are not one hundred percent safe. Just like spending some time inside a steam-heated room, there are safety precautions to be observed when wearing sauna suits. While they’re effective, they still pose some kind of danger when not used properly.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association banned the use of sauna suits in 1998 when two wrestlers died after strenuous weight-loss exercises while wearing sauna suits. Wrestlers were then prohibited from using sauna suits for weight cutting or any endeavor involving the use of a sauna suit during season-ending NCAA championships.

Why Are They Unsafe?

Sweating and Dehydration from Sauna

Sauna suits go against the natural processes our bodies go through when experiencing heat. Naturally, we sweat to release the heat inside our bodies, but with sauna suits on, the cooling process is disrupted. This is primarily because sauna suits are designed to keep the heat around the body to continuously induce sweating. These suits are also designed to keep muscles warmed up for better performance and calorie burning.

When the normal amount of water in the body is lost through strenuous weight-loss exercises, the body loses its ability to function properly both mentally and physically. Athletes who cut a big portion of their weights experience slurred speech, exhaustion, and strength loss. Losing 20 percent of total water in the body can cause delirium, coma, and, in worst cases, death.

Usually, athletes use sauna suits to cut their weight to meet the required weight limit in competitions. Because of this, athletes go against the capabilities of their bodies when it comes to tolerating high temperatures. Dehydration is the first thing that athletes experience when using sauna suits, but this is just one of the many side effects of wrong sauna suit usage.

Conclusion

Saunas and sauna suits are beneficial but can be harmful. Steam-heated rooms are, without doubt, beneficial and have been proven to be good for the health since their discovery. Despite having a lot of benefits, saunas are not totally safe for everyone. They can cause harm to anyone who stays for too long or to those who have undiagnosed health issues that can be triggered or made worse in a sauna. Accidents can also be met if the necessary precautions are not observed.

Correspondingly…

Steam suits have gained lots of attention in the past, especially after accidents in national competitions specifically the NCAA. They also pose some risks to other users, especially to those who want to lose a big portion of their weight without safety measures. However, sauna suits can still be used for their benefits if done the right way. The danger of experiencing the bad side effects can be diminished if the right precautions are observed.

About Sauna Suit Weight Loss Claims

Most sauna suits are only effective in temporary weight loss by cutting a percentage of the water ratio in the body. Contrary to the growing trends involving weight loss using sauna suits, researchers say that, most of the time, they do not contribute to fat loss at all and the weight lost during the use of sauna suits can be gained back by rehydration.

Some say that sauna suits aid in burning fat by boosting the metabolic rate of the user, but some disagree saying that sauna suits do not contribute to fat loss at all. They say, as opposed to the “myth,” that sauna suits can only help users by heating up the body and promoting a more effective exercise.

Nonetheless, sauna suits still bring beneficial effects to the body that can be taken advantage of through right usage. On the other hand, weight loss and fat loss can still be attained through more effective methods besides using a sauna suit.

Kris Peter

I am a lifelong advocate of sleep, continually learning, and striving to be better than I was yesterday.

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