We get a lot of questions about infrared sauna use – some are pretty simple; others a bit more complicated. Here are some answers to a few frequently asked questions (FAQs) about infrared heat:
How Safe is Infrared Heat?
Infrared heat is completely safe and healthy for all living things. You can be exposed to infrared light for hours without the risk of burning. Infrared is a naturally occurring output of the sun, but does not contain the harmful UV rays associated with unprotected sunlight. In fact, infrared heat is so safe, it is used in hospitals to warm newborn infants.
What’s the Difference Between Infrared Saunas and Traditional Saunas?
Infrared heat is very gentle. The experience is similar to lying in the sun on a warm day and feeling the heat radiate to the core of your body. Unlike traditional (hot rock or steam) saunas–which operate at well in excess of 200°F–infrared heat has the benefit of being effective at a more comfortable operating temperature of 100°-150°F.
Traditional saunas heat the air vs. the body directly. Rather than inducing detoxification and relaxation, this can make the experience unbearably hot and difficult to breathe. Because infrared heat penetrates human tissue vs. simply heating the surface of the skin, infrared saunas are seven times more effective than traditional saunas at detoxifying the body. By raising the body’s core temperature, infrared saunas can produce a sweat composed of 20% toxins vs. only 3% toxins with a traditional sauna.
What Should I Do to Prepare for a Good Infrared Sauna Session?
Leave the temperature at the default setting of 150°F and turn your sauna on 60 minutes before you’re ready. Enter with 30 minutes remaining and you’ll have the perfect session! If time is short, jump in after 15 minutes, as your Sunlight Sauna will already be at 100°F! Drinking an electrolyte replacement water or sports drink is strongly recommended before and after sauna use.
I’m Taking Prescription Medications, Can I Use an Infrared Sauna?
Individuals who are using prescription drugs should seek the advice of their personal physician or a pharmacist for possible changes in the drugs effect when the body is exposed to infrared waves or elevated body temperature. Diuretics, barbiturates and beta-blockers may impair the body’s natural heat loss mechanisms. Anticholinergics such as amitryptaline may inhibit sweating and can predispose individuals to heat rash or to a lesser extent, heat stroke. Some over-the-counter drugs, such as antihistamines, may also cause the body to be more prone to heat stroke.
Can Kids Use Infrared Saunas?
The core body temperature of children rises much faster than adults. This occurs due to a higher metabolic rate per body mass, limited circulatory adaptation to increased cardiac demands and the inability to regulate body temperature by sweating. When using with a child, operate at a lower temperature and for no more than 15 minutes at a time.
Can the Elderly Use Infrared Saunas?
The ability to maintain core body temperature decreases with age. This is primarily due to circulatory conditions and decreased sweat gland function. The body must be able to activate its natural cooling processes in order to maintain core body temperature. When using with the elderly, operate at a lower temperature and for no more than 15 minutes at a time.
I’m Pregnant. Any Problems if I Use an Infrared Sauna?
We advise you to consult with your own physician before using infrared saunas while pregnant.
How the Heck Do You Clean Infrared Saunas?
Placing a Spungi® microfiber towel over your bench and backrest during sauna sessions will keep your sauna clean and sweat-free. For periodic cleaning, simply wipe the inside with a damp cloth. Furniture polish will do for the outside. We do NOT recommend using any chemical cleaners on the inside of your sauna.
What questions do YOU have about infrared saunas or about Sunlighten? Ask away in the comments and we’ll put together a follow-up post with your queries!
UPDATE: Be sure to check out Infrared Saunas FAQs, Part II!