People often ask me questions like “How often should I use a sauna?” and “What is the ideal length of time for a sauna session?” when I mention I regularly enjoy using a sauna. Here I share two of the best protocols I use and recommend for improving your health and well-being.
Table of Contents
How often should I use a Sauna? What is your goal?
Firstly, I am not a medical professional; how often to use a sauna can vary, and before using a sauna, check with your doctor. Be safe and take a slow approach to adjust yourself to the heat. I recommend avoiding regular sauna use for men planning to have children anytime soon, as heat exposure can lower sperm count. For pregnant women and people under the age of 18, I don’t recommend sauna use.
Okay, with that said, let’s determine the type of goal you have. If you are an athlete or bodybuilder, I recommend trying the Increasing Growth Hormone Protocol. Otherwise, if you enjoy the health benefits of saunas, I recommend the Life Extending Cardiovascular Health Protocol I recommend later on in the article.
Saunas come in many different styles. In this article, the sauna I use for my protocols is the Traditional Finnish Sauna. The Finnish sauna is the only one that can reach the heat required for the growth hormone protocol to see the benefits of improved growth hormone. All of the saunas I describe below are suitable for the life extending protocol.
Traditional Finnish Sauna
The Traditional Finnish Sauna, also known as a dry sauna, has high temperatures between 80-100°C (176-212°F) with low humidity, typically achieved by pouring water on heated rocks, increasing the heat inside the sauna. There are usually two benches at different heights; the higher the bench, the hotter the temperature. The Finnish sauna is a cultural tradition in Finland believed to help by sweating out unwanted toxins.
The Infrared saunas use infrared lamps to heat your body directly rather than heating the sauna and operating at a lower temperature than traditional Finnish saunas, usually between 50-60°C (120-140°F). They are thought to have health benefits such as improving circulation, easing muscle and joint pain, and reducing stress.
Unlike traditional Finnish saunas, Steam Rooms have a high humidity level, typically above 70%. Steam is created by pouring water on hot rocks, and the temperature is usually between 40-50°C (104-122°F).
How Often to Use a Sauna for Increased Growth Hormone?
The pituitary gland in the brain produces growth hormone and controls how tall we grow and our muscle growth. Some benefits of increased growth hormone are:
- Increased exercise capacity
- Increased bone density
- Increased muscle mass
- Decreased body fat
- Improved REM Sleep
- Reduced insulin resistance
- Improved Memory and Mood
- Better Focus
- Improved recovery time after training or surgery
The sauna growth hormone protocol I have been using to see excellent results has been shown to increase growth hormone by up to 16 times for up to three days. You can read more about the study of increased growth hormone here.
The type of sauna used is essential! The study which showed increased growth hormone for this protocol used a dry-heat Finnish sauna. Infrared saunas cannot reach the same temperatures as conventional dry saunas and should be avoided if the goal is increased growth hormone.
- Ensure you are in a fasted state for at least 2-3 hours. Having high blood glucose levels can blunt the growth hormone release. The best time to do this is before breakfast first thing in the morning. However, make sure you drink some water to be well hydrated.
- Preheat the sauna to 80-100°C (176-212°F).
- Allow 2 hours for this protocol.
- Make sure that you have plenty of water on hand before the session. This protocol goes on for a long time and can be difficult for people new to saunas. Dehydration can have a lot of negative impacts on your health, so don’t negate the improved growth hormone by not being prepared and drinking enough water during each session.
Growth Hormone Sauna Protocol
Starting easy for beginners, if you have experience with the sauna, feel free to skip to week 3.
|1||Once per week||Twice Per Session, 30 minutes in a sauna, followed by 5 minutes out.|
|2||Twice Per Session||Twice Per Session 30 minutes in a sauna, followed by 5 minutes out.|
In week 2, we are adding two sessions per day with a 3-hour break in-between.
|1||Once per week||For the improved release of Growth Hormone, only use the sauna once a week doing this protocol with no additional sessions.|
|2||Twice Per Session||Twice Per Session, 30 minutes in a sauna, followed by 5 minutes out.|
|3||2 Sessions Per Day||Repeat step 2 for a total of 4 sessions in one day.|
In week 3, we are adding cold exposure for the 5-minute breaks. You can aim for 3-5 minutes. It is essential to be aware of cold-water shock, and supervision is recommended during this program stage.
The cold exposure significantly decreased the body temperature allowing for an increased time an individual could stay in the sauna. According to this publication, longer periods in the sauna can be used to increase fat loss.
|1||Once per week or less||Once per week or less for the improved release of Growth Hormone only use the sauna once a week doing this protocol with no additional sessions.|
|2||Twice Per Session||Twice Per Session, 30 minutes in a sauna, followed by a 5-minute cold exposure e.g. cold shower or cold plunge.|
|3||2 Sessions Per Day||Repeat step 2 for a total of 4 sessions in one day.|
|4||Cold Exposure||Alternating periods of sauna with deliberate cold exposure during rest periods to further increase metabolic gains.|
Continue with the week 3 protocol as desired I recommend taking a week off once every 10 weeks.
Life Extending Cardiovascular Health Protocol
How Often to Use a Sauna for Improved Mood, Health, and Longevity
Saunas have long been known for their mood-improving effects. You only have to spend some time in one, and you will notice increased happiness or euphoria after you get out. This is caused by endorphins released from exposure to high temperatures. Frequent saunas can decrease cortisol levels.
Can I sauna every day? Yes! I recommend 7 days per week following the below protocol for improving health and longevity. However, if you don’t have the time, 3 sauna sessions for 30 minutes should provide health benefits.
80-100 Degrees Celsius or 175-210 Fahrenheit dry sauna session time
|1||3-7 Days Per Week||Life extending cardiovascular health protocol.|
|2||1 Session Per Day||15-30 minutes in a sauna, 80-100 degrees Celsius or 175-210 Fahrenheit or as hot as you can tolerate.|
After each session, aim to cool down slowly and have two glasses of cool water. One tip is to weigh yourself before each session and then calculate the difference between the two numbers afterward. This difference is the amount of water you should slowly replace over the next couple of hours.
A question I found myself asking with this protocol was can I sauna every day? Yes, the study found little benefit beyond 7 days a week for health and longevity. However, there was no negative impact either, so feel free to enjoy the sauna benefits as you need.
I have found Andrew Huberman’s YouTube channel a great resource for learning about sauna usage’s health benefits. You can check out an episode that covers how often to use a sauna.
In this guide, I have provided two protocols that I recommend that provide an answer to the question of how often to use a sauna. However, sauna everyday results can vary for the individual, and as long as you take a safe approach, there are benefits to be seen from any amount of sauna use. Make sure to watch Andrew Huberman’s video on sauna protocols above to get a more in-depth scientific perspective of sauna benefits.
I recommend giving the growth hormone protocol a go! The amazing benefits of the increased growth hormone in your everyday life will impress you.
Leave me a comment below if you have tried one of these protocols and how it went.
If you would like to read more articles from me, you can see how I built a sauna DIY Barrel Sauna Build.
Enjoying the warmth of our sauna insights? Now, let’s balance the heat with a refreshing chill! Discover the excellent benefits of cold exposure, from boosting mood and focus to enhancing metabolism and aiding physical recovery. Ready to chill out? Dive into our comprehensive guide on ‘The Power of Cold Exposure.’ Embrace the balance of heat and cold for ultimate wellness!