Why Am I Not Sweating in a Sauna?
Hydration is key for any sauna use.
Excessive sweat may occur from poor physical fitness or high body weight.
Some saunas simply don't have high enough heat output.
Make sure you're not lacking electrolytes before sauna use.
While sauna use has a myriad of health benefits, sweating has been the basis of the idea since the beginning of sauna sessions with traditional Finnish saunas. Oftentimes sweating in wet saunas does not become an issue. This is because wet saunas contribute to condensation on the skin, making it seem as though all of the liquid on the skin's surface is sweat, when it in fact is not. Additionally, if people seem to have issues sweating in a sauna it typically comes from infrared saunas, due to their lower temperature. This lower temperature is due to the method in which infrared saunas heat the body. They do this by penetrating deeply below the skin's surface, in order to raise body temperature, but this also means they do not need to be nearly as hot as traditional saunas do, to have the same health benefits.
Lack of Sweat in a Sauna Session
Lack of electrolytes
Poor sweat gland function
Too low of sauna temperature
Simply put, if you're not sweating in a sauna, it will be from either lack of hydration, lack of electrolytes or simply the sauna not being hot enough. Furthermore, some people simply have less sweat gland activation in general. Sweat glands also down regulate as we age, meaning elderly people may sweat less than a younger person. Hydration prior to any sauna is extremely important to health benefits and for the ability to produce sweat. If you're not properly hydrated, your body may want to hold on to that water to prevent further dehydration, resulting in lack of sweat during a sauna session.
Is Your Sauna Hot Enough?
While the optimal sauna temperature may be different for some people, there are some general ranges for health based on research. For traditional dry saunas, a range of 174-212 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended for optimal health benefits. For an infrared sauna, the optimal temperature is much lower, around 120-150 degrees Fahrenheit, due to the method of heating the body. Steam rooms are generally much lower around 110-120 degrees Fahrenheit and make it quite heard to achieve the same benefits as an infrared sauna or traditional sauna. For optimal benefit, you would like your sauna to have maximum temperatures higher than what is recommended, due to heat exposure adaptation over time. As the body adapts to the high heat, it requires more to have the same core temperature raise, this could likely be a reason why you used to sweat in your sauna and now you don't. We choose to offer the highest maximum temperatures on the market, to ensure even the most experienced sauna users can use our far infrared saunas at up to 194 degrees Fahrenheit. In these, sweating will never be an issue.
Why Do We Sweat?
Sweating is typically a side effect of body temperature rising. This process improves blood flow, increases skin temperature and dilates blood vessels. Sweating is the body's attempt at cooling the core temperature down. As we exercise and increase energy output, heart rate rises, core temperature increases and we sweat as a result. Sweating is absolutely still a healthy process for us, even though only a very small portion of sweat is actually toxin excretion.
Benefits of Sweating
Improves skin Health
Improved kidney function
Boosts endorphin output
Sweating is a natural process of the body and is one of the many benefits of sauna bathing. Within our sweat, especially for prolonged periods of time, there is a small portion of heavy metals and other harmful chemicals such as pesticides that excrete our through our sweat. Most of the detoxification comes from the upregulation of the body's vital organs as body temperature rises. Sweating also helps remove any harmful bacteria on the surface of our skin, which is important to help prevent breakouts. Since a large majority of sweat is sodium and calcium, removing and replenishing this promotes healthy kidney function and could reduce the risk of kidney stones. Furthermore, an effect of prolonged heat exposure is increased endorphin output as a side effect of sweating for a long time, so you may feel relaxed and refreshed after a long sauna bathing session.
How Long Does It Take To Sweat in a Sauna?
Traditional dry sauna ~ 10 Minutes
Steam room or wet sauna ~ 8-10 Minutes
Infrared sauna ~ 10-12 Minutes
It is important to note that these are simply estimates for the average population, some people may take longer than others in order to sweat. This will also vary by temperature of the sauna. In most scenarios you shouldn't expect to sweat before the 10 minute mark.
The time that it takes to truly starting sweating in a sauna will be dependent on the type of sauna used. For any sort of wet sauna or steam room, it may feel as though you are sweating early on due to the humidity in the sauna room. With traditional dry saunas, they have extremely high air temperatures which may signal the body to produce sweat, even before core body temperature rises to a large extent. Infrared saunas likely take the longest to sweat because they directly raise core temperature, rather than heating the body from outside and in. Even though infrared saunas may take a bit longer to sweat, the total sweat output is generally more due to the core body temperature being elevated to greater extent than other sauna technologies.
Why Don't I Sweat in a Sauna Blanket?
Sauna blankets are a great tool because they have vast portability, while still maintaining the same sauna benefits of cabin-style or dome-style saunas. Sauna blankets, due to their size, generally have lower maximum temperatures, and have more room for cold air to get into the sauna environment, this lends to less sweat in comparison to other sauna styles for some people. The thinner material of sauna blankets can also have some heat dissipation to a greater extent than other styles. There are some ways to create a better sauna blanket experience if you are having trouble sweating:
Increase sauna blanket preheat time
Cover open portions with a towel or blanket
Wear minimal clothing
Why Do I Sweat More Than Others in a Sauna?
Poor cardiovascular health
Large body size
High amounts of muscle mass
Low level of fitness
There are several reasons as to why you may sweat more than others in a sauna. Saunas cause an increase in heart rate and cardiovascular function. If you're someone with poor cardiovascular health, high blood pressure, high stress, or other conditions that lead to difficulties with physical exertion, your body may work harder than others during heat exposure with high temperatures. The amount of total body weight plays a role as well. Especially with increased amounts of muscle mass, you're body requires more blood for basic functions so you may experience lots of sweat early on in sauna bathing simply because your size requires it. Hyperhidrosis is condition where someone excessively sweats, even when heat is not present, when heat is present, this could lead to sweating much more than others in sauna use.