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Can Saunas Cure Hangovers? What Science Says About Sweating it Out

Ever wake up after a night out with a pounding headache, a queasy stomach, and an overwhelming desire to rewind time? If so, you're not alone. Hangovers can be the unwelcome aftermath of a great night out, leaving you grappling with the consequences of a bit too much fun. Luckily, there’s a better way to get back to feeling 100% without crawling back into bed.

A sauna detox is an invigorating way to sweat out the toxins of the night before, increase your circulation, and relax. In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about using a sauna for hangover relief — from the science behind sweating out your hangover symptoms to how to use the sauna when you’re hungover.

Can You Sweat Out a Hangover?

A hangover, the unpleasant aftermath of a night of indulgence, is essentially the body's response to the toxicity of alcohol. Alcohol has several effects on your body beyond the euphoria of the moment, including irritating the lining of your stomach, causing your body to produce more urine, and triggering your immune system’s inflammatory response. The severity of your hangover depends on how much alcohol you had the night before and is marked by symptoms like nausea, fatigue, headache, dizziness, anxiety, light sensitivity, and irritability.

The question of whether you can "sweat out" a hangover is complex. While sweating might not directly cure a hangover, using a sauna could have some indirect benefits. Sweating, as a natural bodily function, increases blood flow and helps oxygenate tissues. This process can also boost the production of endorphins, the body's feel-good chemicals, which might improve your mood and overall well-being.

How Saunas Help with Hangovers

Saunas offer a variety of physical and psychological benefits for users, including speeding up your body’s detoxification process, increasing your circulation, and promoting relaxation. In this section, we will explore how these benefits can alleviate your hangover and improve your recovery.

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1. Speeds Up Detoxification

Sweating offers numerous benefits beyond its primary role in regulating body temperature. The idea of "sweating it out" has merit for several reasons: When we sweat, our blood circulation increases, which helps oxygenate our tissues. This process can enhance our overall sense of well-being. Additionally, the physical activity often associated with sweating can stimulate the production of endorphins, the body's natural mood lifters. 

Most importantly, sweating can assist in the detoxification process. It helps the body excrete certain substances, like BPA, potentially aiding in reducing the load of these compounds in the body.

When you’re using a sauna for hangover relief, it's crucial to heed the advice of experts and stay well-hydrated. Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after a sauna session ensures hydration and supports the detox process.

2. Increases Circulation

Increasing your circulation is another benefit saunas can provide against hangover discomfort, particularly when it comes to alleviating headaches and muscle aches. Studies suggest that the heat exposure in a sauna prompts blood vessels to dilate, enhancing blood flow and oxygen delivery throughout the body. This improved circulation can be especially beneficial in mitigating headaches associated with hangovers, as it helps reduce the constriction of blood vessels that often contribute to the pounding sensation. 

Additionally, heightened circulation facilitates the removal of metabolic byproducts like lactic acid from fatigued muscles. Increased blood flow aids in muscle recovery and can potentially ease the soreness often experienced after a night of excessive drinking. 

3. Promotes Relaxation

Saunas aren't just a remedy for the body — they're a sanctuary for the mind, offering profound relaxation that can be a game-changer in conquering hangover-related stress. As explored in our article on the stress relief benefits of saunas, the enveloping warmth of a sauna induces a sense of calmness, encouraging deep and rhythmic breathing. 

This controlled breathing triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting a state of relaxation and reducing stress hormones. In a study of 472 adults from 29 countries, those who reported using a sauna five to 15 times a month had higher mental well-being scores compared to respondents who didn’t use saunas. While the sauna soothes your body, it also provides a mental escape, making it a holistic haven for those looking to ease the mental toll of a hangover.

How to Use a Sauna When Hungover

While saunas can be a potent ally in hangover recovery, ensuring a safe and effective session should always be top of mind. Here are some essential tips to make the most of your sauna experience and expedite your journey back to feeling your best:

  1. Know Your Medical History: If you have pre-existing health conditions, such as cardiovascular issues or low blood pressure, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before indulging in sauna therapy. Understanding your medical limitations is key to avoiding potential risks during a hangover sauna session.
  2. Avoid Overdoing It: While the sauna's heat can be therapeutic, moderation is key. Limit your sauna session to around 15 to 20 minutes, especially when dealing with the aftermath of a hangover. Overextending your time in the sauna can lead to dehydration and exacerbate hangover symptoms, so keep it short and sweet.
  3. Stay Hydrated: Hydration is the name of the game, both inside and outside the sauna. Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna session helps counteract the dehydrating effects of the heat and promotes the detoxification process.
  4. Dress Appropriately: When it comes to sauna attire, less is more. Opt for lightweight, breathable clothing or, better yet, a towel to sit on. Avoid heavy fabrics that can trap heat, allowing your body to regulate temperature effectively. 
  5. Cool Down Gradually: Give your body a chance to transition gradually by taking a lukewarm or cool shower. Cooling down slowly helps prevent dizziness and discomfort, ensuring a smoother recovery after your sauna session.

    The Better Way to Tackle Your Hangovers

    Instead of reaching for a greasy breakfast sandwich the next time you’re hungover, try stepping into a sauna instead. The high heat of a sauna can provide relaxation when you need it most.

    Our Plunge sauna reaches up to 230°F and can be installed inside or out, allowing you to create your perfect oasis wherever it best fits your vision. With an ergonomically designed 15” backrest and flip-up benches, you can recline comfortably, open up the space for some hot yoga, and even invite friends to partake in your sauna.

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    Learn more about our sauna today to start your journey to a more refreshed you.

    Medical Disclaimer: All information, content, and material of this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.