Clearlight would like to remind readers that this should not be taken as direct medical advice, and you should always consult a licensed health practitioner before making any significant changes to your lifestyle.
It’s no secret that sleep is the bedrock foundation that great health and wellness is built upon. Without enough sleep, everything from our mental health, productivity and ability to stay healthy begins to deteriorate. Even with radical changes to your diet or exercise regime, if you’re not getting enough quality sleep, your body won’t be able to operate at its full potential.
So, then, it begs the question of how we can improve the quality of our sleep, and whether or not an infrared sauna can help you sleep better.
How Important Is Sleep For Productivity And Mental Health?
As you’ve no doubt heard before, sleep is essential to maintain our mental health, productivity, and mitigating the threat of anxiety and depression. In the most simple of terms, getting enough sleep gives our brain the chance to catch up on its homework, repair itself and prepare for the coming onslaught of the next day’s activities.
Research from the National Sleep Foundation says that adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night, while children and teenagers need even more to assist with their cognitive development.
What Happens To Our Body When We Sleep?
You’d be amazed just how much happens inside our body when we’re asleep. As you doze off, your brain begins to process information - and stress - gained throughout the day, and an array of hormones make their way through your body. The pituitary gland begins to release important growth hormones that help your brain and body heal, and repair important areas of your health. Your stress levels drop as your body releases less cortisol as you fall asleep, and your immune system gets to work reducing inflammation with special proteins.
In short, while you're sleeping, your body is constantly working away at processing information, reducing your stress levels and healing itself. As you’re about to discover, with the help of an infrared sauna, you can give your brain a helping hand with that overwhelming workload!
Does An Infrared Sauna Help You Sleep Better?
If you’re willing to change certain aspects of your evening routine, there are a number of reasons why an infrared sauna can help you sleep better. First and foremost, if you’ve spent time inside an infrared sauna, you’ll already be aware of just how relaxed you feel after your session. Infrared saunas help your body with thermoregulation and facilitate what’s known as a parasympathetic state, where the body can more effectively digest and, more importantly, rest.
As your body cools off after a session in an infrared sauna, it sends signals - in the form of more melatonin- to your brain that it is ready to sleep, which helps send you off to your dreams even faster.
Secondly, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that infrared saunas provide one of the best sources of quality relaxation, and how this can help improve both the quality of your sleep, and your ability to fall asleep quickly. If you set up a space that is free of distractions like televisions and smartphone screens, you’re essentially providing your body with an opportunity to heal, and a place for your brain to relax, and enter more of a meditative-state.
Aside from this, there is also evidence published by the National Library of Medicine stating that infrared sauna therapy can help with the side effects of chronic fatigue syndrome and help regulate hormones in our body that assist with better quality sleep.
Does An Infrared Sauna Help With Anxiety And Depression?
There is a building body of evidence to suggest that a number of the benefits of an infrared sauna that help with the quality of our sleep cycles also extend to mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. The most immediate and anecdotal evidence to support the fact that infrared saunas can help with the symptoms of mental disorders like anxiety and depression is that they provide the ideal opportunity for relaxation.
Whether you were planning on it or not, spending thirty minutes inside an infrared sauna will force you to practice mindfulness in one form or another, which has huge benefits for things like anxiety and depression.
A 2018 study makes it clear that “the psychological impact of sauna bathing may be due to a combination of factors that include the release of endorphins and other opioid-like peptides such as dynorphins, forced mindfulness, psychological stress reduction, relaxation, time out from busy life schedules and placebo effects.”
We can see here that the benefits of infrared saunas no doubt extend to aspects of our mental health which are, in a number of cases, regulated by hormones in our body. In the absence of a quality sleep cycle, or stressful life routine, built-up cortisol levels - the stress hormone - can help things like anxiety and depression to build. With an infrared sauna, you’re encouraging the development of stress-fighting hormones, and more likely to get a full night’s quality sleep, which helps regulate your mental state.
What Are Some Tips To Create A Better Sleep Cycle?
The Sleep Foundation provides a number of guidelines for getting a quality night’s sleep, and says that creating a sleep schedule helps to shape your body’s circadian rhythm, which regulates your sleep. Aside from ensuring that your mattress is comfortable and you’re sleeping in a comfortable ambient temperature, the Sleep Foundation says that it’s essential that you create a pre-sleep routine that helps you escape from your mobile phone or laptop.
Perhaps most significantly, practicing some peaceful mindfulness or meditation before bedtime can help you slip into a restful sleep quickly, and maintain a sleep cycle that helps to heal your brain and produce beneficial hormones.
If you’re ready to get relaxing in the comfort of your own home, click here to discover our full range of Infrared Saunas.