10 Infrared Sauna Tips For Beginners

10 Infrared Sauna Tips For Beginners

An infrared sauna is one of the most popular wellness trends in the industry right now. The fact that you can have one in your home for an affordable price helps tremendously, but it is the infrared therapy benefits that attract most of the attention [1]. Infrared light (aka infrared waves) has been used in physical therapy for a while now to treat acute or chronic pain in conditions like arthritis, muscle strain, back pain, and many others [2]. The benefits, though, are not only aimed at improving physical health, but can also be helpful for relaxing, sleeping better, and lessening signs of depression [3].

Although having an infrared sauna in your home may give you the impression that you can use it any way you want, that's not the case. Just like any other infrared sauna, you need to respect certain rules before, during, and after your sessions to maintain the utmost hygiene and safety conditions.

Here are some sauna tips for beginners to help you have the best experience and most satisfying benefits from your personal infrared sauna.

1. Drink A Lot Of Water

pitcher of water pouring into a glass

Infrared saunas, just like traditional saunas, can make you sweat profusely, naturally causing one to lose large amounts of fluids. Sweating is good for you since it can purge toxins and impurities from your pores, giving your skin a radiant glow and even helping with other conditions, like acne [4]. On the other hand though, too much sweating can leave you feeling nauseated, fatigued, or may even cause you to faint due to the lack of water in your system.

To prevent this from happening, you need to hydrate before using an infrared sauna, as well as after. You can also bring a bottle of water into the cabin, but that won’t be enough to keep you hydrated. You need to start building up fluid levels hours before you intend to have your infrared session. If you are not a disciplined water drinker, you can try adding some flavors with fresh fruits and vegetables. Slices of cucumber, lemon, grapefruit, and ginger are refreshing and will even add a vitamin kick into the mix.

2. Always Take A Shower Before Going Into The Cabin

While sweating can remove impurities from your skin, it should not be a replacement for a shower. Regardless of whether you bought a one-person infrared sauna or another intended for more people, the hygiene inside the cabin must be at the maximum level. This is an especially important rule if you combine infrared saunas with your workout and have a session after exercise [5]. If you decide to enter the cabin without a shower, you can bring an unpleasant smell and prevent others in your home from enjoyably experiencing the benefits of infrared saunas. This is something you can easily resolve with a quick shower before you start your infrared sauna session.

3. Dress In Cotton Clothes

Even though you can technically go into your infrared sauna naked, it is best to have a towel to sit on, keeping the bench clean and free of sweat. Consider using cotton towels since this is a natural fabric and will not cause any irritation when in direct contact with your skin.

If you do not feel comfortable being completely naked inside the cabin, you can wear an oversized T-shirt or a tunic. Make sure they are 100% cotton,since synthetic materials prevent heat from escaping, causing discomfort after just a few minutes into an infrared session.

Once you are done, throw the clothes and towels into the laundry basket and do not use them again until after they have been washed. Do not go inside the sauna in your sweaty workout clothes, sweatsuits, and shoes. Wearing footwear during an infrared sauna session is especially not wise since it can lead to the onset of athlete’s foot or other yeast infections due to the build up of heat inside the shoes.

4. Take Your Time

If you are a first-timer, it is best to start with shorter sessions until your body acclimates to the heat. At which point, you can then gradually increase the time until you arrive at the recommended 40 minutes a session. Be sure not to rush your progress, take it slowly and be patient. After a couple of weeks, you will get used to the heat and look forward to your daily infrared therapy sessions.

Think of the time spent in your infrared sauna as a perfect way to have some “me-time” and recharge your batteries in a peaceful environment. Infrared therapy can relax you, helping one feel rested and energized in the morning while also making it easier to achieve a full night of quality sleep.

5. Do Not Eat Right Before An Infrared Sauna Session

woman eating pizza and drinking beer

Since spending time inside an infrared cabin can boost your circulation,increasing the flow of nutrients inside your body, like oxygen, glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids [6]. Because of this, your body will delay digestion since it is concentrating on delivering nutrients throughout the body. Using infrared saunas on a full stomach can lead to nausea and prevent your body from properly digesting food. It is for this reason that we suggest to avoid eating right before your infrared sauna session. If you feel that you need to eat, stick to something light, like a salad.

6. Pay Attention To What Your Body Tells You

You can created a schedule to use an infrared sauna, but the first and foremost rule should be to always listen to your body. If you feel exhausted, lightheaded, or otherwise unwell, postpone the session until you feel better or cancel it for the day.

7. Avoid Drinking Alcohol Beforehand

There are many reasons why you should not use infrared saunas while intoxicated. Alcohol puts kidneys and liver into overdrive, placing your body into a dehydrative state. Even having too much alcohol the day before an infrared session can lead to excessive dehydration. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot sweat out a hang-over.

Some people can get sick and vomit inside the cabin, which can ruin the experience for other users. Moreover, when intoxicated, motor skills are impaired which can lead to injuries from falls and slips, as well as cause a potential damage to the in-home infrared sauna.

8. Find Out Facts About Chromotherapy

If your infrared sauna offers a chromotherapy feature, find out all the colors offered and what the health benefits are. For example, yellow is intended to relieve stress, while green can boost your relaxation inside the infrared sauna. Red is good for energy and stimulation, while blue is calming and will soothe strong emotions, like anger.

If you have added color therapy to your JNH Lifestyles’ infrared sauna, try sticking to one color during the entirety of a session; this will engage a more targeted approach to reap the most benefits of what ever color you select. Color therapy is a fantastic method for improving your mental state, helping one to resolve inner struggles and deal with troubling emotions.

9. No Smartphones

One of the primary purposes of a sauna is to unplug from life, so it is best to eliminate the use of smartphones unless it is for playing music/listening to an audio book. Besides, electronics are well-known for malfunctioning and breaking while under the stress of high temperatures, so it is best to avoid having them inside the cabin at all times. For the most part, smartphones serve as a distraction from relaxing and will prevent you from enjoying your infrared sauna's benefits to the fullest.

10. Take A Warm Shower After

hands getting wet underneath a shower

After every infrared sauna session, consider taking a warm shower. While it is generally recommended that taking a cold shower is better since it will close up pores and prevent dirt from infiltrating them, taking a hot shower also has its own benefits as well.

After you have eliminated dirt, toxins, and other impurities from your skin, the pores are ready for nourishment. Keeping them open for a little longer can allow your beauty products, like body lotions and creams, to be fully absorbed by your skin. In a way, a warm shower after spending time in the infrared cabin can make your skin healthier and more radiant.

All In All

Infrared saunas in spas or gyms comes with its own set of rules for a reason, which are set in place to provide an enjoyable and hygienic environment for everyone. Some of these rules for public saunas should transfer over to a home sauna setting to provide you and your family with the same results. If you want to know more or have any questions, do not hesitate to contact JNH Lifestyles’ customer service team and get your answers from one of our specialists.

10 Sauna Tips Every Beginner Should Follow 1. Drink plenty of water - hydration is extremely important before, during and after a session 2. Consider showering before a session - this is especially important if you worked out first 3. Try loose-fitted clothing made from cotton - cotton will not cause any irritation when in contact with skin 4. Pace yourself - start off with 15 minute sessions and work your way up 5. Don't eat before a session - participating in a session with a full stomach can cause nausea 6. Listen to your body - know your limits, if you're feeling lightheaded, STOP your session 7. Avoid drinking alcohol beforehand - alcohol places your body in a dehydrative state 8. Consider chromotherapy - A.K.A. color therapy, a great addition to any infrared session 9. Try not bringing your phone inside - digital detoxing is an important part of decompressing 10. Take a warm shower post-session - keeping your pores opened allows the body to better absorb creams & lotions afterwards


[1]Tsai SR, and Hamblin M.R. (2017). “Biological effects and medical applications of infrared radiation.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnology Information, May 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5505738/.

[2] Gale,G.D, et al. (2006). “Infrared therapy for chronic low back pain: A randomized, controlled trial.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2006, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2539004/.

[3] Schiffer, F, et al. (2009). “Psychological benefits 2 and 4 weeks after a single treatment with near-infrared light to the forehead: a pilot study of 10 patients with major depression and anxiety.” behavioralandbrainfunctions.biomedcentral.com, BMC, December 2009, https://behavioralandbrainfunctions.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1744-9081-5-46.

[4]Pei, Susan, Inamadar, Arun C, et al. (2015). “Light-based therapies in acne treatment.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnology Information, May 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439741/#ref64.

[5] Kim, Sungwoon, et al. (2017). “Does treadmill walking with near-infrared light applied to the abdominal area reduce local adiposity and body weight?” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnology Information, October 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5684004/.

[6]Brunt, V. E, et al. (2016). ”Passive heat therapy improves endothelial function, arterial stiffness and blood pressure in sedentary humans.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnology Information, June 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27270841.