My Daily Infrared Sauna Session: How an Early Morning Session Will Make your Day

As autumn approaches and that cold chill is returning to the air, my infrared sauna sessions are becoming more frequent again. Not quite daily yet, but I find myself thinking about it more and I am trying to find ways of fitting it back into my daily  routine. As I start using my home sauna more often, I can feel that I am getting addicted to it once more. It is very similar to the endorphin addiction that I get from regular running, cycling or swimming. Once you have a regular rhythm going, your body craves it and feels great afterwards. Luckily I have a cabin in the corner of our spare bedroom which allows me to get a quick fix whenever I find the time.

When I look at my infrared sauna use, I think that the majority of my sauna sessions can be grouped into 3 different categories. A morning session, an evening session and a session after training or physical exercise. There is also the odd session aimed at fighting a hangover, but I will not go into these here.

I think my favourite time to use my far infrared sauna is early mornings. I don’t do it as much as I would like to because it requires getting up 30 minutes earlier and I love my sleep. I have a serious lack of willpower early in the morning…, but whenever I wake up before the alarm clock I have a session.

Here is how it typically goes: I quickly tiptoe into the spare room which will be cold at that time in the morning and I start up the  infrared sauna after which I get myself a glass of water and hurry back to bed. Nice and warm under the covers again, I spend the next 5 minute or so drinking my water and waking up. About 10 minutes after starting it up, the sauna will be warm enough; 45 degrees and still getting hotter fast. The floor heating will have done its job and I get in enjoying the instant effect of the warmth on my body. In theory, infrared light does its job at any temperature, but I am glad I have the sort of cabin that has powerful heaters and great insulation so it heats up to 60 degrees or more easily and quickly, even in our cold spare bedroom.

Having said that, I always have my sessions at 55 degrees. Sometimes 60, but that is the absolute maximum for me. I stay in for 30 to 45 minutes. As said above, I tend to go in at 45 degrees and sit in the sauna as it warms up further. This works great for me, I slowly warm up and after about 8 to 10 minutes the sweat starts coming. Once it starts flowing it seems unstoppable. It is truly remarkable how much you sweat in a good far infrared sauna cabin. And it keeps coming for as long as I am in there. In the beginning I did not focus so much on making sure I drank enough, but after a few sessions I started to realise that  I was sweating a lot more than I had ever done before and now I always drink at least a pint of water before and after my sauna session. And often I will take a bottle in there with me.

Usually I do not do anything in my infrared sauna. I set the light therapy unit to automatic. Orange to encourage optimism, violet for mental strength, red for energy etc… At this early hour, I think I need them all and prefer not to choose as the unit flicks to them all at a set time interval. Sometimes I play some background music, sometimes not. No books, magazines, iPhone, etc.. I just sit, relax, wake up and enjoy the far infrared light. I do a bit of thinking not necessarily about anything important or try not to think at all. It is just a bit of downtime before I start my day.

The reason why  I like the early morning session so much is because it gives me this boost. It is hard to explain. I have mentioned the endorphin feeling earlier and it is a bit similar. Maybe because the heat is not as extreme as in a traditional sauna, you actually feel revived in a very calm way. The great thing is that this feeling lasts for most of the day. With a morning session, for me, it is important to make sure that I cool down properly and rehydrate. So after the session, I have another pint of water and then my shower is usually a bit longer than usual. I start with really hot water and then cool it down to a much cooler but still pleasant temperature. This I continue for a few more minutes. By the time I am shaved and dressed, my body is back to its regular temperature and I feel great. Ready to tackle the day.

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