Restless sleep after sauna

Are you one of those people who feel a certain heaviness in bed after a visit to the sauna? Then you are one of the lucky ones! Because not all sauna visitors have the privilege of a restful night's sleep. Some even complain of restless sleep after intense sweating. But why is that?
Deep relaxation through sauna

Deep relaxation through sauna

The sauna is a place of relaxation and recreation that helps many people to leave the stressful everyday life behind. However, sometimes it is difficult to find a restful night’s sleep after a sauna visit. In this article, we take a closer look at the connection between sauna visits and sleep problems and give tips on how to still enjoy a restful night’s sleep.

Parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems: the two players of the autonomic nervous system

Our autonomic nervous system plays a crucial role in regulating our bodily functions, especially in relation to relaxation and stress. It consists of two components: the parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for promoting relaxation and calm, while the sympathetic nervous system becomes active in stressful situations, putting the body into fight-or-flight mode. These two systems work in balance to ensure our health and well-being.

The effects of sauna on the autonomic nervous system

A sauna visit can have both positive and negative effects on the autonomic nervous system. During the sauna session, we first relax deeply, as the heat and sweating have a calming effect. However, the subsequent cold shower or cooling down can activate the sympathetic nervous system and lead to the release of stress hormones. This abrupt change between relaxation and stimulation can lead to sleep disturbances, especially if you go to the sauna late at night.

The importance of balance for our health

A balanced autonomic nervous system is crucial for our health and well-being. After periods of stress, allow adequate recovery time for the body to return to a relaxed state. Sauna bathing can be an effective way to relieve stress and restore balance to the nervous system.

The challenge of the cold shower after a sauna visit

One of the challenges after a sauna session is the cold shower or cool down that is often recommended to cool the body back down. This sudden change in temperature leads to activation of the sympathetic nervous system and increased release of stress hormones. If the sauna session takes place in the late evening, the parasympathetic nervous system may not have enough time to regain control, which can lead to sleep problems.

Tips for restful sleep after a sauna session

To ensure a restful sleep after a sauna visit, it is recommended to schedule the visit in the early morning hours. By visiting the sauna in the morning or early afternoon, the body has enough time to release stress hormones and rebalance the autonomic nervous system. In addition, care should be taken to ensure adequate cooling after the sauna session by slowly lowering the body temperature and gently resting the body.

Sauna bathing as part of a healthy lifestyle

Despite possible sleep problems after a sauna visit, one should not give up sauna bathing. Sauna bathing offers many health benefits such as improving blood circulation, cleansing the body and strengthening the immune system. In addition, a sauna visit releases happy hormones that can lead to an elevated mood and a general sense of well-being.

Other factors that can lead to poor sleep

However, not all sleep problems after a sauna session are directly related to the sauna session. There are many other factors that can lead to poor sleep, such as snoring, noise, light, or an unpleasant sleeping environment. These factors should be recognized and appropriate action taken to improve overall sleep quality.

Relaxation rituals at home: a complement to sauna therapy

To complement the benefits of sauna therapy and promote restful sleep, you can introduce your own relaxation rituals at home. These can include relaxation techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises or yoga. These methods help to calm the body and mind and create an optimal sleep environment.


Did you like the article? We would be delighted if you shared it and helped us to make our sauna magazine accessible to a wider audience, to inspire even more people with the beneficial properties of the sauna.