When sauna makes you sick!

As we all know, sauna is healthy and therefore very popular among many devotees. So in German saunas, people sweat as much as their bodies can. Even with existing complaints, a sauna session can support healing. But be careful! Sauna is not always good, there are also limitations.
Why should sauna bathing be healthy in principle?

Why should sauna bathing be healthy in principle?

Taking a sauna is considered very healthy. It stimulates the circulation and strengthens the immune system. But is this always the case? After a sauna session, do you feel tired, have muscle aches or even a cold? Many people cite the sauna as the reason. We want to investigate this further and ask the question: Does sauna really make you ill? In addition, you will learn which rules you should follow and why many people love the sauna so much.

Why saunas are so popular

According to a survey, more than 21 million Germans like to go to the sauna from time to time (source: Statista 2017). This includes going to their own sauna as well as a wellness center. More than five million said they regularly take a sauna. The reasons for this varied widely among the respondents. For example, they said that:

  • They love relaxation.
  • Are looking for a place of tranquility.
  • Like to go to the sauna with friends.
  • Or like the soothing warmth.

The reasons for a sauna session are quite individual and often overlap. Sometimes you don’t feel so good after a sauna session. Is it because the sauna makes you sick?

Does sauna make you sick?

Don’t worry: sauna does not make you sick in any case. This has not been proven so far. In fact, several studies around the world show that going to the sauna has many positive side effects. Most of the studies come from Finland, where the Finnish sauna is very popular. The good qualities that a sauna visit has in itself can also be applied to other saunas. For example, you will benefit from:

  • relaxed muscles,
  • smooth, pore-free skin,
  • a strengthened immune system,
  • a stress reduction,
  • etc.

Your muscles relax in the sauna and the whole body comes to rest. Your blood circulates better and stimulates oxygen. As a result, you breathe more intensively. Your organs are better supplied with blood and toxins are eliminated. Repeated sauna sessions of eight to twelve minutes followed by a shower with cold water are recommended. So there are several good reasons to visit a sauna. Do you still not feel so good afterward? There can be several reasons for this. The following rules are important to prepare you for a sauna session. They will prevent possible pain in your muscles, knees and so on.

Stick to certain rules

In order to enjoy the sauna to the fullest, there are some tips and rules that you must follow. This will help you to relax in a quiet atmosphere and come out of the sauna without any complaints.

Target group

In principle, the sauna is suitable for everyone. Most sauna friends are between 18 and 60+ years old. Children should visit a special children’s sauna. An escort up to 16 years of age is strongly recommended for the sauna time and for the high temperatures. Many public facilities and wellness centers offer children’s saunas at certain times. Wearing bathing suits is mandatory then. The temperatures are not so high. Pregnant women, diabetics, and people with circulatory problems are also advised to visit a sauna with caution. It is best to clarify with your doctor to what extent a sauna visit is an option for you. An alternative is the infrared cabin, which has lower temperatures of 95 to 122 °F.

Driving after the sauna

It is advisable to take a break after the sauna. Allow yourself at least an hour of rest before getting behind the wheel. Your body is still in rest mode and your concentration is not yet 100%. If you have visited a public sauna, use the relaxation room. This is also good for your body.

Do not forget to drink

Drinking about two liters of water or unsweetened tea every day is important to keep your organs hydrated. Drink after your sauna session to replenish the water lost through sweat. This will also refresh your mind and you will have a clear view.

Solarium and sauna

Solarium and sauna are not taboo. However, the order is crucial. Go to the sauna first to protect your skin from excessive UV rays.

Do you go to the sauna when you have a cold?

Do you feel tired, do you have pain in your muscles, or do you already have a cold? Then a visit to the sauna is not suitable. Your respiratory system needs to recover first. In addition, your body will be warmed up, and your body will be dehydrated. This is not good if you have a cold. Therefore, avoid going to the sauna if you are not feeling well. Otherwise, it can even cause a heart attack in the worst case.

Dieting and sauna

Are you currently dieting or fasting? Then sauna is not the best choice. Your body is already low on energy. After the diet, you start again with a sauna visit and give your body pure rest.

It is better to avoid the sauna if you have these ailments

With some diseases, you should avoid the sauna. This is especially true for:

  • Impaired liver and kidney function,
  • circulatory disorders,
  • epilepsy,
  • diabetes,
  • pressure on the eyes,
  • cardiovascular problems,
  • respiratory problems
  • etc.

Talk to your doctor about your condition and ask if a sauna or alternative is an option. This could be the infrared cabin mentioned earlier or a Roman steam bath. Do you come out of the sauna and still complain of itchy eyes, sneezing, or sniffles? Then the reason could be an allergy to the wood in the sauna cabin. Ask the staff of the wellness center what kind of wood is used. Many high-quality saunas are made of cedar wood, but this is very allergy-friendly. Dust can also be a possible cause. Consider everything and don’t let it stop you from visiting the sauna.


The sauna does not make you sick in any way. On the contrary, it boosts the immune system and ensures beautiful skin. Stick to certain rules and ask your doctor if you are allowed to go to the sauna. Then nothing will stand in the way of warm relaxation!


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