headache after sauna

Using the therapeutic powers of a sauna is a commonly practiced activity, which comes with numerous benefits like helping the body relax more, hence better blood circulation, and improving overall health. Some even use it in battling a cold. Assisting the body in flushing out toxins via sweating is also beneficial. However, this also comes with a risk of feeling sick and having a headache after sauna when precautions are not observed.

A sauna is a room where heat is generated and released for dry or wet heat sessions. Steam and high heat make the body more relaxed and feel good. Nevertheless, many individuals experience a sick feeling, especially a headache immediately after using a sauna, which is down to many factors we will discuss later.

As it may be normal to feel sick after the sauna, there are several reasons why this could happen. It could be peculiar to individuals’ preexisting health conditions and other factors. A few are prolonged exposure, which could leave you facing too much heat, causing dizziness, dehydration from excessive sweat, low blood pressure due to enlarged relaxed arteries, and nausea.

Let’s Start Here: Can you have a headache after sauna?

Undertaking a sauna properly in itself wouldn’t make you sick, but if there are underlying health problems with the body, then it might simply expose such, giving an appearance of “it made me sick.”

For example, elderly people are more prone to age-related total water changes in the body. They have reduced thirst perception and kidney function, posing a high dehydration risk. According to a 1987 article published in the Journal of the national medical association, diabetic individuals experience dehydration more often. Older people are prone to heat stress.

There is a good chance that the individuals in this category will use a sauna. They start to experience dehydration because of excessive sweat loss during the process. All that dehydration could cause a headache, fatigue, and dizziness, giving a sick-like symptom in general. This could also occur to people without a poor health History

For those more susceptible to heat stress, staying in the sauna for too long causes the body to become overheated, giving a dizzy and nauseous feeling. The extended stay could even lead to a heat stroke, seriously damaging the body.

Low blood pressure could also result from sauna because the body sends more blood to the skin’s surface to cool off as sweat evaporates. This causes blood pressure to lessen, making you feel light-headed, nauseous, fatigued, blur vision, and even loss of consciousness in extreme cases.

5 reasons why you are having a headache after sauna

For the sake of this article, feeling sick and having a headache after a sauna has been narrowed down to 5 possible reasons.

1. Dehydration

Dehydration has never been good for the body of man for so many reasons, and though it can be caused by several factors, they all ultimately lead the body to lose a whole lot of water than it normally does.

Associated with dehydration are:

  • Thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Dark yellow pee
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry skin

At a later stage, some may feel dizzy, have rapid heartbeat and breathing, lack of energy and sleepiness, and possibly fainting.

Depending on the level of dehydration, one might experience only a few or many of these symptoms, which causes a sick feeling.

2. The sauna was too hot

Due to whatever reason, a man just jumps into a sauna and aims for its peak without understanding their body and its limits.

The first thing to study is how high the heat can go and would still remain safe for your body. It is important not to exceed temperatures that your body cannot handle. Start small, and increase gradually with steady observation. Overheating causes dehydration.

3. You have been in there for too long:

The sauna is a temporary therapeutic abode and should only be used as one. Even if your body can withstand a certain temperature, staying there too long can eventually stress it out, getting you dehydrated or more stressed due to exposure to heat than relaxed.

4. Heat stress

The body treats this as “stress”: heat stress is a common factor when exposed to extreme heat. The body can often not maintain a healthy temperature in response to a hot environment.

The aftermath of this includes dizziness or fainting, fatigue, severe headache or nausea, lack of alertness, excessive sweating, and muscle cramps. This means that heat stress could also lead to dehydration after excessive sweating.

5. Expanded arteries

The body’s response to high body temperature is to move blood to the skin’s surface to cool before taking it back into its core. During this process, the arteries expand, becoming larger than normal, causing the blood to flow with less pressure. Low blood pressure is characterized by dizziness or lightheadedness, nausea, possible fainting, dehydration, blurred vision,

Most of these health conditions that leave you feeling sick are linked. Heat stress can cause dehydration, and so can low blood pressure, while staying too long in the sauna can cause both dehydration and heat stress. This makes avoiding these acts the best solution to prevent feeling sick after the sauna.

How long should you stay in a sauna?

tips so you wont feel sick after sauna

The duration you should stay in a sauna largely depends on how experienced you are in using one. The more the body becomes accustomed to the process, the more it can conveniently handle it.

For beginners, it is important you limit sauna sessions from 5 to 10 minutes. While the more experienced can go as high as 20 minutes, and anything more leaves you with a risk of feeling sick after the sauna.

It is also important that you apply the necessary precautions while using the sauna too. Do not turn up the heat so the body becomes uncomfortable. Stay hydrated by drinking at least a glass of water before stepping in. Dress properly for easy aeration, or just ditch the clothes altogether, and do not wear any type of juries.

Why are you having a headache and nausea after the sauna?

Having a headache and nausea after the sauna is mostly the aftermath of overexposure to heat (you overstayed your welcome), experiencing rapid dehydration due to preexisting health conditions or high turned too high, and finally, low blood pressure. These three conditions can cause nausea or headaches after leaving the sauna. So, the activity should be carried out with care.

A dehydrated body is always at risk of nausea and headaches, and the very act of sauna makes the body sweat a lot, getting rid of water. Also, there’s a chance of it being caused by low blood pressure, which is the body trying to cool the blood, resulting in better circulation at the expense of reduced pressure.

How do you prevent having a headache after sauna?

So, you wanna know how to stay healthy after a sauna session? Here are some tips that could really help you avoid getting sick after the sauna.

  • Drink up: As you already know, Saunas make you sweat like crazy 😅. This means you are losing more body fluids. Hydrate yourself like there’s no tomorrow! Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna session. I can’t emphasize the importance of staying hydrated to feel good after a sauna.
  • Don’t overdo it: Take it easy. Don’t spend too much time in the sauna, especially if you’re a newbie. Start with short sessions, around 10-15 minutes, and slowly build up from there.
  • Cool down, but not too fast: Picture this—you just stepped out of the sauna, feeling sweaty and hot. The last thing you want to do is jump into an ice-cold shower or run into freezing air. Let your body cool down gradually. Hang out in a cooler room for a few minutes, or take a lukewarm shower. It’s all about giving your body some time to adjust.
  • Keep it clean: Saunas are shared spaces, and who wants to catch germs, right? Grab a towel or sit on a clean barrier in the sauna. Ensure not to touch your face, or anyone else’s during or after the sauna.
  • Listen to your body: Your body has much to say, and you must listen. If you start feeling woozy, dizzy, or just not right, don’t be a hero—get out of that sauna! Cool down immediately and take care of yourself. Your body knows best, so pay attention to its signals.

Remember, if you’ve got any health concerns or conditions, it’s always wise to talk to a healthcare professional. Stay safe, and sweat it out!

Our Final Thoughts on Having a Headache After Sauna

A sauna is very beneficial; some might even call it rightly therapeutic, but it should be done cautiously.

Though prolonged exposure looks like a way to get the maximum benefits. You should not spend more than 20 minutes as a pro and not more than 5 minutes as an amateur. Ending up rather sick than revived is the worse way to end a therapeutic session.

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