From hot flashes and mood swings to sleep disturbances and muscle aches, the symptoms women experience during menopause can be–at best–daunting, and–at worst–debilitating! And while there is no one-size-fits-all solution, I want to talk about one solution that holds immense promise as a natural approach to managing menopause-related discomforts.
Infrared saunas are an increasingly popular treatment for perimenopause and menopause symptoms. They differ from traditional saunas in that they use infrared light to heat the body instead of hot air. The heat generated by infrared saunas penetrates deeper into the skin and tissues, resulting in a more intense and therapeutic experience.
In addition to plenty of anecdotes and personal stories, there’s also research to back up the benefits of infrared sauna use during perimenopause and menopause. Here’s what we know about how it can help you get some natural menopause relief…
Infrared sauna may alleviate hot flashes
I know, the thought of making yourself hotter on purpose while you’re already dealing with an out-of-whack internal thermostat sounds crazy. But for all the skeptics, here’s the truth: One of the most significant benefits of infrared sauna therapy is its ability to alleviate hot flashes and night sweats. Researchers are still working to understand why exactly this happens, but there are some theories.
As estrogen declines in menopause, so does the expression of important proteins that control the body temperature homeostasis. One animal study found that infrared sauna use three times per week enhanced the production of these proteins, as well as estrogen levels (1). This could explain why many women report a reduction in the frequency and severity of hot flashes.
The heat-induced relaxation and improved blood circulation may also explain the decrease in hot flashes and night sweats. If that isn’t enough to convince you that infrared sauna is the best kept secret to natural menopause relief, there are also many other additional benefits.
Improved sleep and reduced stress
Infrared sauna therapy promotes relaxation by increasing the production of endorphins, our body’s natural stress relievers (2). The heat also relaxes muscles and soothes the mind, helping women manage the emotional rollercoaster often experienced during menopause (3).
Sleep disturbances are common during menopause. Infrared sauna sessions have been shown to improve sleep quality (4).
As someone who has always struggled with burning the candle at both ends, a 20-minute sauna session before bed has become my go-to for improving my sleep. I fall asleep faster, and I‘m waking up way less throughout the night. Plus, my Sunlighten Sauna uses ultra-low EMF technology which means my brain and nervous system can easily relax at the end of the day.
Pain killer and mood booster
In addition to improving sleep and anxiety, infrared sauna therapy has also been shown to reduce inflammation and pain associated with menopause (5). One 2019 study found that infrared sauna use can improve blood flow and circulation, leading to reduced joint pain and stiffness. If you’re active, an infrared sauna is a great form of recovery for tired muscles.
Regular infrared sauna therapy may also help to improve mood and overall sense of well-being during menopause. Several studies have found that regular sauna use can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, leading to a happier and more positive attitude despite shifting hormones during menopause (6).
Infrared sauna may restore collagen levels in skin, too
Another potential benefit of infrared sauna therapy during menopause is its ability to improve overall skin health and appearance. Collagen production decreases by as much as 30% during the first 5 years of menopause, causing dryness, irritation, and the appearance of a lot of new fine lines & wrinkles. Many of my patients struggle with this, as their skincare routine is suddenly not giving the results they’re used to.
The heat generated by infrared sauna use can increase collagen production, reduce wrinkles and fine lines, and improve skin texture and tone (7). I love a simple & noninvasive way to enhance the look and feel of skin, and this one gets my seal of approval.
Other benefits that may promote comfort during menopause
Infrared saunas induce deep sweating, which can help the body eliminate toxins and waste products. Effective detoxification alleviates the burden on the liver and aids in overall hormone balance (8). You would be shocked at the number of hormone-disrupting toxins and heavy metals that come out in our sweat!
Supporting your body’s natural detox pathways is the key to navigating any troublesome hormone symptoms.
Lastly, cardiovascular risks can increase during menopause As the estrogen that’s always protected women from a majority of heart problems declines. A large review suggests that regular sauna use could improve blood vessel function and circulation, potentially supporting heart health (9).
How Often to Use an Infrared Sauna
I have an infrared sauna in my home from Sunlighten Saunas that I use several times per week, but I know that may not be the most practical option for everyone. If you do have access to an infrared sauna, I recommend starting slowly with 15-minute sessions ranging from 110 to 130 degrees. Infrared saunas don’t need super high heat to be effective.
To experience noticeable improvements in menopause symptoms, I recommend using an infrared sauna at least three to four times a week, with sessions lasting 20 to 30 minutes each. The benefit appears to peak at about 30 minutes, and can decline from there.
I started slowly, and worked my way up to about 20 minutes per session—sometimes less if I’m running short on time. Evening sauna therapy aligns best with my routine, but both early morning and evening sessions are recommended.
Consistency is key! So establishing a regular routine can maximize the benefits. Some women may find relief with fewer sessions, while others might prefer daily use. It’s essential to listen to your body and adjust the frequency and duration of sauna sessions based on how you feel.
If you’d like to experience the benefits of infrared sauna therapy in your home, Sunlighten is offering my audience up to $600 on your purchase. Click here to save.
Finding natural relief for menopause symptoms
Infrared sauna therapy offers a promising approach to managing menopause symptoms and enhancing overall well-being. With its potential to reduce hot flashes, alleviate stress, improve sleep, and provide comfort, it’s no wonder many menopausal women are turning to this natural therapy.
As with any treatment or wellness practice, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before incorporating infrared sauna therapy into your routine, especially if you have underlying health conditions. With the guidance of a healthcare professional and a consistent sauna routine, you can navigate the menopausal journey with greater comfort and improved quality of life.