Science Says That This Steamy Spot is Good for Your Heart and Sleep Health

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If you’re wondering if saunas are safe for your heart, know that they aren’t thought to be harmful for the average healthy person, or even for patients with stable heart disease or mild heart failure (via Harvard Health Publishing). As outlined in the 2021 scientific review, sauna bathing has been linked with decreases in blood pressure, and positive effects on arterial stiffness, in which an artery struggles to expand and contract as it should during pressure fluctuations. It doesn’t take long for these effects to kick in, either; with improvements in cardiovascular functioning seen after just one sauna session. 

Furthermore, researchers from a 2018 scientific review published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine highlight one small study in which infants who had holes in their heart, and related congestive heart failure, experienced decreases in abnormal heart blood flow after 5 minutes of daily sauna exposure for four weeks. The majority of infants did not end up needing surgery. Findings of another study highlighted in the review involving more than 2,000 Finnish men showed that over the course of approximately 20 years, men who frequently used a sauna were 63% less susceptible to sudden cardiac death. All that being said, saunas are not advised for people with angina, untreated high blood pressure, low blood pressure, or serious heart conditions.

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