Approximately 14 percent of adults in the United States smoke cigarettes. That works out to roughly 34.1 million people.
Cigarette smoking currently ranks as the number 1 cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. However millions of people still smoke every day.
Are you having a hard time quitting smoking, despite knowing how harmful it is for you and those around you? Did you know that you can actually use a sauna to help quit smoking?
Read on to learn more about the benefits of in-home sauna usage for quitting smoking. You’ll also find some tips on how to use the sauna to stop smoking.
How Does Using a Sauna Help Quit Smoking?
At first, the idea of sitting in a sauna to quit smoking might sound ridiculous. Some legitimate benefits come with using a sauna to help you through the process of giving up cigarettes, though, including the following:
Spending time in a sauna can produce a rush of endorphins and neurotransmitters like serotonin.
Endorphins and serotonin are chemical messengers that improve the mood and reduce pain, as well as other symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawals. Boosting the production of these chemicals can help you to feel better as you give up cigarettes.
Spending time in the sauna can help to reduce stress and inflammation in the body, too. Many people turn to cigarettes when they’re feeling stressed out or anxious (and the withdrawal process itself is quite stressful). By relaxing in the sauna, you can healthily manage your stress and feel more at ease during this transition.
When you sit in the sauna, your body temperature rises, your heart beats faster, and your circulation improves. All of these things, typically, tend to cause people to feel more alert and focused.
If you find that you’re feeling sluggish or fatigued while quitting smoking, regular sauna use can give you a burst of energy and help you push through these slumps.
In addition to increasing energy during the day, spending time in the sauna could also help to improve your sleep quality at night.
If you’re alert and focused during the day, by the time night rolls around, you’ll likely be more relaxed and ready for bed than you would have been otherwise. Using a sauna also reduces stress, which will make it easier for you wind down at night and get some much-needed rest.
Speed Up Detoxification
Whether you’re using an infrared sauna, a traditional sauna, or a sauna blanket, increasing your body temperature and breaking a sweat helps to speed up the body’s natural detoxification processes. This can get nicotine out of your system faster and may help you expedite the initial withdrawal period.
Create New Habits
A lot of people feel drawn to cigarettes again and again because they’ve created a habit of smoking when they’re stressed, anxious, tired, etc. Those who have successfully quit smoking also often say that it’s easier to give it up when they replace smoking with another activity.
Regularly using the sauna helps you to establish a newer, healthier habit that may stand in for cigarette smoking.
How Long to Sit in a Sauna to Quit Smoking?
Most experts recommend capping your sauna sessions at 15-20 minutes. If you stay in much longer than this, you’re more likely to lose too many fluids and become dehydrated (which won’t help you feel well when you’re already struggling with the process of quitting smoking).
Keep in mind, too, that you don’t need to start with 15-20-minute sauna sessions. For those who have never used the sauna before, or who don’t use it consistently, this might be too intense.
It’s easier to be consistent if you start with short, manageable sessions. Even 5 or fewer minutes is better than nothing at all and will still support your body’s natural detox processes and help you establish a healthy habit.
Over time, you can gradually increase the number of minutes you spend in the sauna until you’ve reached an amount that works well for you and produces the greatest benefits.
Bonus Tips for Using At-Home Saunas
In addition to starting slow, you can implement some other practices to help you get the most out of your time in the sauna. Here are some bonus tips for those who are quitting smoking (as well as anyone who’s new to sauna usage):
Hydrate Before and After
Make sure you’re well-hydrated before you get into the sauna. You’re going to be losing a lot of fluids in there, and if you’re already a little dehydrated before you step inside, you’re more likely to be severely dehydrated by the time you get out.
Replace the fluids you lost with more water or an electrolyte drink after your session is over, too.
Meditate or Stretch at the Same Time
If you have a hard time just sitting in the sauna, try doing something else at the same time. Listen to a guided meditation, for example, or do some stretches to increase blood flow and work on your flexibility.
Adjust the Temperature
It’s okay if you need to lower the temperature a bit when you first start using the sauna. As long as you’re still breaking a sweat, you’re still reaping the benefits of regular sauna sessions. You can always gradually increase the heat as you get more comfortable.
Set a Schedule
Finally, set a sauna schedule for yourself so you make it a habit. Whether you prefer to sit in the sauna in the morning, the evening, or any time in between, put it on your calendar so you don’t forget.
Can Saunas Help You Quit Smoking? Yes!
Now that you can answer questions like “will a sauna help quit smoking?” and “how does sauna help with quitting smoking?” are you ready to give it a try?
If it’s time to say goodbye to cigarettes, start by following the sauna usage tips listed above. Head to the Sun Home Saunas online store to find the perfect in-home sauna or infrared sauna blanket for your needs.