Winter isn't the most pleasant time of the year. That's why most people do anything they can to make it more bearable. To that end, it's worth exploring how sauna helps keep you happier in the winter.
Saunas have proven health benefits. They can help your skin, improve circulation, help you achieve more restful sleep, and even help reduce heart attack risk.
It's not a mystery how spending time in a winter sauna helps make you happy.
Saunas work to lighten your mood in 2 effective ways.
1. Increased Heart Rate
There's a scientific reason why you're enjoying a good mood post-sauna. The high temperatures dilate your blood vessels. That increases your circulation, which elevates your heart rate.
As your heart pumps faster, it prompts your brain to release melatonin and serotonin, also known as "feel-good" hormones.
If you jump in a cold shower between sessions in your sauna, your heart gets an additional workout. You could always take a cold shower every morning to get a similar effect as the sauna creates. However, saunas feel much more pleasant.
2. Released Endorphins
Have you ever heard of "runner's high?" It's the feeling that athletes get after expending their energy on the track or field.
Using a sauna can give you the same effect.
Here's the science-y talk: your increased heart rate from sauna heat releases a neuropeptide called dynorphin. That, in turn, upregulates and sensitizes your mu opioid receptors. They interact with beta-endorphin to create an endorphin high – the wonderfully relaxed "runner’s high” you're experiencing.
In other words: no pain, no gain.
So, all that to say this: if you get in the sauna this winter [link to "3 Reasons Why You Need to Sauna in the Winter" article], even for a little while, you'll feel much better and have a more positive mood.
Obviously, you don't want to overdo it. Any time you're able to spend in your home sauna helps keep you happier in the winter. It's time to turn up the heat!
For help with your home sauna and answers to your sauna questions, come on in to The Great Backyard. We'd love to help.