Motherhood is a never-ending adventure, filled with endless cuddles, toothless giggles, and those precious ‘I love you, Mommy’ moments. But let’s be real; this mommy gig has its own not-so-glam parts — like pull-your-hair-out tantrums, disastrous diaper explosions, and piles of laundry — that can sometimes leave you feeling frazzled.
Even if your child is a bit older, there’s a whole new world out of issues like debates over the dinner table, sibling WWE matches, and homework that makes you question your own education. If you’re tired of trying out the latest stress-busting techniques or looking for a way to unwind after putting your baby for their third nap, try out a home sauna session.
Read on to learn how this ancient wellness technique can dial down stress in your chaotic mom world.
Type of Home Saunas
These days, there are the following types of home saunas available on the market:
Also known as Finnish saunas, these saunas typically utilize an electric or wood-burning heater that heats up rocks, which, in turn, warm up the room.
Traditional saunas have a high-heat, low-humidity environment, with temperatures ranging from 150 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to increase humidity levels, consider pouring water over these rocks for an intense burst of steam.
Infrared saunas use infrared lamps that emit near, mid, and far electromagnetic rays to warm up your body. These saunas operate at lower temperatures, typically between 110 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit, and have a 5 to 10% humidity level.
This combination makes them perfect for those who can’t tolerate high heat or feel stuffy in steam rooms.
How Exactly Do Saunas Reduce Stress?
Parenthood, while profoundly rewarding, is also relentlessly tough. However, when you’re constantly tending to your family’s needs, it’s all too easy to get stressed and neglect your well-being.
Mayo Clinic explains that chronic stress can have a seriously detrimental effect on one’s physical and mental health, leading to heart issues, diabetes, digestive problems, muscle tension, weight gain or loss, fatigue, irritability, and anxiety, among others. Furthermore, inadequate stress management may lead to emotional strain, ultimately affecting your relationship with your partner or kids.
The good news is that home saunas can efficiently help manage stress without compromising family time or breaking your daily rhythm.
Research shows that when you sit in a warm sauna, your body temperature rises, causing the release of heat-shock proteins. In response, your body’s cortisol levels (aka the stress hormone) are reduced, leaving you calm and collected. Saunas are also known to stimulate the production of endorphins — the feel-good chemical — so you’ll feel much happier and relaxed after each session.
Studies additionally indicate that saunas help increase the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF). BDNF plays a significant role in strengthening synaptic connections and reducing stress-induced neuron damage. This can be especially beneficial for people suffering from depression or mood disorders.
Health Benefits of Sauna Use Beyond Stress Reduction
The following are some of the other health benefits of sauna that you can enjoy:
Although postpartum weight retention is natural and expected, that doesn’t necessarily make it easy to handle.
Here’s where a sauna like Almost Heaven Audra comes to your rescue. Sitting in a sauna increases your body’s metabolic rate, helping you burn calories even while you’re enjoying this indulgent break! You can even perform hot yoga or stretching exercises to make the most of your experience.
Relieves Muscle Pain
If you’re a new mom, you already know how skin-to-skin contact is paramount for bonding. However, the hours of holding, nursing, and rocking can take their toll on your arms, neck, and back muscles.
Even seemingly easy activities like bending down to change diapers, lifting strollers in and out of your car, playing with your little one on the floor, or reaching for supplies on high shelves can often leave your body tense and sore.
If you want to alleviate some physical discomfort, try a sauna session. The Arthritis Foundation explains that sauna heat delivers essential oxygen and nutrients to your tired muscles, providing relief and relaxation.
Promotes Mental Clarity
Mom brain is a real thing! A 2018 study discovered that pregnant women experienced a decline in cognitive functionality, memory, and executive functions. Thankfully, sauna sessions can help you in this phase of forgetfulness and brain fog.
The heat from a sauna can help improve blood circulation, delivering more oxygen to your brain cells. This helps you think more clearly and remember things better.
Missing that pregnancy glow? With regular sauna sessions, that cherished ‘new mom glow’ could be your everyday look. Infrared saunas like Golden Designs Monaco emit far-infrared rays that penetrate deep into the skin and stimulate collagen production. This helps maintain elasticity and repairs sun damage, smooth wrinkles, and even out your skin tone.
Better Sleep Quality
Let’s face it: sleep deprivation and parenting often go hand in hand. As it turns out, saunas can help square off sleep struggles, too. The elevated body temperature and subsequent cooldown you experience post-sauna help stimulate melatonin production, which is crucial for regulating your sleep-wake cycle.
When juggling many parenting tasks, feeling stressed out or overwhelmed is easy. That doesn’t mean you should live in a state of constant tension, though! Instead, hop into a home sauna to relieve this stress and recharge.
For an additional boost, don’t forget to add nutrient-dense foods into your diet, fit in movement whenever you can — a quick jog, a brisk walk, or even kitchen dance-offs would do — and take power naps. Trust me, these small changes will greatly affect your energy levels and overall mental health!