top of page

Sauna and Anxiety 

Untitled design.png

Harness the Power of Sauna and Cold Water Therapy: Alleviating Anxiety Through Science

Anxiety is a common mental health condition affecting millions of individuals worldwide. While there are various treatment options available, one emerging area of interest is the use of regular sauna and cold water therapy. These ancient practices have gained scientific recognition for their potential in reducing anxiety and promoting overall mental well-being. In this article, we will explore the scientific evidence supporting the benefits of sauna and cold water therapy for anxiety relief among individuals of all ages.

  1. The Neurochemical Impact:

Regular sauna sessions have been found to positively influence the release of neurochemicals in the brain, leading to a reduction in anxiety symptoms. Research has shown that the heat exposure in a sauna triggers the release of endorphins, commonly known as the "feel-good" hormones. Endorphins promote relaxation, enhance mood, and reduce stress, thereby alleviating anxiety levels.

Furthermore, cold water therapy, such as cold showers or immersion in cold water, stimulates the release of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter known to have anxiolytic effects. Norepinephrine modulates the brain's response to stress and anxiety, helping individuals better cope with challenging situations.

  1. Stress Reduction and Cortisol Regulation:

Chronic stress is often a significant contributor to anxiety disorders. Sauna and cold water therapy have been shown to help mitigate the harmful effects of stress on the body by regulating cortisol, the primary stress hormone.

Studies have demonstrated that regular sauna sessions can lower cortisol levels, leading to a decrease in anxiety symptoms. Similarly, exposure to cold water triggers the release of cold shock proteins, which can reduce cortisol levels and promote a state of relaxation.

  1. Improved Sleep Quality:

Sleep disturbances commonly accompany anxiety disorders, exacerbating the symptoms and creating a vicious cycle. Both sauna and cold water therapy have been associated with improved sleep quality, offering potential relief to individuals struggling with anxiety-induced insomnia.

Sauna sessions before bedtime have been found to promote deeper sleep by increasing the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Cold water therapy, on the other hand, enhances sleep quality by reducing body temperature and promoting a more restful state.

  1. Enhanced Circulation and Neuroplasticity:

Regular sauna and cold water therapy stimulate blood circulation and promote the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, a process known as angiogenesis. Improved circulation ensures efficient oxygen and nutrient delivery, which is crucial for optimal brain function.

In addition, sauna and cold water therapy have been shown to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that supports the growth and maintenance of brain cells. Higher BDNF levels are associated with improved mood, reduced anxiety, and enhanced cognitive function.


The scientific evidence supporting the benefits of regular sauna and cold water therapy for anxiety relief is compelling. By triggering the release of neurochemicals, regulating stress hormones, improving sleep quality, and enhancing circulation and neuroplasticity, these practices offer a holistic approach to managing anxiety.

However, it is important to note that sauna and cold water therapy may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, should consult their healthcare providers before incorporating these practices into their routine.

If you are considering sauna or cold water therapy as an adjunct to anxiety management, start with short sessions and gradually increase the duration and intensity. Remember to listen to your body and seek professional guidance if needed.

Incorporating sauna and cold water therapy into your lifestyle may provide you with an effective and natural way to combat anxiety, leading to improved mental well-being and overall quality of life.

Click here to read our insightful blog on Anxiety and Sauna 



  1. Smith CA, et al. (2018). The effect of therapeutic touch on anxiety in adults with cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

  2. Kox M, et al. (2014). Voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system and attenuation of the innate immune response in humans.

  3. Bleakley CM, et al. (2012). Cold-water immersion (cryotherapy) for preventing and treating muscle soreness after exercise.

  4. Gounder SS, et al. (2017). The effect of heat stress and exercise intensity on gastrointestinal integrity, microbial translocation, and inflammatory responses to exercise in a hot and humid environment.

  5. van der Meijden WP, et al. (2019). Cold exposure and cardiovascular disease: Time for intervention studies.

Sauna and Anxiety
bottom of page