What is Infrared?
Infrared light (experienced as heat) is the invisible part of the sun’s spectrum with the ability to penetrate human tissue. Infrared sauna therapy uses this penetrating characteristic to heat the body directly at the core rather than simply warming the air or skin’s surface.
Sunlighten infrared saunas have been clinically shown to increase the body’s core temperature, resulting in a deep, detoxifying sweat at the cellular level, which is where the majority of toxins reside.
How Safe is Infrared Heat?
Infrared heat is completely safe and healthy for all living things. You can be exposed to infrared light for hours without the risk of burning. Infrared is a naturally occurring output of the sun, but does not contain the harmful UV rays associated with unprotected sunlight. In fact, infrared heat is so safe, it is used in hospitals to warm newborn infants.
Infrared Saunas vs. Traditional Saunas
Infrared heat is very gentle. The experience is similar to lying in the sun on a warm day and feeling the heat radiate to the core of your body. Unlike traditional (hot rock or steam) saunas–which operate at well in excess of 200°F–infrared heat has the benefit of being effective at a more comfortable operating temperature of 100°-150°F.
Traditional saunas heat the air vs. the body directly. Rather than inducing detoxification and relaxation, this can make the experience unbearably hot and difficult to breathe. Because infrared heat penetrates human tissue vs. simply heating the surface of the skin, infrared saunas are seven times more effective than traditional saunas at detoxifying the body. By raising the body’s core temperature, infrared saunas can produce a sweat composed of 20% toxins vs. only 3% toxins with a traditional sauna.
Solocarbon® Infrared Heating Technology
Solocarbon® heating technology is the foundation for all of our sauna products. It is the only heater on the market clinically shown to raise core temperature, lower blood pressure and aid in weight loss.
Solocarbon® panels (built into the walls of our saunas) contain a unique proprietary blend of materials that are 100% quality controlled by Sunlighten™. This means—unlike other saunas on the market–we can ensure the safety & effectiveness of each individual heater. Solocarbon® panels are heat-sealed, meaning no wires or glues are used, so there is no release of unhealthy gases during heating. With clinically-backed Solocarbon heating, it is no wonder our infrared saunas are the most trusted on the planet.
Solocarbon® Infrared Heating Technology vs. Ceramic Rods
Ceramic rods were the first type of infrared sauna heaters available, though are no longer the technology of choice. They emit infrared heat at very high temperatures that are unsafe to touch since the heat is contained in individual rods vs. being dissipated across a larger surface (like what is found in a carbon-based heater). Cabin temperature close to the rods is very high, but then falls off as one moves sideways or away. This uneven distribution of heat results in uncomfortable hot and cold spots in the sauna.
On the other hand, clinically-backed Solocarbon® heaters emit infrared heat at a lower, more constant temperature through large panels, creating an even distribution of comforting heat throughout the sauna. Each Sunlighten™ sauna has panels strategically placed so you are completely surrounded by this therapeutic infrared heat. Lower surface temperatures also emit infrared rays in the more vital range, producing better results for detoxification, blood pressure reduction and weight loss.
Does infrared technology interfere with implants (metal, silicone, etc.)?
Metal pins, rods, artificial joints or any other surgical implants generally reflect infrared waves and thus are not heated by this system. Nevertheless, you should consult your physician prior to using an infrared sauna.
What is EMF? Is it harmful to the body?
EMF (electric and magnetic fields) are waves of electric and magnetic energy radiating through space. High EMF levels are often associated with power lines.
EMF is everywhere in our homes and offices. The electrical appliances we use (an electric can opener at close range emits substantial EMFs), computers, monitors, keyboards and mice, wireless modems, cordless phones, clock radios, hair dryers, mobile phones, microwave ovens and more – all produce EMFs.
Despite the extensive research over the last 20 years, the general scientific consensus is that there is not sufficient evidence to show a definitive cause and effect relationship in regards to EMF exposure. Two national research organizations (the National Research Council and the National Institute of Health) have looked at the studies and have concluded that there is not strong evidence that EMF exposures pose a health risk. Currently in the U.S., there are no standards limiting exposure to EMF.
Although the current scientific evidence provides no definitive answers regarding EMF, there is enough uncertainty that some people want to reduce their exposure to EMF. For that reason, we have limited the levels of EMF from our heaters as much as possible.
The EMF levels of Sunlighten saunas are well below the threshold of what is generally considered safe, and in fact, produce less EMF than a standard hair dryer. The EMF attributable to a hair dryer at 6″ away is about 300 mG. Our saunas have been measured between 0 and 10 mG. (EMFs are measured in units called milligauss (mG).)
If you are concerned at all about EMF, the EMF-cancelling technology found in our mPulse and Signature saunas reduces EMF to our lowest level yet.
What health benefits are associated with infrared heat, and which have been proven and documented?
All of our health benefits have been either clinically shown on our heaters or are based on studies of infrared wavelengths that we precisely mimic in our heaters. Our mPulse Series, with its Solocarbon Custom Spectrum full infrared (vs. far infrared delivered in our Solo, Sunburst, Select and Signature models) unlocks the full range of health benefits.
Will my Sunlighten sauna heat up the room in which it is placed?
No, when your sauna is on you will still not feel heat coming off the exterior walls.
How long is a typical session? And how often can I take a session?
Most people partake in a 30-45 minute session, 3 -4 times a week, but it is safe to use every day and at whatever heat suits you best.
How do I keep my sauna clean?
No sprays, filters or ionizers are needed. Our microfiber Spungi® Towels are perfect for keeping your sweat off the bench, backrest and floor. Place your super-absorbent Spungi towels in these 3 locations every time you sauna, and you won’t sweat stain the wood. If a stain were to occur over time, you can use fine grained sandpaper to buff out.
What time of day should I use the sauna (am or pm)?
It is completely up to you and your lifestyle. There is no data showing more of a benefit in the morning or evening.
What should I wear in the sauna? Can I go nude?
You can go nude if you would like, but be sure to put down Spungi towels to absorb your sweat. Men typically wear workout or swim trunks; women typically wear workout shorts and a tank top or sports bra. Or, for the most effective and comfortable option, choose our specially-designed Spungi Body Wrap, which provides just enough coverage to remain modest, but does not contain too much material. Going nude vs. wearing this body wrap will not alter the effectiveness of your sauna session.
Is it ok to use the sauna while breastfeeding?
Please consult with your physician, as this answer is usually yes, but may be no depending upon you specific circumstances.
Are children allowed to use the sauna? What should I consider with this?
The core body temperature of children rises much faster than adults. This occurs due to a higher metabolic rate per body mass, limited circulatory adaptation to increased cardiac demands and the inability to regulate body temperature by sweating. When using your sauna with a child, operate at a lower temperature and for no more than 15 minutes at a time. A general rule of thumb is 1 minute inside your sauna per year of age for the child, but always accompanied by an adult. And remember to keep you and your children hydrated, even if you don’t see them sweating.