1 December 2014
If you’re a sauna user, you’ll recognise that happy feeling sitting in a sauna. Neurons that release the “happiness molecule” serotonin respond to increases in body temperature. According to a recent study, a sauna session produces a group of serotonin-releasing neurons in a region of the brain called the dorsal raphe nucleus. These neurons project into a region of the brain that regulates mood, which may account for the pleasure of a sauna.
Spending half an hour in a sauna every few days will leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed, energised and looking radiant. The time you spend in a sauna reboots your brain and is proven to actually change your mood. People who use saunas on a regular basis are happier and healthier people.
Interestingly, these same neurons feed into the sympathetic nervous system, which heats up the skin to inhibit the sympathetic nervous system. So get in a sauna soon!