Sauna Use: Can You Beat Brain Fog With the Help of Heat?
Have you ever spent time in a sauna? It's a small room that uses heat and steam in order to force your body to break a sweat. It's a very popular tradition in certain Scandinavian countries, but saunas are fairly common in other parts of the world, too.
Some people see saunas as a very strange and uncomfortable place to spend your time after a workout. But people who enjoy saunas claim that their love of these hot, sweaty rooms isn't without merits. Recently, the scientific community has come out on their side. It turns out that there's actually quite a lot of scientific evidence to justify sweating bullets in a sauna. Spending a little extra time in the heat can yield a whole bunch of health benefits that you can't get from sleeping better, improving your diet, or even exercising.
These health benefits are so numerous that we can't possibly discuss them all in one little article. But we are going to take a little bit of a deep dive on the connection between sauna use and brain health. If you're curious to learn a little bit more about what sweating it out in a sauna can do for you and your cognitive performance, then we've got some really juicy info for you.
Sauna, BDNF, and the Human Brain
BDNF is short for brain derived neurotrophic factor. Basically, it's a special chemical that your body produces when it needs to make new brain cells or rejuvenate older brain cells. Producing a good amount of BDNF is one of many ways to maintain robust brain health and cognitive function, no matter what your age. But the older you get, the more important it is to practice healthy habits which generate more BDNF. Recent scientific studies have shown that sauna use has the potential to dramatically increase BDNF synthesis in your brain regardless of age.
Sauna Use and Blood Flow
One of the most important things you can ever do for your brain health is to make sure you get good blood flow to your brain. Taking supplements like ginkgo biloba can certainly help with this, but sauna use may be a more convenient and/or a more cost-effective alternative to purchasing supplements - if you're lucky enough to have easy access to a sauna, that is.
Your brain cells need plenty of nutrients and oxygen in order to function at their best. And the main reason you have a circulatory system is so that you can deliver nutrients and oxygen to these cells - and every other cell in your body - via your bloodstream. Things like insufficient exercise, smoking, excessive drinking, and an unhealthy diet can all restrict your cardiovascular capacity and limit blood flow to your brain.
Studies have shown that people who have compromised circulation to the brain are more likely to exhibit symptoms of poor cognitive performance, poor memory, and have difficulty concentrating. But there are dozens of studies which show that sauna use can significantly improve blood flow to the brain - and not just acutely in the short-term, either. If you keep using the sauna on a regular basis, you can improve your cardiovascular circulation to the brain on an increasing and permanent basis.
Sauna Use, Mental Health, and Depression
Depression and similar mental health disorders are still largely mysterious and unknown to the scientific community. But the more we study them, the more we learn about what is causing these diseases (and, most importantly, what to do to stop them). Recent studies on the brain chemistry and depression have revealed that certain inflammatory compounds may be largely responsible for depressive symptoms. Fortunately, scientific studies on sauna use have also shed some light on a possible solution.
Sauna use produces something called "heat shock proteins" both acutely after a single-use sauna session, and more profoundly over the long-term. In one study, a single sauna session had such a profound antidepressant effect thanks to the heat shock proteins reducing inflammatory compounds in the brain that test subjects reported better symptoms for a week without repeating any further sauna sessions. Other studies show that this has a cumulative effect with extended and repeated sauna use.
Better Brain Function and a Sharper Attention Span
Sauna use is very good for anyone who wants to reduce brain fog, feel sharper, think more quickly, or improve their focus and attention span. It all starts with a little something called norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is classified as both a neurotransmitter and a hormone. The higher levels of norepinephrine you have circulating around in your brain, the easier it is for you to focus on any particular task for an extended period of time. Some studies have shown that sauna use can improve your brain's production of norepinephrine by as much as 300% or more.
Then there's prolactin. This is another hormone produced in the brain by the pituitary gland which is essential for optimal cognitive function. The hormone itself has many different uses, but the most important thing it does is that it encourages enhanced growth of the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is the protective layer of tissue which surrounds each brain cell. The thicker and healthier your myelin sheath is, the stronger and more efficient your brain cells will be. They will fire more quickly, too, which should help put an end to those tip-of-the-tongue senior moments where you struggle to remember something or find the right word for a particular situation.
Constant Focus Vs. Sauna Use
So what does using a sauna for enhanced cognitive function have to do with a nootropic supplement like Constant Focus? Well, more than you might think. You see, the special blend of ingredients in Constant Focus is specifically designed too closely mimic the brain benefits of sauna use. It has natural herbal extracts which improve blood flow, and it contains B vitamins which help nourish your brain cells for better health. Unfortunately, sauna use isn't popular, easy, or affordable everywhere. So we think it's important to point out the similarities between these two brain-boosters. If you can't get to a sauna, if sauna use makes you uncomfortable, or if you have a medical condition which would prevent you from using a sauna for its cognitive enhancement benefits, then you can rely on something affordable and safe like Constant Focus to help you meet your nootropic goals.