Family picnic
December 04, 2019

How Sunlighten Saunas Benefit Families Living with Autism

Life Stories, Detoxification

Every parent wants the best for their children. When it comes to caring for a child with special needs, no stone goes unturned to improve their quality of life. Every autistic child is unique and deserves a tailored treatment program. At Sunlighten, we receive regular inquiries from parents asking about the use of infrared sauna for autism. Sunlighten therapies can provide relief for the child and the whole family. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 59 children in the U.S. have autism.1 As many believe that there are environmental components to many neurological and behavioral health conditions, the detoxification benefits of infrared sauna use are often sought after by both parents and health care providers of children on the spectrum.

Infrared Sauna for Autism: Natural Healing
Heavy Metal Detoxification

Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, copper, and cadmium have been identified in many children on the autism spectrum. These heavy metals are known to negatively affect the metabolic detoxification pathways in the body and impair its ability to excrete these toxins.2 These metals are described as heavy because they hang around in the body, especially hiding out in adipose tissue (fat cells). They are difficult to get rid of, making them like fat-soluble toxins. Body fat tries to protect the organs by trapping certain substances inside, including some metals, which cause them to linger.3 The body naturally tries to rid itself of toxins, at the cellular level, through the liver and kidneys as waste. When the body is unable to naturally detox these heavy metals, there can be a disconnect in normal day to day functions.

Dr. Will Cole, a functional medicine physician states, “The main benefits of infrared saunas and why I recommend them to my patients are to detox, reduce inflammation, and relieve stress to help balance hormones. Since sweating is your body’s natural way to eliminate toxins, it is essential when trying to detox from heavy metals. Infrared saunas help you eliminate more toxins than a traditional sauna.”

Superior Infrared Technology for Detoxification

All Sunlighten saunas emit far infrared (FIR). Far infrared has the longest wavelength and reaches deepest into the body where toxins are stored. When the FIR reaches the deep tissue, it agitates the cells, causing them to release toxins, resulting in a deep detoxifying sweat.

Sunlighten’s patented SoloCarbon® panels 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 and effectiveness of each individual heater. Our proprietary design produces virtually no EMF (electromagnetic fields) that can be harmful to your body in large doses. SoloCarbon panels are heat-sealed, meaning no wires or glues are used and there is no release of unhealthy gases during heating.

Acoustic Resonance Therapy

There are many benefits to music therapy. From a child’s perspective, music is fun, soothing, and non-threatening. It recruits both hemispheres of the brain to help stabilize thoughts, emotions and behaviors.4

We’ve learned from families who have children within the autism spectrum, that Acoustic Resonance Therapy (A.R.T.) provides a relaxing impact on the entire family. A.R.T. combines sound and vibration to balance the brain waves and bring the body to an even deeper state of relaxation. A.R.T. has been shown to significantly reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance creativity, communication, and problem-solving capabilities with children on the spectrum.

Sunlighten offers an A.R.T. option from So Sound® Solutions in their Signature®, Amplify, and mPulse® 3 in 1® wood cabin saunas. So Sound combines the healing effects of sound and vibration to harmonize all systems of the body. Attached at specific locations in the sauna, the system uses amplified sound waves to create therapeutic vibrations throughout the sauna.

While children sit in the healing Sunlighten infrared sauna, they can choose from a variety of pre-loaded relaxing music or listen to their favorite song via the auxiliary port. Not only will they benefit from relaxing, children are learning how to self-soothe as they feel the music vibrate throughout their body. 

Zack and Peter in sauna

“I just want to thank all of you for your support with my family and especially with my brother Ethan. He’s been doing so well, and he LOVES doing his infrared sauna therapy. He goes into the sauna every night and we play the A.R.T. music for him before bed. Ethan used to have bad insomnia and now his sleep issues are completely gone. His comprehension and language skills are improving. We are so impressed with everything we have implemented this year, including our Sunlighten sauna.” - Zach Peter

Watch Zack’s video testimonial.

Reduce Insomnia and other Sleep Related Issues
Tucking Child in

Roughly half of all children with autism suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia. Trouble sleeping can worsen behaviors and lead to other developmental and health issues.

Many children suffer from achy muscles due to the buildup of lactic acid within their muscle joints. Lactic acid commonly builds up in muscles after a workout, or intense playing. But for some children, lactic acid is not reabsorbed into the body causing the feeling of “creepy crawlies” or the need for their muscles to be massaged.5 This discomfort makes it hard for some children to relax and prepare for their nighttime routines. Far infrared increases blood circulation throughout their bodies, reducing the buildup of lactic acid in their joints. Furthermore, FIR provides a soothing, gentle heat and a calming environment to reduce stimuli and induce relaxation for better sleep.

Thumbs up in sauna

“There are many benefits from Carter’s infrared sauna sessions. From the beginning, I could see that Carter was instantly calmer than usual. He would come out of his sessions with a visibly lighter gait and often a grin across his face. Overtime, I noticed a dramatic decrease in his panic attack episodes. It’s hard to put it into words, but there is also an overall improvement in his life. It seems that there’s been a thin layer of improvement globally – some areas are paper thin and some are pages thick, but there is general improvement overall.” – Warrior Mom, Julie

Sauna benefits chart
What is the Recommended Time for Children in Sunlighten Saunas?

The core body temperature of children rises much faster than adults because their metabolism is higher. Start out low and slow. Even at a low temperature, your child is still receiving far infrared. A general rule of thumb is 1.5 minutes of sauna time for every year of your child. For example, 6 years old = 6-12 minutes of sauna time. And your child should always be accompanied by an adult.6

It is important to hydrate before and after each infrared sauna and replenish the moisture lost through detoxification. While it is common for people to sweat during sessions, not everyone sweats. Since children start out with lower minutes, when their bodies start to glisten and glow, they are actively detoxing.


1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, April 27). Retrieved from Data & Statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorder:

2 Harrison, J. (2013, February 13). Retrieved from Can Far-Infrared-Sauna Therapy Benefit Individuals On The Autism Spectrum?:

3 (2018, March 20). Retrieved from Dangers of Heavy Metals & How to Do a Heavy Metal Detox:

4 Music Therapy as a Treatment Modality for Autism Spectrum Disorders by the American Music Therapy Association American Music Therapy Association Fact Sheet Autism/ASD

5 Sunlighten. (2011, September 13). Infrared Sauna for Children (Including Special Needs Kids)

6 Sunlighten. (2018, March 26). Are children allowed to use the sauna? What should I consider with this? Retrieved from FAQ

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WRITTEN BY: Sunlighten

Shining light on infrared technology, Sunlighten® is the #1 choice for personalized infrared light treatments. Since 1999, we have been committed to innovating wellness products and services that empower our customers to improve their quality of life. Our patented SoloCarbon® technology rejuvenates the body by delivering the highest dose of infrared energy to the body - proven up to 99% effective. Our technological innovations are fueled by our passion to make a difference. And we are building a global community of businesses, consumers, and trusted experts to support each other along the way and make the world a healthier, happier place.

Sunlighten saunas are not a medical device as defined by Section 201(h) of the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act. Sunlighten provides general information relating to various medical conditions for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for advice provided by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. Please consult with your physician regarding diagnosis or treatment.