What Happens If You Stay In A Hot Tub Too Long?

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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You’ve got your new hot tub set up in the back garden and you cannot wait to jump in and relax.

We know the feeling, there’s no better way to wind down after a stressful day.

But have you ever found yourself so relaxed and enjoying yourself so much that before you know it, you’ve been in your hot tub for hours without realizing?

Hot tub session 15-30 minutes
Hot tub session

You aren’t alone but did you know that there is too much of a good thing and spending too long in your hot tub could have unwanted results?

As a rule of thumb, your hot tub sessions should be no longer than 15 to 30 minutes. 

We’d like to help you better understand the risks of spending too long in a hot tub and why you should time your sessions. 

How Long Should You Stay In A Hot Tub?

We’re aiming this guide at adult hot tub users.

There are some general guidelines around whether or not children should use a hot tub and these are quite different. 

For Most Adults – Spending between 15 and 30 minutes in a hot tub for any one session is usually enough.

However, much of this depends on the weather and how warm or cold it is.

Can You Drain A Hot Tub For The Summer?

For example, if things are a little chillier, then you could extend your session for up to an hour. But even on colder days, this is the absolute max!

What Are The Risks Of Staying In A Hot Tub For Too Long?

You might think that your hot tub is there to help you relax and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that this type of hydrotherapy is very effective.

But it’s easy to go over the top and this can have an adverse effect on your health.

Below you will find details on just some of the issues you may face if you spend too long in your hot tub. 

Dehydration

One of the most common, and potentially dangerous problems of staying in a hot tub for too long is the risk of dehydration.

Draining hot tub summer

This comes with several symptoms which may include:

  • fatigue
  • being incredibly thirsty
  • an inability to urinate
  • and feeling dizzy and disorientated 

In the event that you notice any of these symptoms, you will need to get out of the hot tub as soon as possible.

Take plenty of fluids but do this slowly as this will rehydrate you much more quickly than guzzling water down. 

Skin Rashes

Amazingly, there is a condition known as hot tub folliculitis which affects the hair follicles.

This condition is caused by the pH levels of the hot tub water when they are too high.

Anything above 7.8 is too much and you’ll also need to make sure that the water is kept clean.

You’ll normally experience things like a red itchy rash with raised bumps, most commonly on the torso.

What’s Around The Hot Tub?
Hot tub in a backyard

Reduced Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure may drop to dangerous levels when you spend too long in your hot tub.

This could be as a result of other things like overheating and you’ll normally notice that you feel:

  • dizzy
  • faint
  • and even confused

Some people may also experience nausea and vomiting. 

If this happens to you, you’ll need to get out of the hot tub and slowly drink some water until you feel better.

If this doesn’t help or you start to feel worse, you’ll need to call 911. 

Overheating

Since the temperature in your hot tub is quite high, it isn’t difficult for your body to overheat.

This is one of the main reasons that you should set a limit. 

Hot tub Draining and cleaning

If you become overheated, you may have similar symptoms to dehydration in that you feel dizzy but this may be accompanied by:

  • excessive sweating
  • a headache
  • and a low pulse

If this happens, you’ll need to get out and gradually cool yourself down.

Do not go from one extreme to the other in a short space of time.

In the worst cases, you may need to call for emergency medical assistance. 

Factors That Affect How Long You Can Stay In A Hot Tub

We have discussed the 15 to 30 minute rule which will apply to most adults when using a hot tub.

But there are things that could further affect how much time you should spend soaking. 

For example, the temperature of the hot tub is normally around 100ºF but some people set this up to 4 degrees higher.

Of course, the hotter the water, the less time you will be able to spend in it.

But as well as considering the water temperature, you’ll also need to think about how warm or cool the surrounding air is.

As we mentioned earlier, you may be able to get away with a slightly longer soak on cold days.

Best Place To Put A Hot Tub In Garden

But it still pays to be mindful and monitor how you’re feeling, removing yourself from the tub if you begin to experience any symptoms.

Before you use your hot tub for the first time, it is a wise idea to chat to your doctor who will be able to offer personal advice according to your health.

There are some health conditions that may limit your ability to use a hot tub, such as a weakened immune system, so this is important to be aware of.

Finally – There are some things that can further affect how long you can stay in the hot tub. Drinking alcohol is never recommended as this can speed up dehydration.

If you want to enjoy a glass of wine or a cool beer, wait until after your session.

Moreover, if you are on any medications that make you drowsy, you should avoid using a hot tub. 

Conclusion

A hot tub is a great way to relax but there are risks that come with it.

Using your hot tub safely is a must and that begins with not overdoing it.

Normally, a healthy adult can spend between 15 and 30 minutes in their hot tub without any problems.

However, if you notice any unusual symptoms, it’s time to get out and take care of yourself.

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