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How Long Is It Safe to Stay in a Hot Tub? (Hot Tub Overexposure)

Coming home after a day of work and relaxing in your hot tub can be a lot of fun. It feels so good, you might not want to get out. But too much of a good thing can be bad for you. If you use your hot tub often, you might notice certain changes in your body after you stay too long. So how long is it safe to stay in the hot tub?

In general, you should never stay in your hot tub for more than an hour. It’s best to stay for about 15-30 minutes. At max, you might stay for about 45 minutes or so. But don’t cross the 60-minute threshold. It’s very risky if you stay too long.

Of course, anything involving the human body can be subjective. There are other factors to take into account as well. Your body might not even be able to handle the recommended time limit. So, you must know about the risks and the signs to look out for. Your body will tell you when it’s getting too long.

How Long is It Safe to Stay in a Hot Tub?

A good estimate of how long you should be in a hot tub is from 15 minutes to half an hour. You can stay a bit longer for up to an hour, but don’t stay in more than that. However, certain factors can affect this time limit. These include the air temperature outside, your physical health, water temperatures, and also how long your body can take it.

Let’s see how each of these factors affects your time limit.

Air Temperature

If it’s winter or the temperature is low, you can safely stay in your hot tub much longer than usual. This is because your body will take longer to heat up. The outside temperature will cool you faster.

Similarly, during summers or hot weather, you will heat up much faster and you should get out sooner. You can easily get dehydrated or feel overheated if you stay too long.

Water Temperature

The temperature of the water in your hot tub is vital. You can easily control this so you can pretty much control how long you can stay in the water as well.

If you want to spend more time in your hot tub, reduce the temperature a bit. You can also do this if you are starting to feel weird as well. The main problem with overstaying in a hot tub is the heat. So, if you can control that, you can extend your time.

Your Health

Your overall physical health can also affect how long it takes for your body to become dehydrated or overheated. If you are not physically feeling all that well, maybe you should skip on the hot tub altogether. Unless of course, you are getting in the tub to relieve yourself of body aches.

Everyone’s physique is different. A lot of people also have a higher threshold for heat. So if your body can take the heat well, then you might be able to handle longer stays. You should be careful and listen to what your body tells you.

How Submerged You Are

How much of your body is covered by the water will also impact how long you can stay in. If you are completely immersed, then the body has no way to dissipate the heat elsewhere. It can’t escape.

On the other hand, if you are only submerged waist down, then all your core organs are exposed and a lot of your body is in open contact with the air. So, the heat can dissipate well. So, it’s best to stay waist down or keep moving around.

What Happens If You Stay in a Hot Tub for Too Long?

The main problem with staying in a hot tub for too long is that it heats your body too much. When your core temperature becomes too hot, the blood vessels begin to rapidly dilate. This can cause your blood pressure to drop. You might feel dizzy.

Your body has to struggle to keep things normal. The heart works much harder to compensate for the low blood pressure to keep the circulation going properly. Sweating doesn’t help either since you are covered with water. So, your temperature keeps increasing.

Overheating causes a lot of problems and may even cause you to faint. Even if there aren’t any external symptoms, your body might be experiencing problems if it’s overheated. So don’t push your body too much thinking you can handle it.

Signs That You’ve Been in the Hot Tub For Too Long?

You don’t even need a timer to tell you that you’ve been in the tub too long. Your body will tell you. Starting from dizziness to nausea and vomiting, you can experience various things when your body is overheated. So, you should keep a lookout for symptoms of dehydration or overheating and not push them.

  • If your body temperature becomes too high, your blood pressure will drop. So, your heart compensates for that by beating faster. You might feel your pulse rising or even feel breathless. Some people also experience anxiety attacks or something similar to anxiety.
  • When the water temperature is too high it can also slightly burn your skin. So, your skin will feel irritated, especially if you have damaged skin or sensitive skin. It’s similar to getting sunburnt. Get out immediately and take a cold shower if you can.
  • You might feel lightheaded or dizzy as well. This is because of low blood pressure. Be careful while getting out of the tub though, do it slowly. You might faint or slip if you get out too quickly. Try to make the temperature change gradual.
  • Feeling thirsty is also a sign of dehydration or overheating. So, if you’re taking too many sips of that drink, it might be an early sign. As the dehydration worsens you might start to experience dizziness or confusion, nausea, or even loss of energy and tiredness.
  • Time in the hot tub is supposed to leave you refreshed and relaxed. If it has the opposite effect, you’re doing something wrong. You might even vomit if you’ve recently eaten as well. So, you should avoid eating immediately before you get into the tub.
  • Worst case scenario might include you losing consciousness. This is especially dangerous if you are alone because you might drown. So be extra careful when you are alone and look out for any of these symptoms.

When you do experience one or more of these symptoms, it’s best to get out and not ignore them. But if you want to stay longer you can lower the temperature of the water and keep most of your body exposed to the air. You can also drink more fluids to avoid dehydration.

You can always just take breaks in the middle and walk around before getting back in. This way your body can cool off the heat. It’s way less dangerous this way. As long as you practice these small tricks, your time in your hot tub shouldn’t make you sick.

What to Do if You’ve Been in the Hot Tub for Too Long?

Even after you’re careful, you might lose track of time and accidentally stay too long. If you are feeling dizzy or nauseous or even dehydrated, you should get out of the hot tub immediately. Be careful though and do it slowly. Rapid changes can make you lose your balance and feel lightheaded. 

You should always have people around you when you are in a hot tub. They can help you out. Get out of the heat and go into a cool, shady place. Get some fluids in your body. Sit down inside or in the shade. Give yourself some time to slowly cool off if you’re overheated. It will be gradual and don’t try to rush it. 

If you feel like you are going to faint, lie down and elevate your legs so that blood can get properly to the heart. Once you feel a little better, you should go take a cool shower. It’s a great practice to always take a shower after you spend time in the hot tub. A shower not only cools you off but also cleans away any germs or chemicals from the hot tub. 

You should be avoiding caffeinated drinks for a while because they add to the dehydration. Avoid things like coffee, tea, sodas, and maybe even best to stay off alcohol. Instead try to take in cool water, Gatorade or ice pops, or ice cream. 

Check your skin, if you have any reactions. These are rare, but if you have very sensitive skin it might become red. Don’t worry too much about it that will usually go down soon enough. 

It can take a little time for you to fully recover from heat exhaustion if it’s too bad. If you’re not feeling better even after 24 hours you should go see a doctor. But in most cases, it doesn’t become that serious. It will pass once you’ve had some rest and cooled down. 

Now that you know how long is it safe to stay in a hot tub, I hope you will be more careful. Listen to your body and don’t overuse the tub. Doing it repeatedly might also be dangerous. If you’re unsure of how long your body can take it, it’s best to take short 15-minute sessions and keep temperatures relatively low.

Thanks for reading till the end and I hope this article was able to educate you on the dangers of staying in the hot tub for too long.

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Written by Ferdi Vol
Ferdi Vol is a pool and hot tub owner who has been working in this industry for over 5 years. He has learned all the ins and outs of maintaining pools and hot tubs, as well as how to privately own one. Ferdi Vol is also passionate about blogging, researching topics that he shares with his readers online via this blog.
About Ferdi Vol
About Pool Uncle
Pool Uncle is a blog that focuses on helping pool and hot tub owners get the right tools, maintain their pools and hot tubs, and learn about how to care for them. It provides readers with all of the information they need to keep their pools clean, safe, and looking great. The website also publishes original articles about pool maintenance topics such as filtration systems or algae prevention techniques.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol has been in the swimming pool and hot tub as an owner for over 5 years. His experience ranges from owning a pools and hot tubs and maintaining them. He’s learned about pumps, filters, chemicals, cleaning products, treatment systems… you name it!
About Ferdi Vol
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