One float can leave you as refreshed as a good night's sleepFloating provides profound rest and balances sleep patterns, helping you overcome jetlag and insomnia
Good quality sleep is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. A chronic lack of sleep can lead to a wide range of problems, from affecting your abilities such as concentration, judgement and memory, through to affecting your mood. In the longer term, a chronic lack of sleep can lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and heart disease.
So it should be obvious to all of us that we need to allow plenty of time to sleep, and to create the most conducive setting for it. On the other hand, modern life has many pressures which can lead to us working long hours, going to bed late and getting up early, and retiring to bed in a mental state not best suited to relaxation.
There are some general steps that we can all take to improve our chances of better sleep, such as exercising regularly (but not too close to bedtime), and avoiding the use of caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and screen time before bed.
However you may not realise that floatation can also help improve your sleep patterns. Floating has benefits which align with the benefits of sleep: it is profoundly relaxing, and relieves stress.
In addition, floating can increase your chances of getting good quality sleep, which many people find can be elusive even when the conditions seem to be right. With properties such as relief from pain, relaxation, and reduced anxiety, floating brings you to the ideal state for a good night’s sleep.
“Two hours of floating are more restful and restorative than a full night of sound sleep”.
Michael Hutchison, from The Book of Floating
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence from people who float regularly and report significant sleep improvements as a result. There is also a building body of research on the topic.
A 2014 study at Karlstad University in Sweden found that “stress, depression, anxiety, and worst pain were significantly decreased whereas optimism and sleep quality significantly increased” for the group who took part in a series of 12 floatation sessions over 7 weeks . You can read more about this study here.
A study by Gary S. Stern, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Colorado, found that “the significant effect of floating . . . indicates that individuals who had floated in the isolation tank for one hour significantly raised their theta level . ” (you can read more about theta waves in our section about meditation).
John C. Lilly – first developer of the floatation tank – told how “when I broke several bones in a bicycle accident, I went for five days without sleep before finally resorting to the tank in desperation. There, I was free from the pain, without drugs, for the first time since I had the accident. That’s because a tank frees up all the pain due to gravity.”
The reasons for insomnia can be wide-ranging and highly individual. Thankfully the floatation tank can provide help and respite for many people, for many reasons. We all owe it to ourselves to give our bodies and minds a chance to properly rest, and floatation provides the ideal environment.