Float Tanks & Sleep

April 3, 2017

The Company Luna Float in Chilliwack recently asked us what we thought about Float Tanks/Sensory deprivation as it relates to sleep. Our President and Respiratory Therapist, Russ Priestley answers below. Check out our YouTube videos and follow us on Facebook.

Float Tanks & Sleep

Float tanks/sensory deprivation tanks have been around since 1954 when they were developed by Dr. John C. Lilly to study sensory deprivation. In the1970’s and 80’s they became much more popular and float tank operations were in most major cities in Canada.

I have 30 plus hours of personal float experience. The experience is not for everyone and can be intimidating to many.  It can be an experience that leaves one feeling relaxed and a feeling of well-being. It can also be a negative experience for some users.

Float tanks have been used as part of alternative medicine techniques by different practitioners. The medical studies on the use of float tanks are usually poorly designed or of low value based on participant numbers. There is no solid proof that they help sleep directly.

There is no solid proof that float tanks help sleep directly.

The main goal of a ‘Float’ is not to fall asleep but to achieve a higher state of relaxation than can be achieved outside of the tank due to the complete sensory deprivation inside the float chamber. They can be a tool to develop and train in meditation methods.

Floating has been shown to reduce stress, increase relaxation, decrease pain from various conditions. In turn, some studies have shown an increase in sleep quality by float participants. Rationally though, if we can improve relaxation and decrease stress and pain then sleep should also improve.

Floating has been shown to reduce stress, increase relaxation, decrease pain from various conditions.

The tanks have also been shown to be effective for some individuals in allowing greater visualizations. Some sports stars have used them to improve concentration and visualization of their performance.

They may provide some benefit to participants but the benefits may be personal.

Russ Priestley, RRT

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