THE BEST TIMES TO FLOAT IN A SENSORY DEPRIVATION TANK
"When should I float? Is there a best time of the day?"
These are questions that come up often at Float Carolina.
The short and simple answer is: It depends on you!
Float sessions in a sensory deprivation tank can provide an incredibly varied experience across time, and are totally unique to the individual. As someone who has been utilizing this technology as part of my own mental and physical health care for half a decade, I still find myself happily surprised at how, after hundreds of hours spent inside, a session in the tank can present deep insights and totally unique experiences that stand apart. I always come out feeling deeply refreshed, my bodily aches soothed, my mind calm - sometimes I'm feeling blissful; sometimes consumed by gratitude; sometimes I'm energized; sometimes ready for a great night's sleep; and sometimes I feel fired up, ready to tackle all the tasks on my proverbial list.
If you've never tried floating, you may be curious how to get the best use, or benefits out of the practice. As you become more accustomed to the environment of the tank, and make it a part of your regular care routine, you will likely find yourself occasionally daydreaming, wishing you could jump in a tank. Depending on the time of day and context during which one floats, the experience can be totally different - and can be put to different uses.
Here are just a few suggestions of when to make great use of the rejuvenating effects of the float tank:
1. When you're about to start a big project
If you've got a big project coming up at work or school, time in a float tank can be put to extraordinarily practical use. By taking advantage of the 'empty space' and lack of distraction within a sensory deprivation environment, one can facilitate communication between the hemispheres of the brain and enhance lateral thinking - which is incredibly useful for gaining a clear vision of what you are seeking to accomplish.
2. When you feel scattered or anxious
Sometimes the speed and busyness of the everyday can leave us feeling as though we're spinning, trying to keep up with a whirlwind. If you've been feeling this way, setting aside a couple of hours for a 'pause' from the outside world can be just the reset needed. Tune out the noise for an hour in a float tank, and see you how you feel.
3. Before you travel
We often think of recovery being something that should be done post-travel - but flotation therapy is a great way to ensure that you're feeling limber and light prior to a long time in the car or on a plane. Thanks to the zero-gravity effects of the ultra-buoyant salt solution in the tank, one can loosen up those creaky tin joints, decompress the spine, and set the stage for a comfortable, inflammation-free travel day.
4. After you travel
Are you feeling crunchy, achy, sore, and sleep-deprived from that red-eye flight back from your recent vacation? Floating is the jetlag eradicator. Schedule a session as soon as you return from a stretch of travel, reset your body clock, and trade in a week of feeling like hell for total rejuvenation.
5. Before a game or performance
Floating therapy in a sensory deprivation tank has been demonstrated in studies to greatly help elite athletes, endurance performers, and other highly-skilled individuals perform at their peak. Today, professional sports leagues and Olympic teams utilize float tanks to help their athletes solidify inner vision, analyze new strategies, and prepare themselves mentally and physically for the event. Get your head in the right space - try a float before game day. You won't regret it.
6. After intense training
Whether you've been crushing it at the gym all week, training for a marathon, or just getting sore from repetitive strain at work, lactic acid and microscopic tears from muscle activity can slow you down. One well-established application of a float tank is in post-workout recovery - when floating within 24 hours after a training session, many report cutting post-workout downtime by half. So, the next time you're feeling tight from leg day - try floating.
7. After a move
Nothing wrecks your body quite like moving living spaces. The banged-up shins, the sore spine, the generalized pain in places you previously weren't aware of. Ahh, the memories of moving a six-piece sectional couch up four flights of stairs . . . those weren't the days. We've all been there. If you're feeling like roadkill from a move, get that body of yours into a float tank ASAP! You will be oh-so-glad that you did. The quiet, buoyant environment will rapidly halt the inflammation process, and help your body rid itself of the metabolic compounds that build up during such strenuous activity. For extra goodness, try out stretching, or 'floating yoga' poses while you're inside.
8. In the morning
If you've only ever floated in the evening, after work, try carving out a morning when you can get a session in. It may seem strange to wake up from sleep, and go engage in a restful activity early in the day; however, morning floats can help set the stage for an incredibly present, clear, and productive day.
Many folks who experience disrupted sleep or insomnia get benefit from floating earlier in the day - as this helps offset the costs of low-quality sleep, and provides the benefits of the nervous system's relaxation response. Maybe it's your first day in a new city, and you want to see it with eyes wide open - or maybe you a had a late weekend night. Floating early can provide a great frame of positivity for your afternoon or evening, and can enhance your enjoyment of your daily activities. We highly recommend it.
9. In the evening
Are you an afternoon or weekend floater? Try scheduling a session in the evening - there's no unwinding from work quite like what you get with a sensory deprivation tank. No deadlines, phone calls, or distractions will be bothering you - no entertainment news, no junkfood programming - just the quiet space, inviting you in to quiet your mind. Have some hot chamomile tea after your session at Float Carolina. Just see what this does to your night's sleep.
10. When you've been having trouble sleeping
Regardless of the schedule you follow, insomnia and restlessness hold no prejudice - and can show up entirely unannounced. Poor sleep can rapidly erode quality of life, and studies show that in the United States, the number of individuals reporting some degree of sleep deprivation is rapidly growing. Don't be a statistic. Come to Float Carolina, get in a float tank, turn off the lights, and reset that bioclock. Falling asleep in the sensory deprivation tank is safe, and for those experiencing insomnia, we recommend you try to do just that.
11. When it's HOT outside
There's something about the calming temperature of the solution in a float tank - kept at 95˚ F, the temperature of your skin - that feels just right. It's never hot, it's never cold, and when you've got either of those situations outside, a session in the tank can leave you feeling incredibly refreshed and cooled off.
12. When it's COLD outside
Just like the above, when it's cold outside, and you need a way to beat the chill, getting in the tank can even out your adrenal system, regulate your body temperature, and comfort you to the core.
13. When you're tackling a complex problem
Thinking of changing jobs? Are you re-examining the relationships in your life? Do you find yourself entangled in a labyrinthine series of Catch-22's? Complexity is a fact of life, and despite our best intentions, it can often be very difficult to discern our best course of action in life. If you're feeling the weight of a heavy decision, try rolling around with it in a flotation tank. The calm environment created by sensory deprivation can help a person access her or his full cognitive toolkit, and can enable us to see new angles and analyze a situation in new ways. This can also help a person attain a sense of inner peace and calm resolve in regards to challenging situations.
14. When you're grieving
The death of a loved one. Profound disappointment. Loss. Failure. It is an unbounded certainty of life, that tragedy will befall us. Often the best we can do as friends of those who grieve is to offer unconditional support, as words fall short, and each person's experience is unique. Whether you are the person who is grieving, or caring for someone who grieves, the experience of flotation therapy can be an incredibly soothing one. The environment provides an entirely safe, comforting space wherein a person can both confront the pain of loss, and eventually move past it. Access to deep memories and a clear, imaginative view of what the future might become can be of great aid to those feeling stuck, scared, or paralyzed by the pain of loss. We all deserve to feel joy - and float therapy can help a person regain access to it.
Floating can be an incredibly diverse experience, depending on the time of day, life situations, and demeanor of the person floating - and people are still finding novel ways to gain huge benefits from this therapeutic technique. Don't be afraid to try a lunch-break float. We've even had customers ask about 2+ hour, and overnight floats. Use your imagination! If you have any questions about a use case, condition, or approach you're interested in working with in a tank at Float Carolina, please give us a call, or send us a message.
ALWAYS SPEAK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE FLOATING IF YOU HAVE AN UNDERLYING MEDICAL CONDITION
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