I have a confession to make. When I use the float pod here at Peak, I invariably fall asleep in it. I know I am supposed to use floating to solve tough problems or get creative insights. But when I pull the lid down and lie back in the skin-temperature water, I find it difficult to stay inside myself. I’m aware of nothing but my own thoughts. Gravity, heat, cold, and visual distractions all go away. I don’t feel anything. In what seems a couple minutes, my lack of physical feeling turns into a lack of emotional state. My head seems to empty. My mind goes blank, and I fall asleep. For me, “float pod for sleep” means just that. No long-term treatment for insomnia, it simply puts me to sleep.
When Sleep Is Elusive
A friend of mine speculates that I fall asleep whenever I am in the float pod because I am chronically sleep deprived. I work two jobs, I help to care for four young children, and I coach athletes and train for triathlon during my free moments. Maybe my friend has a point. I am simply grateful that I can fall asleep whenever I have the opportunity.
Sleep doesn’t come easy for some people. More than 9 million Americans take sleeping pills, but the most common side effects of the most popular sleeping pills are unpleasant taste, nausea, headache, drowsiness, dizziness, diarrhea, cold/flu, abdominal pain, and making the insomnia worse. Consequently, many people want to think twice before taking sleep medication. And some people have a sort of buyer’s remorse when they do.
The Meaning of REST
That’s where the float pod can really help. A 2014 study compared floating to not floating in a group of 65 participants. The researchers examined several areas of the participants’ lives: “Stress, depression, anxiety, and worst pain were significantly decreased whereas optimism and sleep quality significantly increased for the flotation-REST group.” (REST, which may be the most apt acronym ever coined, means restricted environmental stimulation technique.)
The researchers found the participants treated with flotation-REST improved their scores on a sleep quality questionnaire by about 14% after the float sessions. There was no increase among those who didn’t float. Is a 14% improvement good enough to be called a “cure” for insomnia? That probably depends on the severity of the insomnia. But I think most people who suffer from this condition would be glad of any improvement in their sleep.
Float Pod for Sleep
If you have trouble sleeping, and you would like to try to replicate that research for your own benefit, book a series of float pod sessions with Peak Recovery & Health Center. You may find a 14% improvement in your sleep after a few weeks, and you may find increasing improvement for up to 12 weeks. Or you may find, as I do, that it is so relaxing you fall asleep during the sessions. Either way, you’re likely to enjoy the satisfaction and health benefits of additional sleep.