Sleeping in a Tank

What if there was a way to completely and momentarily escape the world around us? What if there was a way to only hear what is going in our head and experience nothing else? And, if there was a way to encounter all of this, what would it be like? Would it be relaxing? Would it mend mental wounds that prevent rest? Well, perhaps we might not need to ask further. Perhaps we might have a way to experience it first hand and find another way to help us sleep at night. However, the method to experience this potential phenomenon is straight out of a Sci-Fi thriller. Your best night’s sleep might be waiting inside of a Isolation Tank.

Behold! Today’s modern isolation tank! Not quite as intimidating as the movies portray, but almost as equally mysterious as they depict. The Isolation Tank was first invented in 1953 by neuroscientist John Lilly as a way to study response in the brain to a limited sensory output. “The tank immersed the user into a totally dark and silent environment in which sound and vision as well as other sensory inputs were virtually eliminated.” writer Dr. Christopher Winter notes. “The theory at the time was if all sensory inputs were cut off to the brain, the brain would reflexively go to sleep.” John Lilly would later go on to describe himself and these users as “psychonauts,” a fitting name to describe those who choose to float in this void. These aptly named Psychonauts would float on to push the boundaries of our perception involving conscious thought and question the definitions of sentience while senses are isolated. What started out as a scientific study on our minds and consciousness, by Lilly, became a sudden realization of the potential Isolation Tanks could have on our ability to recover mentally. This recovery could also lead to, supposedly, the best sleep of our lives.

With everyday life there is stress. Stress of work, stress of school, stress of exercise, etc. The main point is that stress is almost inherently in each and every aspect of our everyday. This stress weighs heavy on our minds and bodies and not exhausts us physically but also mentally. Prolonged exposure to these stresses without relief and recovery can lead to more serious problems. The Isolation Tank hails itself as a way to allow the mind to relax and, in a way, begin to heal itself or, at the very least, escape the stress for awhile. When floating in the tank, the water is the same temperature as our skin, the lights are completely off, and the capsule is sound proof. All these factors leave the active mind without the subconscious processing of the senses, and in other words, leaves the floater with their thoughts and nothing else. With just our thoughts and nothing else being registered, we may be able to peer into our minds and fix what is broken or calm what is hectic. At the very least, a user can calmly float and take a well-deserved nap.

Without actually trying one yet, I cannot say that the tank is a divine gift from above that has cured what keeps me up at night. Though I must admit, the list of what tank users have reported being relieved of makes me want to sign up immediately. The image of just floating carefree and detached from reality sounds like the goal of most vacations; even if it is for an hour or so. If you are stressed, exhausted, or just need a quick getaway, perhaps looking up your local float tank center and becoming a Psychonaut could be the perfect fit for you.

 

References:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-christopher-winter/sleeping-around-how-to-sleep-in-a-sensory-deprivation-tank_b_7293436.html

This entry was posted in Live Well, Sleep Products and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *