Why is sleep so important?
The world is only just waking up to the importance of sleep and realising that it is an essential part of life and something that cannot be “banked” – meaning we can’t make up for a lousy night’s sleep by sleeping more the next night. Sleep expert Doctor Matthew Walker describes the importance of sleep by saying that sleep is the single most effective thing we do each day to reset the health of our brain and body.
The body benefits from sleep by producing certain hormones that stimulate the regeneration of damaged and dying cells, such as growth hormones. During sleep, our bodies can restore, retune and balance specific physiological processes within our bodies. Sleep is also essential for boosting our immune system.
The benefits sleep contributes to our bodies is amazing, but perhaps even more impressive is the benefits sleep has on our brain. Sleep allows the brain to mentally refresh and sort and file all the information it has taken in each day; each night, when sleeping is like hitting a reset button, all the chemical reactions and cellular processes are cleansed. So, each morning a new day and a new you. There is more room for further information or the consolidation of what you have already learnt. Quality sleep also helps with emotional regulation. A lack of sleep is highly correlated to an increased risk of anxiety, depression and psychological issues.
What is floating?
A floatation tank is filled with a skin temperature magnesium-rich, salty solution, so it is not like a warm bath; this dense solution enables the person to stay afloat effortlessly, removing all stress from the spine and improving blood flow to the extremities. This zero-gravity environment is a unique, private, and personal space where people discover another way of being with their bodies and minds. It enables a person to feel fully supported, to relax, recover and reset in a non-stimulating environment without noise and light, with no distractions. During the entire session, floaters generally feel light and peaceful.
How can floating benefit the quality of my sleep?
1. Floating can reset your body clock
It is well documented that Floatation therapy can have a positive effect in helping the body reset its internal body clock. The impacts of floating on the brain have been well studied, and results conclude that when the brain is devoid of light, sound and all external stimuli, the hypothalamus within the brain can be rebalanced. The autonomic nervous system can then return to homeostasis. For night shift workers and those suffering from jetlag, resetting your internal body clock will bring you back into flow and harmony and help you fall asleep naturally at the right time
2. The zero-gravity effect of floating enables the deepest sense of relaxation possible
A float tank is one of the very few places in the world that has been created for individuals to experience zero-gravity. Considering that 90% of the brain’s computation is used for spatial awareness, both when awake and while sleeping, floating effortlessly in a tank is profoundly relaxing for your brain and allows one of the most regenerative resets. This sense of relaxation has been shown to increase the presence of theta and delta brain waves during the early stages of sleep.
3. The magnesium solution of the tank promotes sleep
Low magnesium levels can result in restless sleep, poor quality sleep and often waking at night. Magnesium increases GABA in the body, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. The magnesium-rich, salty solution in the float tank is highly concentrated, and when submerged, you absorb the magnesium through your skin.
4. Floating provides the perfect space to connect to your breath.
In the silence of the float tank, you will start to notice both your breathing and heartbeat as both are very audible without external distractions and noise. When you can focus on your breath, you can learn to change its rhythm, deepening and slowing your inhalation and exhalation, which has a calming effect on your heart rate and stress and anxiety levels. Floating helps you relax, allowing you to fall asleep, both of which become a part of what happens with the practice of regular floating.
5. The impact of floating continues with you well after the float is over
The effects of floating can be felt well after you leave the float centre. Floating has been proven to decrease cortisol levels, a stress hormone that usually peaks in the morning and diminishes over the day, allowing us to fall asleep more easily at night. However, chronic stress increases cortisol levels, which lowers melatonin levels (a precursor hormone to sleep), leaving us tired but wired when we try to sleep. Modern-day stressors create elevated cortisol levels in many people, and our sleep suffers. Too much cortisol also contributes to other health issues such as poorly regulated blood sugar levels, suppressed immunity, weight gain, microbiome imbalance, gastrointestinal problems and chronic anxiety. When one begins to make floating a regular practice, one will naturally begin to decrease cortisol levels, helping the body and brain manage stress levels differently. The sensation of floating continues for days, leaving you feeling more rejuvenated and hormonally balanced.
Help yourself get a better-quality sleep by booking in to float today! Your mind and body will thank you.