Nowadays, nearly 20% of French people suffer from insomnia and 70% from sleep disorders! Having a bad night has a profound impact on daily life and health. Instead of turning to drugs that often have disappointing effects, opt for a floating session in our sensory deprivation tanks. A simple and effective method whose benefits go far beyond improving your nights.
Floating in a sensory isolation pod in water concentrated with Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) has long-term effects on sleep quality and insomnia. Scientists have demonstrated this through serious studies.
However, before explaining how floating in a GRAVITI spa improves sleep, let’s remember the negative consequences of restless nights that go beyond “simple” fatigue.
Problematic effects on health
The impact of poor sleep on daily life is much more problematic than we think. The list of pathologies or health problems linked to or exacerbated by this lack is long.
You have certainly already experienced it: after a bad night, fatigue affects your mood, you are of course tired, discouraged, you certainly have problems with concentration and memory. Your alertness is diminished and your body is ‘running on reserves’.
And the consequences can be unfortunate:
– accident at work or in the car due to diluted concentration and slowed reflexes,
– Mood swings can lead to irrational anger and affect your social life,
– it is also a factor in the development of depression,
– a weakening of the immune system, your body is fragile, your metabolism is down, you are much less resistant to viruses, infections, etc,
– chronic pain appears to be more severe and disabling,
– overweight can occur,
– Many diseases “take advantage” of the general state of fatigue: hypertension, diabetes, stroke, etc.
A good night’s rest is therefore essential for a healthy life. Together with a balanced diet, it is one of the foundations for a healthy life.
How to know if you are sleeping well
There are transient insomnia or disturbed nights. On the other hand, the trouble arises when these inconveniences last. You can find on the internet the “Epworth test” based on the phases of sleepiness during the day. Examples of situations are given (watching TV, sitting quietly, as a passenger in a car, etc.), and it is up to you to say whether you are prone to “nose-diving” at these times or not.
While it cannot replace a real diagnosis by a doctor, this test is designed to alert you to deficits that are often minimised or even ignored.
Knowing the causes of insomnia to better address them
Leaving aside external causes (neighbourhood noise, night work, jetlag, etc.), insomnia can result from existing illnesses: diabetes, hyperthyroidism, osteoarthritis, etc. but also from depression.
However, a large majority of people who have bad nights are primarily subject to stress and anxiety. However, a large majority of people who have bad nights are primarily subject to stress and anxiety. And their sleep takes its toll.
A simple, gentle and effective solution: float therapy
If we list the proven benefits of a sensory isolation session, we can directly see the positive effects on insomnia.
Reduced stress and anxiety
Floating for an hour in water at an ideal temperature, weightless thanks to its Epsom salt content, and far from any stimulation (smell, noise, light, touch, etc.) is logically good for the body and the head.
By being ‘out of time and space’ for those precious minutes of deep relaxation and unwinding, brain activity changes. As the body relaxes and releases tension (muscles, tendons, etc), the brain does the same.
When float therapy acts on the brain
On a daily basis, our neuro-electrical activity “vibrates” according to a well identified rhythm: the Beta rhythm. These waves are synonymous with moderate brain activity, but they are also found in moments of anxiety and tension.
During a sensory isolation session, the frequency of the waves drops. Theta rhythm takes over. It is that of deep meditation, drowsiness, deep and REM sleep. We find this more or less secondary state just before falling asleep or just after waking up.
Make way for the happiness hormones
The change in brain rhythm during floating is also linked to the secretion of particular hormones. Here, too, studies have shown peaks in dopamine and serotonin, the anti-stress hormones par excellence.
A much-needed drop in cortisol
At the same time, there is a significant decrease in cortisol levels. This so-called “stress hormone” is produced by the adrenal glands. Its benefits are numerous: it keeps the body and brain alert, awakens our instincts in the face of threats, optimises our reactivity, our concentration, etc. In short, cortisol keeps us alive! However, in people who are prone to anxiety and therefore have difficulty sleeping, cortisol levels are too high. And this excessive secretion can be moderated by… good sleep hygiene.
A floatation session in a sensory isolation chamber improves the quality of the night and fights insomnia by putting the brain at rest. In fact, it is not uncommon for clients of our GRAVITI centres to fall asleep during a session or to find themselves in that drowsy phase that makes them fall asleep.
The benefits of Epsom salt
For perfect float, the water in the pool is saturated with Epsom salt. In addition to its physical quality, which allows the body to float unhindered, this particular salt also acts on sleep. Its scientific name is “magnesium sulphate”. The effects of magnesium on the body, or rather the consequences of a deficiency, including fatigue and… insomnia, have long been known.
Bathing in water with a unique magnesium concentration that cannot be found anywhere else can only help you get a good night’s sleep.
Scientific studies are unanimous
There are many scientific studies on the contribution of floating to reducing stress and anxiety. Those on insomnia a little less, but they insist on more than notable improvements.
Let’s mention the work of Elisabeth Jean Ballard on the benefits of floating on insomnia, or that of Kjellgrena, Norell-Clarkeb, Jonssona & Tillforsa in 2020 (see our blog posthere). This latest study lists the benefits of float therapy on insomnia: deep relaxation, regulation of negative emotions, reduction of stress hormones, slightly altered states of consciousness conducive to better emotional management, etc.
However, the best evidence of the benefits of floating in sensory deprivation on the quality of sleep is of course to do at least one session in one of the GRAVITI spa centres in Bordeaux or Lyon.
Above all, it is a unique and childlike experience: no need for training, experience, exercises, etc. As with meditation or yoga, for example, just lie down and let yourself go. (Reminder: you don’t need anything, we will lend you a towel, flip-flops, shower, soaps, beauty gels and creams, etc).
In addition, GRAVITI also offers supplements to relieve people suffering from insomnia.
Book one or more sessions in our float bubbles on our dedicated page and you will have access to the ultimate relaxation, deep relaxation and gentle therapy that will help you get back to a peaceful night.