Floatation tanks as substitute for beds


A nice but expensive floatation tank:

Lots of stupid new agey stuff if you google…

but I was wondering…

Would it be possible to always use floatation tanks instead of a bed and thus reduce the length required everyday for sleep? Has anyone ever tried this? What’s the cheapest alternative out there that I could buy for home use? Would it be worth it?

I suspect that a one-hour float feels like a good rest only if you don’t use it as a permanent sleep substitute; although humans are quite adaptable with regard to the length of sleeping time required, I don’t think there’s any way to simply speed everything up.

It is my unfounded opinion that prolonged use of flotation as a complete substitute for sleep might quickly lead you to a point where you feel fine, but your judgment, spatial co-ordination or perception is severely compromised, which could be bad.

reduce the length required everyday for sleep? You mean you think you are sleeping slowly and inefficiently and you could sleep faster and more efficiently? “Hey, look at me, now that I have learnt to sleep faster I can do all my sleeping in three hours as opposed to eight that it used to take me”. . . . I don’t think so.

You’d certainly look like a prune for most of the day…


Sounds like it could be quite effectively marketed at the busy executive; “Don’t sleep faster, sleep smarter!

Some of the ‘new-agey’ stuff (hallucinations induced by sensory deprivation, etc.) is actually somewhat true, though mild-mannered, lonely researchers have not yet been observed to change inexplicably into monsters while using flotation tanks.

jjimm: The prune effect probably wouldn’t occur; it only happens because the concentration of salt (and other dissolved matter) in your body is higher than a fresh water bath. A flotation tank would probably have a much higher salt concentration than your body, so you’d get an opposite effect – maybe you’d look like a pickle. I’m not sure.

You could make a normal bathtub into a flotation tank. Epsom salt (MgSO4) seems to be the best choice; I’m not sure how much you’d need. Those tanks come with 325 kg, but that must enough for several changes of the water.

Ahh the 70’s!! Are all you people forgetting the William Hurt movie Altered States - sensory deprivation a little mesculine and you got a man regressing to his primal ape form…

Great movie!!
Seriously, I went through for years of undergrad psychology, and for years of grad psych. I have not seen a sensory deprivation tank since on sabbatical at Cornell. They were used when human subjects were easier to use prior to APA guidelines. They may be used sporatically now, but I’d be hard pressed to find one in fulltime university use.

and what did all those years of scooling teach me?

Well they certainly didn’t teach me the difference between 4 for and FOUR!!! :SMACK:

It does sound silly, doesn’t it. But, when you think about it, about a full third of our lives are spent sleeping. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could cut down that 8 hours to 4 and still be just as refreshed? On top of it, how many people do you know who have sleep disorders of one type or another?

I don’t think it’s as silly an idea as it sounds.

‘I don’t think so’ - is that fact? Because I wasn’t looking for uninformed guesses but studies or personal experience that would infirm or confirm my hypothesis… Which is… Myself, intuitively, it seems that I don’t sleep that well in bed. Maybe the mattress I have just really suck (which is something I will address soon…) and/or I have too much things on my conscience ;-). If it is really more relaxing, why couldn’t I just spend 3-4 hours in a floatation tank and have it equivalent to 8 hours of regular sleep?

Why would that be a bad thing sailor??

Thanks Roches on the Prune Effect information, I was wondering about that ;-).

Phlosphr - I think floatation tank is different then isolation tank, no? Both are interesting of course…

it is possible (probably not for everybody though) to train yourself to sleep less - (anecdotally)I deliberately don’t sleep for more than four or five hours most nights.