Working forty hours a week is very hard on a lot of people. That’s why after my first float, I knew my boyfriend, Joel (someone who routinely works 70 hours per week), needed to experience a float too.
Joel loves his job and is one of the few people I know who enjoys working. But after my first float, I knew he would benefit from the experience in more ways than one. As a veteran rugby player and daily runner his body injuries are numerous. When I scheduled my second float, David (owner of Levity) recommended a nighttime session to experience the differences from my morning session. After telling David about our sleeping patterns, he shared the benefits of post-float sleep; I signed Joel and me up for an 8:30pm session.
Dating for almost three years, I’m fairly familiar with Joel’s sleeping patterns. He’s able to fall asleep quickly but only for short periods of time during the night. As Joel is about to fall sleep he experiences random twitches called hypnic jerks. These movements happen as a person begins to fall asleep - interrupting their decent into deeper levels of rest. While no one is sure, scientists think stress, extreme fatigue, and anxiety are the cause. All things a normal and overworked person may experience. This, coupled with Joel’s history of night terrors, makes for a rough night of sleep for the both of us.
“I don’t know if I have ever slept all the way through the night”, he said.
So what could it hurt? After my first session I felt refreshed, focused, and ready to conquer whatever the day had in store for me. My chronic neck pain was relieved and I felt stress-free. Why wouldn’t I want my closest loved one to experience the same thing? So off we went. I talked with Joel right before our floats (just after his 13 hour day). His hopes were to have a better nights sleep and have more energy, as he was feeling mentally and physically drained. Usually he has to drink two cups of coffee and another after lunch to stay awake. He was worried he would feel claustrophobic or would even cry but ultimately assumed he would fall asleep.
Fast forward after our float and Joel was more awake than before. He was right; he did fall asleep “about half way through” and didn’t wake until the end of the session. David said that some people fall asleep while floating due to the first time experiencing complete darkness and silence. Joel told us that he almost got out in the first five minutes due to discomfort, but soon became relaxed.
My neck pain was relieved in my first session and the second time felt even better as my body acclimated to the sensation of floating much quicker than before. With finally being relieved of the constant weight and strain of gravity Joel told me, “I never knew how bad I injured my neck [in rugby] until now”. Joel did say he was sore after because of this being the first time that injury has been addressed, though he is curious to see how repeated floats begin to help this injury further.
For me, the benefits were much different in the nighttime session than in my morning session. I was still more energized, but was able to fall asleep much faster. On a normal day it usually takes about an hour for me to fall asleep with many wake ups throughout the night (maybe due to Joel’s aforementioned problems). This time, I fell asleep almost immediately and slept throughout the night. Joel also slept much better throughout the entire night.
For the people who work seventy hours a week, it may not be a permanent fix to your stress, anxiety, or fatigue – but I can say it definitely helps in the short term. For at least sixty minutes you can clear your mind, rid yourself of the outside world that continuously floods your day. However for even longer the benefits will be prevalent. Just like each float experience varies from person to person, the benefits also vary from person to person. I’m excited to see how floating at Levity continues to benefit the both of us as well as others.