Floating my way to eight hours’ sleep
Given that it promises relief from muscle pain and stress, a release of feel-good endorphins and a pathway to healthy, natural sleep, I can just imagine the type of day I was having when I booked myself into Talise Spa for a session in the floatation pool. Not to mention the fact that one hour of floating is said to be the equivalent of eight hours’ sleep – what type of insomniac could turn that down?
The truth is, although I’m not averse to the odd spa treatment, I never actually have them. For a start there are too many other things I’d rather be getting done and, on top of that, with regard to floating, I’m not fond of getting wet (give me a chance to bake in the sun and I’m in heaven. Cold, wet, having to wash your hair? *Shudder*).
So, as I said, I must have been having a pretty rough day when the words “muscular relaxation, endorphin release, healthy sleep and alpha brain waves” made me pick up the phone and dedicate a good an hour of my life and a chunk of DH’s salary to the joys of floating.
And how was it?
Well… I was expecting the full-on sensory deprivation floatation tank (which made me feel a bit panicky TBH) and was pleasantly surprised to find a reasonable-sized room (not claustrophobic at all) with a small, knee-deep paddling pool in it. I was given spa pants and a shower cap to wear (I took a bikini but was told the high salt content would ruin it) and an inflatable neck support to rest my head on as I floated about. The door was locked, I was shown the panic button and how to unlock the door from the inside, and so…
… I got in, resisting the urge to look around for the small children that would usually accompany me into a knee-deep paddling pool. The water was ever so slightly warmer than body temp. I lay back, switched off and started floating. I was in search not of alpha brain waves (I try to manage a few of those every day) but the elusive theta waves found in “sleep, dreams and the barely conscious state”. This is the state in which the mind is “capable of deep and profound learning, healing, and growth” and the brainwaves that help you connect to the universe… (forgive me, I’m both writer seeking divine inspiration and a child of the 70s).
It didn’t take long for me to relax completely. The water was very supportive but the current makes you go in circles – every “lap” bumped the top of my head on the edge of the pool and that kind of hindered the search for the theta waves. You also float over the water pump on every lap and it tickled my back as I floated over – at one point it started pumping hotter water than the pool which meant I’d have 15 seconds of “mmm!” before floating off to Antarctica for another few minutes.
Still, I think I managed the theta waves. Either that or I just plain fell asleep. But, as with any bath in which you fall asleep, I woke up freezing and decided to get out lest I develop hypothermia. Just as I unlocked the door to let myself out early, the therapist arrived – an hour had passed in the blink of an eye.
Did I sleep better that night? Yep. Did it get rid of my muscular tension? Yep (amazingly). Would I do it again? Well, it wasn’t really my kind of treatment, involving, as it did, getting very wet and having to wash my hair in a spa bathroom that had no plug for my straighteners. But those alpha and theta brain waves – well, they’re kind of addictive. If you’ve got nothing better to do.
This is not a sponsored post. I floated at Talise Spa, Jumeirah Emirates Towers. 60 mins / AED 330.