Float the Idea

Why 90 minutes?

Why do we recommend a 90 minute float? The simple answer is – because we feel like it! Ha! but seriously there isn’t just one big reason, it’s more like a bunch of little reasons and this is where I will tell you about them!

Reason #1 – It just feels right! I have logged hundreds of hours in the tank. I float without a timer, and although I’ve gotten out after only 45 minutes, I’ve also gotten lost in there for 3 hours, yet time and time again I’m emerging right at the 90 minute mark. Maybe it’s because I’m pre-programmed for 90 minutes? Maybe it’s my bladder telling me to get out – I can’t put my finger directly on the reason but 90 minutes feels like the sweet spot so maybe I don’t need any more reasons; but I have them.

Reason #2 – You deserve it! When was the last time you took 90 minutes all to yourself?

Reason #3 – Replicating R.E.M. sleep cycles! R.E.M. sleep is a deep form of sleep that runs in 90-110 minute intervals and is measured by Rapid Eye Movement (R.E.M.). This is when the brain moves into Theta state brain waves. There are five main frequencies of brain waves, Alpha, Beta, Theta, Delta and Gamma. Theta state is a state of deep relaxation when the brain waves have slowed to a frequency of 4-7 cycles per second.  Some people fall fast asleep in the tank, others do not, and some teeter on the border of consciousness. Whether you are falling asleep or not during your float, your brain will reach the theta state which has been linked to lucid dreaming and hypnosis. Theta brain waves can be considered the subconscious; they govern the part of our mind that lies between the conscious and the unconscious and retain memories and feelings. This state also directs your beliefs and your behavior which is why a float tank can be so transformative for people with addictions or bad behaviors. It seems to reason that if the float tank is producing the same brain waves as R.E.M. sleep, then operating on the same interval of 90 minutes couldn’t hurt.

I have recently spoken to a few mothers that have recounted their experience sleep training babies. My understanding is that the sleep goals are all aimed in 45 minute intervals. So the idea is get your baby sleeping for 45 minutes, 90 minutes, 2 hours 15 minutes (and so on) and this provides the child with a much more restful sleep and nap duration can be predicted with the same 45 minute intervals. So this seems like as good of a reason as any to offer 90 minute floats.

Reason #4 – Fresh Meat! During your first float it can take 30 – 60 minutes to fully relax. Most float junkies don’t recount their first float as their best float. When you are new to the tank it can be weird, strange and we might not allow ourselves to fully relax. Some people would benefit from starting with a shorter float and working their way up to longer, but some people don’t relax until they hit that point that they say to themselves “screw it, I’ll just wait for the music to come on” once that happens, they completely surrender and reach a level of relaxation they might not have otherwise found if they had gotten out after 60 minutes.

Reason #5 – Science! The Laureate Institute for Brain Research (L.I.B.R.) is advancing the world of floating with cutting edge float research. Their current work is focused on anxiety and PTSD and has produced very promising results. They have found 90 minutes to be the optimal time for their studies and they are much smarter than us! If it’s good enough for the experts, it’s good enough for us!

For those who want a shorter float, by all means, please float for as long or as short as you’d like! Everyone’s float practice is completely unique and no one knows your body as well as you do – listen to it! You are absolutely free to exit the tank whenever you want, but we do encourage you to take the full 90 minutes because you are absolutely worth it!

The goal of the float environment is to let go of all of your senses. Your sight, sound, smell, touch and taste (side note, don’t taste the water – I assure you it is very salty!). We want to extend that release to include your sense of time. Let us take over the burden of time so you can just focus on you!



-By our friends at OGO Float! Visit them next time you’re in the great white north of Canada!



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