Study Says Its OK to Leave the Light on

The presence or absence of light during flotation restricted environmental stimulation: effects on plasma cortisol, blood pressure, and mood (1989.) Fine. H et al.

I stumbled across a study from 1989, the results of which I found surprising but which may come as a relief for those of you not yet ready to turn the light off.

A sample of 21 participants who had never previously floated were allocated into 2 groups: The first group floated with in total darkness whilst the second group kept the lights on. Both groups floated 8 times over 6 weeks.

Perhaps, the most interesting result of this study is that cortisol levels and mean arterial pressure (both indicative of stress,) dramatically reduced week by week, in both groups . And their overall mood (measured using the POMS scale) improved week by week just as dramatically.

Like so many studies into flotation REST that I have looked at, again, this is a really small sample size but again it shows only positive results for this therapy.

This study also, surprisingly to me, found that the above results were not affected by the amount light on the tank – that’s right – the results were just as positive if the light was left on! Personally, I feel that turning the light off really takes me to that “next level” but I know that many you don’t like to turn it off (at least not yet) so I’m sure we’re all pleased to hear that you are getting just as much benefit from floating.

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