Here’s What Happened During My First Float Tank Session

Jessica McWhirt
8 min readMar 31, 2022

Sensory deprivation float tanks have always intrigued me. When I say “always,” I mean for the past year or two because I only just discovered they were a thing. For my birthday last year, my sister gifted me a float tank session at Samana Float Center and I finally experienced it last weekend. And let me tell you, it was an experience.

How does a float tank work?

Of course, I didn’t know what to expect so I researched floating before I went to the float center. Floating in a float tank with Epsom salt means you’re lying on your back, floating in massively saturated water.

The difference between just your regular ol’ floating and a float tank session is that you’re in a cabin or pod while floating in about 11 inches of body-temperature water, with the option for no lights and no sounds — complete sensory deprivation.

What a float tank is supposed to help with

This is what intrigued me about float tanks. I wanted to see if floating would help me with Depression, Anxiety, and Migraine because supposedly it does. I’m always thinking to myself how badly I want to just sleep for two and a half days straight or I just want some extended rest or a break from reality. To get away from it all, frankly.

I figured this was a great temporary solution for that.

How I prepared for a float tank

I didn’t do much preparation for the float tank. When I researched how to prepare (1 hour before my session), some tips offered were: don’t have caffeine beforehand, eat 30 minutes beforehand, don’t drink too much water, and think of a question you’d want to meditate on.

No caffeine

The no caffeine thing was easy since I mostly avoid it because it makes me dizzy.

Eat 2 hours before

I ate a couple of hours before the session. I treated it like I would a workout. I wanted to be satiated, but not deal with my digestion while I’m trying to relax. If I was going to use the toilet, I’d want it to be way before lying in water.

Cut back on water