How a Float Tank is a Rest Sanctuary for today’s Students

Instructions: Complete 50 multiple choice questions, 2 short answer questions, 4 out of 6 of the following long answer questions. Long answers between 400-500 words. 3 hr max time allowance.

Canadian University students are currently in the thick of final exams. They come on the heels of the semester’s: essay writing, lab reports, individual projects and group
projects, capstones…. and so on. The assignments are varied, the assessment is crucial and students all share the common bond of fatigue. We use to think student fatigue was a rite of passage. Now we know it’s a crisis. UBC is reporting that despite all that we know about the brain and learning, and its relationship with rest, students are still not getting enough sleep!

“Sleep loss = brain drain – One study showed that a highly successful student can be set up for a precipitous academic fall just by getting less than seven hours of sleep a night. Take an A student used to scoring in the top 10 % of virtually everything she does. If she gets just under seven hours of sleep on weekdays, and about 40 minutes more on weekends, her scores will begin to match the scores of the bottom 9% of individuals who are getting enough sleep. Cumulative losses…add up and the sleep debt carries on into the next week”.

Brain Rules – John Medina

How is this possible? Don’t today’s students know better than the students before them? They have the research. They’ve read the studies. They’ve heard their parents preach. What is the disconnect? The great advantage of today’s students is also their greatest disadvantage.

It is the 24/7/365 digital access to the world and all its grandeur. University students in the 80’s and early 90’s shut it down when the library closed at 10pm. Anything that happened after that was primarily social. Fun. Relaxing. Pulling an all-nighter meant pouring over class notes and texts, not staring at a blue screen barraged with pop up ads and the constant insta messages from an equally fatigued friend.

University is different for today’s students. There’s no rest for them. Nowhere for them to detach to. No sanctuary from the technology that they need, to be current and competitive. Could a 90-minute float be a sanctuary for a fatigued, over stimulated student? We think so:

It’s silent – check.
It’s dark – check.
It’s unplugged – check.
It’s solitary – check
It’s completely restful – check.
it’s available until 11pm – check
It’s perfect.

UBC’s recommends students put computers, TV’s and phones in a room other than their bedroom and do homework in a room other than the one they sleep in. The bedroom should be separate from homework. It should cool, dark and quiet for optimum rest and stress release. Sounds exactly like a float tank– check.



Lorraine Miller
Lorraine Miller
Lorraine Miller is a lifestyle writer whose articles and blogs feature interesting people, places and businesses. A former educator, she is a community volunteer and loves living and writing in the Okanagan. [email protected]