Depression is a common mental illness that affects more than 18 percent of adults in the United States — that’s more than 18 million adults in any given year.  The symptoms which include sadness, low motivation, sleep problems, and eating disturbances can interfere with work, school, and relationships.

Fortunately, there are holistic treatments available that can help with depression. Research is showing that float therapy, a type of therapy treatment that involves floating in a sound and light-free space, may greatly benefit those suffering from depression.

Is time in a float tank the ultimate mental pick-me-up tool?

People seeking holistic treatments for depression have every reason to be interested in floatation-REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy). Growing research indicates that floatation-REST may produce antidepressant effects in floaters. Take a look at the latest on using the float as the fix for depression. 

How Sensory Deprivation in a Float Tank Can Help With Depression

In a study published in 2018 involving 50 participants, researchers observed significant reductions in depression after the float experience. Researchers also observed substantial improvements in mood measured by increases in serenity, relaxation, happiness, positive affect, overall well-being and energy levels. Post-float participants also reported feelings of being refreshed, content and peaceful. This particular study also found that floatation-REST may be especially effective for helping people experiencing “burnout” depression to experience mood improvements. 

How Much Time in a Sensory Deprivation Float Tank Is Needed to Help With Depression?

The evidence that’s available at this point suggests that a single session of Floatation-REST can produce strong and substantial improvements in mood. The changes in mood are immediate. However, the persistence of the antidepressant effect of floating in a sensory deprivation tank isn’t known yet. While there’s not enough research regarding the long-term benefits of float tanks for depression, many people who use float tanks report long-term mental clarity. This suggests that the antidepressant benefits of floating may also last beyond the short term. However, it’s likely that regular floatation-REST sessions are necessary to maintain results when using this activity “therapeutically” for depression. 

Floatation-REST and Depression: A Relationship Worth Exploring

The vast amounts of clinical and anecdotal evidence regarding the benefits of floating for people suffering from depression make floatation-REST something that belongs in more conversations about mental health. Floatation-REST is already commonly used by people seeking relief and rejuvenation in the midst of “burnout” anxiety. While floatation-REST can be powerful on its own, it’s also important to remember that it serves a potentially important purpose as a complementary therapy that can be used to manage depression.