These Dark Soundless Chambers Will Make You Feel Like You're In Space

May 21, 2018

|Ariel Rodriguez
sensory deprivation tank

Floating inside one of these tanks will let you relax completely and might even relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Ever wished there was some sort of off button on the back of your head that let you forget your problems and just relax? I have. My mind is always thinking about things and solving problems, and it never stops. Even when I’m in bed, when I’m sleeping, or when I’m just trying to close my eyes and think of nothing: I'm unable to escape from the stimulating environment that takes away my sleep. Needless to say, I’m not one of those lucky folks who can sleep for 8 hours straight. On my best nights, I’m lucky to get away with an okay six-hour's sleep before my brain’s inner alarm starts waking me up. That's why it's so important to find a way to relax and prevent insomnia from causing you more problems like stress, anxiety, and even depression. So, I was shocked when I heard about these tanks that promise to cure (or at least relieve) the problems your brain is exposed to by surrounding you in a floating environment of nothingness, a sensation that feels like wandering in space. These chambers are called sensory deprivation tanks and they are very, very real.

sensory deprivation tank 1

These tanks are supposed to relax you, so when you wake up and come out of them, you feel like a new person. I can’t help but remember that one scene from Daredevil (2003) where Ben Affleck takes a pill and submerges himself inside a capsule with water to prevent sounds from keeping him awake. The same happens in a few scenes from Stranger Things where the psychic girl finds deeper mental concentration by floating in a pool with her eyes covered. Sensory deprivation tanks are very similar to this idea of mental relaxation and concentration. They are meant to take you away from the busy environment filled with stress, technology visuals, and drama in an unique experience to connect with your inner self. These pools are nothing new (they've been around for a while), but they are getting more popular now with elements like smells, sounds, and visuals that improve your experience.

How do they work?

Each tank's characteristics vary depending on their design, but they are usually dark capsules with less than a foot of Epsom salted water (to help the body float), where you lie almost naked after showering and sleep. Some of them have LED lights, minerals in the water, and even images of galaxies and space, and it's said that this experience is even better if you're high. According to those who have tried this treatment, at the beginning, you're scared by the dark and the extreme quiet, but as you fall asleep, you’ll find a state of calm and relaxation free of worries that ends only when your paid time’s up. It's usually two to five hours, depending on what you ask for.


Sensory deprivation tanks are also considered an alternative medicine method for different health conditions, including physical and psychological problems. Most of the time people come to these places to relax, catch up on some sleep, or just to get high. Its benefits are said to improve many conditions, but the most popular ones that are treated by this method are muscle tension, hypertension, chronic pain, stress, and even rheumatoid arthritis, among other things.

sensory deprivation tank 2


As was mentioned above, this method has been around for a while now. In fact, it was developed by the American physician, neuroscientist, psychoanalyst, philosopher, writer, and inventor John C. Lilly in the 1950s. He focused on researching the consciousness and was known for using psychedelic drugs, dolphin communication, and isolation tanks to conduct his experiments. He came up with the idea of the thank after attempting to isolate the brain from all stimulation. He then used salted water to allow the body to float while keeping all sound out. Although he did use psychedelic agents like LSD, which were legal at the time, his experiment seemed to have potential for marketing purposes, and if it wasn’t for the fear of AIDS during this time of period, his treatment would have become very profitable.

sensory deprivation tank 3

If we think about the simplicity of this treatment, we can identify key elements that affect our daily lives. For example, screens and other devices that are constantly distracting us by keeping us busy 24/7 are forgotten during these hours of solitude and reflection. The noise and the stress of daily life disappear as you float on a pool of nothingness that lets your mind recharge. Maybe you should give one of these tanks a try and see why its effects are even thought be medical.


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Ariel Rodriguez

Ariel Rodriguez

Creative Writer