It's OK not to fall asleep
It's your first, third, tenth, or 57th float. Each time you've floated it's been different. Some you feel like you "got" a lot benefits, other times it may have been difficult to relax. No matter what experience you think you had, you still are floating...which means you still are gaining the benefits.
Now, you're floating, and you have a difficult time falling asleep. You come back out to the lobby after the float and say, "Jordan! I couldn't fall asleep when I was floating. I tried, and tried, and tried, but it just didn't happen. I don't think it was a very good float for me."
I smile and nod as you explain your float, but what I want to tell you is...
"Here's the good news...THAT'S OK if you don't fall asleep."
The line between truly being asleep and the in-between mode is thin, very thin. Sometimes it's difficult to distinguish whether you were asleep, in deep thought, or in that theta state where you're not quite there but not asleep either.
Each type of experience (like I said a few lines ago), is unique and still gives you what you need. You may not exactly what you need, but your mind and body does. They will do what they need to do in order to get what they need. Make sense?
Here's some of the possible scenarios that could happen while you're floating:
You fall asleep: may be because your body needed that extra hour of rest. Or your mind was so relaxed it lapsed into the delta wave mode.
You USE the float TO sleep: because you have insomnia, apnea, or are lacking sleep. Floating almost 're-sets' your sleep clock, helping you achieve a good and restful night of sleep.
You lapse into the theta brainwave mode: the state of meditation, relaxation, and healing. It's an in-between state. Not quite awake, not quite asleep.
You listen to your breathe and/or heartbeat
You do yoga
You work out your weekly problems: You solve a question that's been pestering you for days. You sort through a to-do list. You imagine a new life. You daydream. You just think.
The point I'm trying to make is, there's such a huge variety of things that could happen. The more you try to control your experience, the more anxiety you'll experience because you will realize that it can't be controlled. The more you let go and ALLOW the experience to happen on its own, the more relaxed you will be, the safer you'll feel, and the greater the benefits will be. It's when you LET GO of the outcome that amazing things happen.
You're not supposed to be doing one thing or another, every single time. If your body and mind don't need the sleep this float, then you won't sleep, you'll do something else. But every. single. time. you still gain something from the float. It may not become obvious during the float, but you'll notice a change in the following days.
Try it a few times, be open to the possibilities, and just let go.
Until next time floaters,
Blue Oceans Float team