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Does flotation-rest (restricted environmental stimulation technique) have an effect on sleep?
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5668-0469
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental Health (from 2013). Kristianstad University.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2008-0784
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1690-2573
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9688-5805
2020 (English)In: European Journal of Integrative Medicine, ISSN 1876-3820, E-ISSN 1876-3839, Vol. 33, p. 1-7, article id 101047Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Some therapies described within alternative and complementary medicine are advertised as sleep-promoting, including flotation-REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique). Flotation-REST induces deep relaxation through sensory isolation in a water-filled tank and is plausibly reported to mitigate insomnia problems, which have consistently been associated with stress, worry and arousal. However, the effects of flotation-REST have not been previously summarised. The aim of this systematic review was to investigate the efficacy of flotation-REST on sleep in clinical and non-clinical samples. Methods: A systematic search for studies on flotation-REST, involving at least one sleep-related variable, was conducted in the databases PubMed, Google Scholar, Web of Science and PsychINFO. Thirteen full-text articles met the inclusion criteria and were considered for eligibility. Nine were included in the current review. The methodological quality of the studies was assessed using a structured checklist, and a standard data extraction sheet was used to summarize the ratings. Results: In all included studies, flotation-REST demonstrated beneficial effects on sleep, both in clinical and nonclinical samples. In two studies, the effects were maintained 4 or 6 months post-treatment. The quality of the sleep outcome measures were, however, low in most studies, particularly regarding the participants' nightly sleep habits, self-reported sleep problems and insomnia diagnosis. Conclusions: Flotation-REST may be a promising treatment for insomnia symptoms, but more controlled studies with established sleep measures, and on populations with clinically verified insomnia, are needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, USA: Elsevier, 2020. Vol. 33, p. 1-7, article id 101047
Keywords [en]
Floating, Flotation-REST, Insomnia, Sleep, Systematic review, Relaxation
National Category
Psychology Health Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-77754DOI: 10.1016/j.eujim.2019.101047ISI: 000526121000002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85078783408OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-77754DiVA, id: diva2:1429447
Available from: 2020-05-11 Created: 2020-05-11 Last updated: 2020-05-27Bibliographically approved

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Kjellgren, AnetteNorell-Clarke, AnnikaJonsson, KristofferTillfors, Maria

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