During night, we utilise darkness to maintain our body’s circadian rhythm (our sleep-wake cycle) which is vital for a good night’s sleep, but time in the dark doesn’t necessarily have to be reserved for the bedroom. Flotation tanks for restricted environmental stimulation therapy (REST) were first introduced in 1954 by American physician and neuroscientist John C. Lilly, in which an individual enters a horizontal enclosed tank of body-temperature water saturated with Epsom salts, causing the body to float. Not one for claustrophobics perhaps, but recent scientific research has found the tanks significantly improved sports recovery time and sleep quality.
You’ll likely already be aware that reducing your exposure to light heightens your remaining senses, which is a concept that London initiative Pitchblack Playblack have harnessed since their inception in 2016. Hosting communal events in cinemas due to their powerful sound systems, customers are invited to listen to music albums in their entirety while sitting in the dark for a truly immersive, visceral and meditative experience. One of their many testimonials claims, “Besides listening to the music, you could feel it.”