How do some NFL players relax before games? They float
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It's around 9 p.m. on a Friday night and Cincinnati Bengals rookie Carl Lawson has just made the 30-minute drive to Tao Float Loft in West Chester, Ohio.

With just a few days before the Bengals' game against the Steelers, Lawson has one more item left in his weekly routine. To prepare for the upcoming matchup, Lawson first must find a way to take his mind off the game itself.

That's where floating comes in.

Lawson stands in front of a giant tank that resembles something from a sci-fi movie. He puts in earplugs and gets inside the tank, which is filled with warm water and 1,200 pounds of Epsom salts. The salt content in the water is high enough that Lawson can simply float on top of the water without any effort.

Soon he'll drift off to sleep in the soundproof room.

"I sleep in here a lot," Lawson said. "It might be a little scary if you close [the lid] because you might hear someone snoring in here."

"Floating," or the use of sensory deprivation tanks, has gained popularity in the past few years due to a number of high-profile athletes touting its benefits. 2016 NBA MVP Steph Curry is among the fans.

The tanks have been in use since the 1950s, and Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis used them often while training for the 1988 Summer Games.

Lawson, who has 3.5 sacks this season, tries to make floating part of his weekly routine in addition to regular massages.

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