Rocking a baby has long been known to have sleep-enhancing results, but it’s now been found that the same motion can have the same impact on adults too.
Researchers from the University of Geneva tested a bed that rocked gently throughout the night on 18 adults and discovered that they woke up less and slept more deeply than when lying on a normal bed, reports the BBC. Scientists said that the slow rocking produced “a longer period of slow brainwaves which caused deep sleep, and improved their memory”.
Laurence Bayer, lead study author and researcher at UNIGE Faculty of Medicine, said that the rocking wouldn’t cause nausea due to its gentle pace.
“A hammock would probably not be as efficient, although people often report a sense of relaxation when rocked in a hammock,” said Bayer. “In our paper we test the effect of rocking on one night, but we have no idea if the effects will still be there over a long-term period.”
The research goes a long way to explain why people often fall asleep on moving vehicles, such as trains, buses or planes.
“I was contacted by someone in America who works on a high crane, which moves gently all day,” said Professor Sophie Schwartz, a neuroscientist at UNIGE, and author of the study. “He told me that now he understands why he sleeps so deeply during his after-lunch nap.”
From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK