Print Edition - 2019-01-31  |  Health and Living

Rocking like a baby promotes better sleep in adults


Jan 31, 2019-

We know babies benefit from being rocked to sleep—now a study suggests it helps adults sleep better too. Researchers from the University of Geneva built a special bed that rocked gently throughout the night. They tested it on 18 young adults and found they woke up fewer times and slept more deeply than on a normal bed.

Scientists said the rocking motion resulted in a longer period of slow brainwaves which caused deep sleep, and improved their memory. The volunteers spent three nights at a sleep laboratory in Geneva: one to get them used to sleeping there, one on a rocking bed and the other on the same bed, but in a still position.

Electrodes recorded their brainwaves, and found that the period of deep sleep was extended by rocking. Laurence Bayer, lead study author and researcher at UNIGE Faculty of Medicine, pointed out that the rocking motion was slow enough not to cause nausea.

“A hammock would probably not be as efficient, although people often report a sense of relaxation when rocked in a hammock,” she said. “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.”

Published: 31-01-2019 10:42

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