Just thinking about lying in a hammock makes you start thinking of relaxing already. Studies have shown that there are indeed benefits in napping in a hammock. According to neuroscientists at the University of Geneva, the gentle rocking motion makes people fall asleep faster and deeper. The Swiss researchers say the changes in brain activity may new solutions for those struggling with insomnia.
“This rocking is very gentle, very smooth, oscillating every four seconds. It’s not like rocking like you would see some mothers rocking their babies, it’s more gentle,” explained Sophie Schwartz, Professor of Neurology who led the study.
During the research, a dozen adult subjects napped for 45 minutes in a custom-made bed while scalp electrodes record brain activity. Each subject took an afternoon nap while the bed was stationary and another while it was rocking gently like a hammock.
“We observed a faster transition to sleep in each and every subject in the swinging condition,” said Professor of Neuroscience Michel Mühlethaler, who conducted the research with Schwartz, tells Shots in interview.
The rocking motion has increased the length of N2 sleep, a type of non-REM sleep that composes most of our good night’s sleep.
The results of the research showed that the subjects fell asleep faster and this could pave the way in finding out whether the sleep-inducing effect of a hammock may be used to treat sleep disorders.