Being rocked to sleep does not just work for babies.
Adults trying to sleep better may want to consider investing in a hammock to benefit from the same effect.
Scientists have found that adults gently moved from side to side at bedtime fall asleep faster, get more restful deep sleep, and have improved memories.
Researchers, led by the University of Geneva, asked 18 volunteers to spend a night in both a normal bed and one which rocked. Those in the moving bed fell fully asleep six minutes faster and were less likely to wake up in the night, with fewer “micro-wakes”.
They also got more deep sleep, which is crucial for storing information, and performed better in memory tests.
Babies have long been cradled by their parents to help them get to sleep and researchers have previously found the same thing works for adults, which explains why it is so easy to drift off in moving cars and trains. Researchers believe the motion of being rocked synchronises the brain waves that control sleep.