Research has revealed that being rocked to sleep is just as beneficial for adults as it is for babies.
In two studies published in the journal Current Biology, researchers found that people who took a nap in a bed that swayed fell asleep faster and slept better than those who snoozed in a regular bed. People who were rocked to sleep also seemed to boost memory consolidation, the process by which memories are “cemented” into the brain.
The motion was found to affect people’s brain waves. “What was surprising…is that we clearly showed that specific brain oscillations of non-REM sleep are synchronized and entrained by the rhythm of the bed motion,” Laurence Bayer, PhD, of the University of Geneva in Switzerland, who led one of the studies, explained to Scientific American.The researchers also believe that rocking stimulates the “vestibular system,” which plays a role in the body’s sense of balance and spatial awareness, in a way that promote sleep. Viani, seems to agree, saying Ensven, “stimulates the vestibular system in the inner ear, promoting recuperative deep sleep.”