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Rocking Sleep

August 9, 2011

Rocking helps adults fall asleep faster and enter deeper sleep.



A better way to nap…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

It’s no surprise that babies love to be rocked to sleep. But a new study shows that rocking helps adults sleep better too. Sophie Schwartz is a neuroscientist at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. She and her colleagues monitored the brain waves of 12 male volunteers as they napped for 45 minutes in a specially made bed that swung gently back and forth. When volunteers were rocked, they not only fell asleep faster but they also entered deeper sleep.

SOPHIE SCHWARTZ (University of Geneva):

All of the subjects found that rocking was in fact very pleasant.


Schwartz says their brain rhythms also showed increased activity associated with memory processes, though it’s too early to tell if rocking can improve your recall. The researchers now plan to repeat their study in volunteers during a full night’s rest. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.