The key to living a healthier and happier life? It could be as simple as just rocking back and forth in a chair.
Have you ever rocked a small child to sleep or drifted off swaying in a hammock or chair? A new study has revealed that simple motion of rocking or swaying back and forth in a seat can not only help you drift off peacefully but also have added health benefits.
The Two studies, conducted by the University of Lausanne and the University of Geneva, were published in Current Biology and found the simple rocking motion can help with sleep and also improve long and short-term memory.
The research studied 18 healthy young adults to undergo sleep monitoring.
The first night was intended to get them used to sleeping in the room, then they were tested for a further two nights.
One the second night the sleepers slept on a bed that gently rocked them back and forth throughout their sleep. Then on the third night they slept in identical circumstances but this time the bed wasn’t moving.
The results showed that participants fell asleep faster while rocking. Once asleep, they also spent more time in non-rapid eye movement sleep, slept more deeply, and woke up less throughout the night.
The next test was focused on how much a better sleep influenced memory. To research memory consolidation, the participants studied word pairs. The sleepers were then asked to recall those paired words in an evening session and a morning session.
The results? People who performed the best in the pairing test were those who went to sleep by being rocked.
Further information gained from the study revealed rocking has a positive impact on brain oscillations and non-rapid eye movement during sleep.
The rocking motion helped to synchronise neural activity in the brain, which plays a massive role in both enjoying a relaxing, uninterrupted sleep, and memory consolidation.
For full details of the study visit Science Daily online.