Regression is sometimes a good thing. According to a recent study from Switzerland, back and forth movement similar to the rocking of a baby in a cradle facilitates sleep and improves the quality of sleep and memory. So why deprive yourself?
Here’s some sweet news for the 1 in 2 people who suffer from sleeping disorders. According to a study published in the Journal of Current Biology, being rocked has many benefits for adults too. This motion allows one to fall asleep quickly, longer and deeper and helps improve your memory.
Cradle beds for adults
Led by a team of researchers from the University of Geneva, the study involved 18 people(10 women and 8 men) who do not suffer from any sleep disorders, aged between 20 and 27 years old, for a two night experience. During the first night, the volunteers went to sleep in a static bed but on the second night they were asked to go to sleep on a kind of rocking bed oscillating at a frequency of 0.25 Hertz and a later sway of 10.5 cm all through the night. This means the bed rocked back and forth every 4 seconds. Not quite enough to get seasick!
Better quality of sleep and improved memory
Laurence Bayer, the lead author of the study and biologist at the University of Geneva found, as reported by CBS that,”rocked sleep has beneficial impacts on falling asleep and continuity of sleep (fewer micro-alarms)". She also noticed that cradled participants slept with fewer dreams (without MOR, quick movements of the eyes) and consequently deeper and more restorative sleep. In fact, while they were lying in the static beds, volunteers took an average of 6.5 minutes longer to enter this phase of deep sleep, and once at this stage of their night, they stayed 5% shorter.
And the positive effects of an adult cradle do not stop there. Its oscillations also seem to play a beneficial role in memory. The 18 volunteers were asked to remember ta list of 48 pairs of words the previous night before they went to bed. The results showed that they were able to better remember the word associations after being rocked while they slept.
"We found that the continuous rocking movement helped synchronise neural activity in the brain's thalamocortical networks, the very ones that play an important role in sleep and memory consolidation," said Aurore Perrault, co-author of the study and who was a researcher at the University of Geneva at the time of the experiment and who is now working as a researcher in neuroscience at Concordia University in Montreal (Canada).
The scientist also says that while some of the participants were somewhat sceptical at the beginning of the experiment were convinced by the "pleasant and relaxing" swing had "fallen in love" with the cradle for adults and even asked to bring it home!
Check out the video above to see the 'adult cradle' in action!