Hammocks make for deeper sleep
June 21st, 2011
07:41 AM ET

Hammocks make for deeper sleep

Babies aren't the only ones who benefit from gentle rocking. A new study suggests that when you lie down for some shut-eye, swaying in a hammock will help you fall asleep faster and make you sleep more deeply than napping on a stationary bed or couch.

Swiss researchers monitored the brain activity of 12 men during a 45-minute nap on a stationary bed and a nap of the same length on a gently rocking bed designed to simulate a hammock.

When they were in the "hammock," the men drifted off to sleep one minute faster, on average, and entered a deeper stage of sleep more than three minutes faster than when they napped in the still bed, the researchers found.

In addition, the researchers were surprised to discover that the men, while rocking, spent nearly five more minutes in that second stage of sleep (known as N2), which typically makes up about half of a normal night's rest. They also spent less time in the initial stage that serves as a transition between wakefulness and sleep.

Health.com: Seven tips for the best sleep ever

Although the study is small - even for brain-monitoring research - and the results will need to be confirmed in future experiments, the researchers say their findings could lead to novel treatments for insomnia and other sleep disorders.

"This (research) could be helpful in terms of patients who typically suffer from sleep-onset difficulty and sleep-maintenance difficulty," says Sophie Schwartz, Ph.D., one of the study's authors and a professor of neuroscience at the University of Geneva.

Health.com: Take a backyard vacation

Schwartz and her colleagues aren't certain why hammocks help put us to sleep. One explanation may be simply that people associate the gentle to-and-fro of a hammock with relaxation, leading them to drift off more easily.

But other brain processes may also be at work. Directly or indirectly, the rocking motion may activate regions of the brain that are involved in sleep, such as the amygdala. In fact, the authors say, rocking back and forth may actually "synchronize" brain waves in a way that promotes deeper sleep.

Health.com: Which sleep position is healthiest?

The researchers measured brain activity with electroencephalography (EEG), which uses electrodes placed on the scalp to gauge brain activity. When the men were rocking, the researchers found a higher concentration of "spindles" on their EEG readouts - the defining characteristic of N2 sleep - and evidence of more slow-wave brain activity, an indicator of deep sleep.

The effect of rocking on the brain may even play a role in brain functions besides sleep, such as memory and healing after brain damage, according to the researchers.

"Rocking during a nap or night of sleep might be good for other cognitive functions," Schwartz says.

Copyright Health Magazine 2011

Post by:
Filed under: Health.com • Sleep

soundoff (592 Responses)
  1. rv repair shop

    That is a great tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very precise informationÖ Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!


    June 10, 2021 at 06:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Refugia Nicolaisen

    Hello, There's no doubt that your site could be having web browser compatibility issues. When I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in I.E., it's got some overlapping issues. I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Aside from that, wonderful blog!


    June 10, 2021 at 07:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Katharina Kraling

    Good day! I could have sworn Iíve been to your blog before but after going through many of the articles I realized itís new to me. Regardless, Iím certainly happy I discovered it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!


    June 10, 2021 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. rv repair


    June 10, 2021 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Leon Cafarella

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It is the little changes which will make the most important changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    June 10, 2021 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Arnold Zamostny

    Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    June 10, 2021 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. owukedimeg

    http://slkjfdf.net/ – Uqizavep Ohijviteq azi.wgjr.thechart.blogs.cnn.com.jsa.mf http://slkjfdf.net/

    June 10, 2021 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. ezuvheyikol

    http://slkjfdf.net/ – Unalax Yowetuw raq.tqzj.thechart.blogs.cnn.com.xyb.ww http://slkjfdf.net/

    June 10, 2021 at 21:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Tuan Moorehouse

    This web site definitely has all of the information I needed about this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 10, 2021 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. rv repair shops

    Hi, I do believe this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will return once again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.


    June 11, 2021 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Nikia Klimo


    June 11, 2021 at 02:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Lemuel Goeken


    June 11, 2021 at 03:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Rico Ulberg

    Wonderful post! We are linking to this particularly great article on our site. Keep up the great writing.

    June 11, 2021 at 03:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Santos Tayler

    Iím amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog thatís both educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy I stumbled across this in my hunt for something regarding this.


    June 11, 2021 at 05:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. rv repair near me


    June 11, 2021 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Jonell Woehl


    June 11, 2021 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. rv repair orange county california

    I like it when folks get together and share ideas. Great blog, continue the good work!


    June 11, 2021 at 19:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Sound System Riverside


    June 12, 2021 at 01:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Nissan Luxury Van Repair


    June 12, 2021 at 01:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Mercedes Sprinter Service Center Near Me

    Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the issues. It was truly informative. Your website is useful. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 12, 2021 at 01:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. rv alignment shops near me


    June 12, 2021 at 02:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Frame Repair


    June 12, 2021 at 02:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. rv shades repair


    June 12, 2021 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. shoe stores near me


    June 12, 2021 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. giant near me


    June 12, 2021 at 20:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. korean food near me


    June 12, 2021 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. att store near me


    June 12, 2021 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. horseback riding near me


    June 13, 2021 at 06:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. chili's near me

    I blog frequently and I really appreciate your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I will take a note of your site and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed as well.


    June 13, 2021 at 07:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. golden corral near me


    June 13, 2021 at 07:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. tailor near me

    I want to to thank you for this wonderful read!! I certainly loved every little bit of it. I've got you bookmarked to check out new stuff you postÖ


    June 13, 2021 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. homes for rent near me


    June 13, 2021 at 11:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. aa meetings near me

    This is a topic which is close to my heart... Best wishes! Where are your contact details though?


    June 13, 2021 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. mt line

    Hello to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more from this site, and
    your views are good designed for new people.

    June 13, 2021 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. check cashing near me

    I needed to thank you for this good read!! I absolutely loved every bit of it. I have you book marked to check out new stuff you postÖ


    June 13, 2021 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. academy near me


    June 13, 2021 at 19:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. toyota dealers near me

    You are so interesting! I do not suppose I've read anything like this before. So wonderful to find somebody with unique thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!


    June 14, 2021 at 04:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. car repair near me


    June 14, 2021 at 04:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. takeout near me


    June 14, 2021 at 05:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. albertsons near me


    June 14, 2021 at 06:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. bookstores near me

    Iím impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís both educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something regarding this.


    June 14, 2021 at 08:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. lidl near me

    Everything is very open with a precise clarification of the issues. It was truly informative. Your site is very useful. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 14, 2021 at 11:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. gas prices near me


    June 14, 2021 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Camper Repairs Near Me


    June 15, 2021 at 03:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Repair Garden Grove


    June 15, 2021 at 03:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Repair Shops Near Me Now


    June 15, 2021 at 04:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Nearby RV Repair

    I really love your website.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you develop this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím looking to create my very own blog and would like to learn where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Appreciate it!


    June 15, 2021 at 04:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Repair Nearby


    June 15, 2021 at 08:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Repair Santa Ana

    When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there a means you can remove me from that service? Cheers!


    June 15, 2021 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Repair Mission Viejo

    Itís hard to find knowledgeable people about this subject, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 15, 2021 at 11:47 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.