10 May Rockabye Baby
We came across an article posted in Science News recently. This article describes a study of healthy young adults sleeping on a rocking bed. Bayer and her colleagues invited 18 healthy young adults for several laboratory sleepovers, with one night spent on a rocking bed and one night spent on a stationary one.
The rhythmic motion affected people’s sleeping brains. Study participants fell asleep faster while being rocked, the researchers found. In a stationary bed, people took an average of 16.7 minutes to reach a light stage of non-REM sleep called N2. But when rocked, the young adults hit this sleep stage after an average of 10 minutes. Rocked people also spent more time in a deep non-REM stage of sleep called N3, and had fewer wake-ups. And rocking boosted the number of sleep spindles — fast bursts of brain activity that mark good sleep (SN Online: 8/10/10).
Before people fell asleep, they learned pairs of words, and then were given a memory test the next morning. After a night of rocking, people were better at remembering the words, an improvement that suggested higher quality sleep. Rocking while asleep might be particularly helpful to people with insomnia, Bayer says. “If rocking can help this population to sleep better, it will be a nice alternative or a natural complement” to sleeping pills.
See the full article here: