A new Swiss and French study reveals that gentle swaying back and forth while sleeping provides a better snooze.
Neuroscientists from the University of Geneva rigged up a bed that would sway gently from side to side every four seconds. A dozen men then took afternoon naps on the bed for 45 minutes while electrodes recorded brain activity. During another nap, they slept on a stationary bed. It was found that people fell asleep faster on the rocking bed, around three minutes sooner or 30 to 40% faster than the static bed. But what’s more interesting is that the rocking sleepers slept better, enjoying a deeper, high-quality sleep, said researchers Sophie Schwartz and Michel Mühlethaler in a statement. "The quality of N2 sleep, the deepest stage you reach in a nap improved too, as shown by a higher density of brain activity bursts called spindles," noted the researchers.
The research could impact stroke recovery and brain injury treatment, and the rocking bed can be a possible cure for insomnia and other sleep ailments. Here are a few other tips to getting a better night’s rest:
1. Cut caffeine
The effects of caffeine can take as long as eight hours to wear off.
2. Avoid alcohol
As a sleep aid, alcohol may initially help you fall asleep, but it can also lead to less-than-restful sleep.
3. Relax before bedtime
Create a pre-sleep ritual such as light stretching or a hot bath. It will help you unwind from the day.
Regular exercise, usually in the mornings or afternoons, can help you sleep like a baby.
5. Set the mood
Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and comfortable.