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Sleep Disorders

22 June 2011

Gentle rocking helps adults sleep better

Babies aren't the only ones who fall asleep faster when rocked, according to researchers who found that, like infants, adults find it easier to nap on a slowly swinging bed.

Babies aren't the only ones who fall asleep faster when rocked, according to researchers who found that, like infants, adults find it easier to nap on a slowly swinging bed.

In conducting the study, the researchers asked 12 well-rested adults with no history of sleep problems to nap on a custom-made bed or an "experimental hammock" that could remain still or rock gently. As their brain activity was being monitored, each participant took two 45-minute afternoon naps - one in a rocking bed and one in a bed that remained still.

 

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Sleep disorders expert

Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

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