The Yard Item That Offers Sleep Help

The Yard Item That Offers Sleep Help

Need a nap but just can't seem to drift off? Then head out to your yard and take a swing in your hammock.

Turns out rocking isn't just for infants. New research suggests that rocking -- such as that of hammock swings -- can ease the transition into sleep and provides soothing sleep help for grown-ups, too.

Swing Time
In a recent small study, healthy volunteers each took a 45-minute nap on successive afternoons -- once in a stationary bed and once in the bed that slowly rocked side to side. Then the researchers measured sleep cycles and sleep behaviors. Surprisingly, all the study participants fell asleep more quickly when rocking, and they also got more deep sleep -- known as the non-rapid eye movement phase of sleep. (Related: Did you know? Sleep help could improve your memory.)

Decoding the ZZZs
The study authors speculate that rocking somehow synchronizes brain waves during sleep, which in turn could help someone fall asleep more quickly or sleep more soundly. And it's probably the reason why many babies like to be rocked to sleep as well. Unfortunately, many of us kiss this sleep-help aide goodbye once we outgrow a crib. Time to look into hammock swings. Or try these other sleep inducers to help improve your health, your mood, and your mind:

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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