A group of Swiss scientists studied the effects of sleep in hammock-like conditions by hooking a dozen people up to EEG units while they fell asleep on gently rocking beds. The end result was basically science confirming what hammock-enthusiasts have been saying for years—the gentle rocking motion not only puts you to sleep faster, but the sleep is just plain better.
Photo by R.M. Calamar.
While the group believes there's a definite link between rocking babies to sleep and adults falling asleep easier while being rocked, it's still not clear if it's a causal relationship, or if our brains are just wired that way to begin with. Either way, the results were solid—every single participant fell asleep faster in the rocking bed, and their brain scans showed deeper sleep. So, if you want to get the most out of a nap, take it in a hammock.
Rocking synchronizes brain waves during a short nap [Current Biology via MSNBC]