Many people believe hammocks help you sleep and Swiss scientists have proved it. Scientists at the University of Geneva created a study where a bed was set up that would gently sway from side to side - each swing taking four seconds. Twelve people had electrodes fitted to record brain activity and each spent 45 minutes on the swaying bed and on a stationary bed. It came as no surprise to find that the research subjects fell asleep more quickly on the rocking bed but the most surprising results was just how much of an effect the rocking had on brain activity. We get a bit scientific here but it seems that the rocking motion increases N2 sleep, a form of non Rapid Eye Movement sleep that takes up around half the time we spend having a good nights sleep. And whilst in the rocking bed the research subjects showed slower oscillations in the brain and activity called sleep spindles associated with a deeper level of sleep.
So it appears that babies are not the only ones to benefit from rocking, swaying in a hammock can make you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply.