3 Good Reasons to get a Hammock
A new study reveals that when you need to get to sleep, nothing beats the gentle rocking motion of a hammock. This is good news for migraineurs, as well as individuals who suffer from insomnia, sleep apnea, nightmares, and other sleep disorders.
Insomnia, stress, and migraines
Not getting enough deep sleep makes us stressed, anxious and irritable. If you suffer from chronic migraines, then the only way to avoid sleep deprivation, one of many common migraine headache triggers, is to get sufficient deep sleep- the kind we only get between rapid eye movements (REM). According to Sophie Schwartz, a neuroscientist at the Sleep and Cognition Neuroimaging Lab at the University of Geneva, sleeping in a hammock is the best way to achieve restful sleep.
“Not only does rocking make us fall asleep more quickly,
but it also makes people sleep more deeply throughout the nap,” she explains.
Scientists prove what parents and babies have known for millions of years
The Swiss study, published in Current Biology, focused on healthy male adults who volunteered to take 45-minute naps in gently rocking beds, or simulated hammocks. According to the study’s author, future experiments will also include female participants, with additional focusing on menstruation as a control factor in sleep and recorded electrical activity in the brain (EEG).
How will sleeping in a hammock improve my sleep patterns and prevent migraines?
1) Get to sleep quicker
Researchers in the study, while scanning EEG reports, noticed that the male participants fell asleep quicker in the “hammocks” than in traditional, stationary beds. Specifically, they reached N1 sleep- the light, transitional sleep that precedes deep sleep- about one minute earlier, and reached N2 sleep- deep, non-REM sleep, about three minutes faster.
How this helps you: It may not seem like much, but that first few minutes between wakefulness and gentle slumber make all the difference, especially if you have migraine pain or nausea.
2) Sleep deeper
Scientists discovered that sleeping while swaying not only promoted deeper sleep, but also had another surprising effect- increased time spent in quiet, deep sleep. Researchers remain stumped as to why the swinging motion of a hammock influences brain activity, but they have confirmed that sleeping in a rocking bed accounts for at least five extra minutes of refreshing N2 sleep.
How this helps you: Migraine patients who get plenty of restful, quality sleep every night experience less stress, fewer migraine symptoms, and more mental clarity.
3) Improve brain functioning
The Swiss researchers noticed an increase in brain wave oscillation (“sleep spindles”) produced by N2 sleep in volunteers that napped in the “hammocks.” Sleep spindles that occur during deep sleep correlate with improved memory functioning and increased healing ability of the brain. In simpler terms, it means that should you suffer a stroke, your chances of recovering with less brain damage improve with more non-REM sleep.
How this helps you: Women migraine sufferers are at higher risk of suffering from stroke than female non-migraineurs.
Tags: electrical activity in the brain (EEG), hammock, insomnia, migraine headaches, migraine patients insomnia, Migraines, motion, N2 sleep, narcolepsy, nightmares, rocking, sleep, sleep apnea, sleep deprivation, sleep disorders, sleeplessness, snoring