How Do You Measure a Hammock? What size do I need? Hammock Heaven has put together this helpful guide on measuring hammocks so you can take the guess work out of it!
How Do You Measure a Hammock?
If you want to select the perfect hammock for your home or property today, then knowing how to measure this product will help you find the correct solution.
Length is the primary measurement that you will want to review as you shop for your new hammock. Most will need a space that is two feet longer than the area you intend to use the item for proper hanging.
That means if your space is 450cm, then your hammock can be 400cm feet in length. You would take this measurement from ring-to-ring on the product.
This measurement applies most often when you are also purchasing a stand for your hammock to use outside in your yard. If you have two trees that you plan to use, then measure the distance between them. Take that figure, then choose a hammock that fits in that space comfortably.
Weight Capacity Is Another Important Measurement
Don’t forget to look at the weight capacity of your preferred hammocks before completing a purchase. Some models can hold 200kg when correctly installed. There are also some that struggle to carry a 80kg person.
Think about what your needs will be for the hammock, then review the product specifications online to determine if it will meet them.
If you purchase a hammock stand, the weight capacity will be a measurement to consider with that product as well.
When you have a hammock that works well for your space, then you will have an enjoyable experience with it. Consider these measurements first, and then you can find an amazing product to enjoy.
If you have enjoyed some time at a seaside resort, then there is an excellent chance that you saw a rope hammock swinging in the breeze. You may have thought, “That is something I should have at my home.”
Because there are multiple styles of hammocks available today, you might be wondering if a rope-based model is superior to the other forms of quilted or soft-weave products that are on the market today.
Here is a look at some of the key pros and cons of rope hammocks.
Rope hammocks are usually one of the most affordable options that are available right now without compromising on the overall durability you receive.
Rope hammocks are incredibly breathable, so there is never a worry about feeling sweaty or damp during use.
Your maintenance needs are minimal when you have a rope hammock at home. Use a soft-bristled scrub brush and some warm, soapy water to make sure it remains at its peak condition.
They will leave impressions in your skin when you use them, which can become uncomfortable if there are large spaces in the product.
They still need some maintenance, especially if you own one made from cotton rope. Persistently damp areas can see mold or mildew develop on the hammock if it remains wet outside.
So, there you go. 3 PROS and 2 CONS. The PROS win by 1.
Rope hammocks offer one way to enjoy the comfort and convenience of this technology. You will find affordable alternative materials are readily available today as well.
Choose the option that works best for your home, and then rest peacefully knowing that your new hammock has got your back – liter
When you own the best possible hammock for your needs, then you can relax anywhere. There is no other experience quite like it on our plant today.
The first question most people have when they first start thinking about the benefits of a hammock is this: how much will it cost me?
Here’s the good news. A hammock is one of the most affordable investments you can make for yourself today.
How About a Colombian Hammock for £70?
If you want to enjoy the benefits of a good quality new hammock for a sensible price, then consider a single hammock. You’ll find several colorful options, suitable for indoor or outdoor use, for as little as £70.
Maybe you want to put your hammock outside and leave it there all the time. You’ll want something constructed of weather-resistant materials then, so expect to pay somewhere in the region of £100.
Adding a frame to your hammock will increase the price too. One of our most popular products is the Fat Hammock with Wooden Stand set, which you can fetch for a surprisingly competitive cost today.
Then double-check for shipping costs if you choose to order your hammock online. At Cool Hammocks, we offer free delivery on every order, so you’ll receive your shipment in three working days or less under most circumstances.
With prices like these, why wait? Choose from a full range of stands and fixings to create the perfect indoor or outdoor setup today. Then enjoy a superior level of relaxation and comfort.
The quick answer is that cotton probably feels the nicest, but it is hard to tell the difference with a polyester cotton mix or even pure polyester. The polyester hammocks will last longer and fade less.
Differences Between Cotton, Polyester, and Synthetic Hammock Materials
When you start shopping for a hammock, then you will find three primary materials to consider: cotton, polyester, or other synthetics. If you look at a canvas hammock, then this material is usually made from cotton to create a durable layer of protection.
Many synthetics have a brand name associated with them because it is a proprietary product. Tropilex offers a durable poly/cotton blend for many of their hammocks as well. Each material brings something to the user experience.
Cotton: This material provides you with the classic hammock experience. It is soft, comforting, and very durable. You’ll want to store it somewhere dry during the winter or an extended period of poor weather.
Polyester: This material offers more durability for challenging climates. It is resistant to mould, mildew, and common forms of rot. Most hammocks made from this material feel the same as the natural cotton ones.
Synthetics: This material can come in a variety of formats. Some will offer breathability that will keep you cooler during use. Others provide a remarkable amount of durability.
Cost is a significant factor when deciding which material type to choose for your new hammock. Natural materials are often the cheapest. That’s why selecting a poly/cotton blend as you can find with many hammocks is a tempting choice.
You’ll receive a higher level of durability and easier maintenance without breaking your budget. Every material used to make a hammock offers distinct advantages. Think about what your needs are, and then choose the material that will support you well.
In 2019 so many of us are looking for new ways to feel better in our everyday lives. Sleep is one thing that affects us all, a bad nights sleep can equal poor productivity the next day as well as low moods and generally feeling unwell.
The NHS advise that we can get seriously ill from lack of sleep and The Sleep Council recommend finding somewhere we feel comfortable to relax is the first step to getting a better nights sleep.
Hammocks have been around for at least 1000 years which is the earliest trace of one on record. They were originally used for protection as opposed to leisure.
The Eco Mail shares that they were even used in the Navy for three centuries allowing the sailor to gain more room. Today we are going to share with you why a hammock is the ideal place to sleep to help you feel better.
Easier to get to sleep:
Sleeping in a hammock can help your body to relax in a more comfortable position and when you find that key position your body is going to stay put, with the curve in the hammock providing extra support so you don’t fall out. Making sure the curve is lose will provide a better nights sleep as you will not feel squeezed within the hammock as this can also be bad for your body. If you can get the hammock to your ideal position where you feel secure and relaxed, this will reap benefits for your body. According to The Ultimate Hang laying on the diagonal is the key to comfort. Hammocks such as the Tropilex Cherry Double Hammock is ideal for this as you can achieve the perfect position.
Did you know Hammocks help you to sleep deeper? The rocking motion that hammocks make actually helps you to fall asleep into a deeper sleep also known as N2. Sophie Schwartz who is a professor of neurology led a study that concluded that swinging can modulate physiological parameters of human sleep. She advises that lying on a slowly rocking bed helps to facilitate the transition from being awake to sleep. With that in mind purchasing a hammock to sleep in is seeming more like a good idea by the minute. Hammocks are available for indoor use as well as outdoor and can be more comfortable overall than a bed.
Good for feeling better?:
According to Alaska Sleep Clinic finding the perfect sleep position is crucial for feeling better. Sleeping on your back is great for helping with neck and back pain and allows you to gain a better nights sleep and wake up feeling better. The National Sleep Foundation advises elevating your spine can help with getting a more comfortable position for your back this can be done by a cushion or a rolled up towel. Using a hammock in place of a cushion can allow your pressure points to be elevated, allowing your body to feel soothed.
Whether you want a hammock for napping or just for relaxing outdoors, the benefits seem apparent when it comes to improving your mood and general wellbeing.
2. Check out our new guide of how to hang your hammock. You don’t even need to read it. I managed to persuade my boys to narrate it out loud. It contains some tips learned from long experience with hammocks.
3. 4 items on our clearance page, each having 20% off. This page is always worth a look.
We have a giant SALE taking place at our other website THE REAL RUG COMPANY. We have to sell our big rugs to make space in our warehouse. So many of them have 80% off.
Here is a customer comment from 20th September:
“Love the rug, it’s a beauty. Weighty, unusual, gorgeous colours. Great to be able to order a bulky item of furnishing and not have to wait for weeks before getting it, too. Customer service kept us updated every step of the way and we got the order in a few days. Thank you.”
There is currently 33% off pure cashmere striped scarves at MYPASHMINA at the moment.
These are ideal for children in the autumn and winter. Handy and cosy. Also, each one is unique in the world and has been individually photographed. There are about 200 different designs in stock.
Read The Ultimate Guide To Easily Hang Your Hammock So It Is Secure And Comfortable.
Firstly, relax! It is not difficult to hang up a hammock. If you have a decent hammock and use suspension equipment which is suitable for your chosen location, then it will be quick and easy to make yourself a bed in the sky.
The basic principles of hanging a hammock are as follows:
You need two supports strong enough to carry all the people in the hammock.
The main tree trunk of a living tree is almost always strong enough. Branches are more risky. I would always go for the main trunk unless it is a really substantial tree.
If it is supporting a house, then it is probably strong enough. You can attach hammocks to interior walls or to the support for a pergola. The wall of a standard British garden shed will probably not be good enough. Fence posts are risky. You will know if it is strong enough.
Street furniture is usually designed to withstand plenty of abuse. We have hung hammocks from posts at train stations, public railings and sign posts before.
The tow-bar or roof rack or your vehicle can make a useful second post. The tow-bar is often low to the ground, so that will usually only work if the topography is correct. Roof racks and roof bars should be carefully assessed on an individual basis.
It is possible to rig up a bi-pod with a guy rope pegged into the ground for one end of the hammock. This would be most suitable for a 1 person hammock, as it is not the strongest solution, but it does solve the ‘two-tree problem’.
You need something tall enough to hang it from at a comfortable height.
If you look at all the photos of people laying in hammocks when they are between trees, you will see that the rope is at about 30-45 degrees. So depending on the hanging distance , extend that line upwards and outwards to your hanging point. I usually find myself attaching my ropes to a tree at about head height.
When we set up the hammock for children, we usually have it as low to the ground as possible. That means that when they fall out, nobody gets hurt. So you can take the hanging height into consideration. Remember that a brand new hammock will stretch a little on it’s first few uses, so you will want to leave some room for adjustment. It will also hang lower to the ground with more people or heavier people in it.
You need to fix it to your supports in such a way that the attachment gets stronger when there is more weight in the hammock, but can be easily undone when the weight is removed.
An example of this would be hanging the hammock from simple S-hooks. It is very easy to remove the hammock from the hooks when it is empty, but when you have some weight in the hammock it is perfectly secure. There is no need for carabiners until you plan to be jumping around in the hammock. Even in that case it is hard to dislodge a hammock from s-hooks.
When you wrap a rope around a tree, getting in the hammock will pull it tighter and hold it in place. This principle works on even the smoothest trees. This means that if you simply wrap a rope twice around a tree trunk so that it overlaps itself and then attach one end to itself and the other end to the hammock, it will be stronger the more weight is in the hammock. I hope that was explained clearly.
You should stick to simple knots that are easy to undo. There is nothing less relaxing than having to spend an hour trying to untie a rope from a tree. Most hammock ropes are polyester which is strong, but it is also slippery enough that it is easier to untie knots. Tree straps with s-hooks make it easy to clip on to itself, so it is very easy to untie again once the weight is removed.
Your hanging points should be a good distance apart. The range is quite big, There is a clear limit when the supporting objects are too close together. This is roughly 90% of the overall length of the hammock.
For hanging points which are further apart, the limit is more down to personal preference. I would be quite happy with a hanging distance of about ten meters. You get a nice slow swing with a longer hanging distance. However, you need more rope and you have to attach the rope quite a lot higher.
You need a hammock you can trust not to break.
Fixed vs Temporary Fixings
Are you planning to keep your hammock in one place, or even move it between two or three regular places? Maybe you want your hammock at one end of your deck or terrace in the morning and at the other end in the evening. If that is the case then I would suggest setting up fixings at each location. It is much better to simply unclip your hammock from one place and clip it on to another one without having to check and adjust a rope each time. In my ideal world, I would have wall hooks attached all over the place at just the right height and spacing.
If you are planning to put your hammock in it’s handy carry bag and take it off to the forest or beach then you will find ropes a much better solution. You could start screwing hooks into every tree you use so that they are there for future visitors. Most healthy trees will not be damaged by this, especially if you use stainless steel or other rust proof fixings. Most fixings are in this category. However you are probably looking to relax in your hammock rather than setting out on a minor DIY task.
S-Hooks Vs Carabiners
Advantages of S-Hooks
Quick and easy to hang and remove your hammock.
Easy to adjust
Advantages of Carabiners
Feels very secure.
Is more secure, especially if children are playing in the hammock.
You could attach two things pulling in different directions without added risk.
Moving on from the mechanics of hanging your hammock, some things to consider when aiming for ultimate relaxation and comfort in your hammock are:
It is more comfortable to have a hammock that is well balanced. The most balanced hammocks are the ones that self adjust. Does the hammock have strings which can slide through the loops at the end of the hammock ?
The Colombian hammocks have an open loop design, which many people say enhances balance compared to the closed loop design. In my opinion, the difference is very small. But they do look nicer and are easier to hang.
‘Cadejos’ are continuations of the main hammock bed fabric which are woven into plaits. Logically this would spread the weight perfectly and make the hammock more comfortable. I think the difference is small, but every detail is worth considering.
It is worth thinking about the comfort of the fabric against your skin. Cotton feels nice. Polycotton, which is 70% polyester and 30% cotton feels very similar, but are more durable and weatherproof. Nylon doesn’t feel quite as comfortable against the skin, but the travel hammocks pack up really small and are really strong, so it is a trade off.
Durability. A hammock kept indoors will last for as long as any other furniture. If it is going to be left outside to the elements, then it should be allowed to dry when it gets wet, and man made fibres like polyester or polypropylene will last longer than cotton.
Portability: How small does your hammock pack up? Will you be moving it often ? The travel hammocks are the most portable, but a single cotton hammock only weighs just over a kilo and takes up about the same space as a wooly jumper in your luggage.
Other factors to consider. Although this guide is more about hanging your hammock, so this is just a quick list.
Price: You don’t have to pay a fortune for a good hammock, but really cheap ones are not the best value.
Design: It feels better to lay in a beautiful hammock.
Fair Trade: No need to feel guilty.
Environmental concerns: From an environmentalists perspective, for cotton hammocks , recycled cotton is the best, followed by organic cotton, followed by regular cotton.
Opportunity cost: You could buy some Bitcoin instead.
I hope you found this guide useful. I intended to lay out the basic principles. It is not rocket science and as long as you check and test your hammock before diving in, then it should all be fine. Good luck and happy relaxation.
You can see our range of hammocks here, and you can see our extensive range of fixings and accessories here. We offer free shipping on most orders and you are welcome to call or email us with any questions. Hammock Heaven has been online since 2004, so we have learnt a thing or two about hammocks in the last 15 years!
HammockHeaven’s Travock and Parachute travel hammocks are the ultimate travel accessory. Perfect for everyone from day trippers to road warriors, they are sure to become an indispensable part of your travel gear. Here are ten things you should know about these popular packable models.
1. Stuff sack included
Did we mention packable? Both the Parachute and Travock travel hammocks come with their own stuff sack. The one on the Parachute models is even attached, creating a convenient pocket that you can use to keep a water bottle or flashlight close at hand. When you’re finished using the hammock, there’s no need to fold it like Marie Kondo folds shirts; just stuff it in the included sack and throw it in your bag.
2. Magic or manufacturing?
How is it possible for them to fit in such a compact stuff sack? Is this magic? Nope. They can be squeezed into such a small space because they are made from nylon. This silky synthetic material is very strong and durable, but also very thin and lightweight.
3. Irresistible resistance
HammockHeaven’s travel hammocks are weather resistant and mildew resistant. The properties of nylon allow the Parachute and Travock models to dry in a flash. Got caught in a downpour? Surprised by a sudden snowfall? Hang your hammock in the sun and it will be dry in minutes. No mildew. No musty scent. No lingering dampness.
4. Single to supersized
The Parachute and Travock travel hammocks each come in two sizes perfect for one to two people. The Parachute is available in single and double sizes, while the Travock is available in regular and XL sizes. The regular Travock model can hold up to 120 kg and the XL model holds up to 180 kg. The single Parachute model is weighted for up to 118 kg, while the double-sized model can hold up to 181 kg.
5. Cool color combos
Our two-toned Travock and Parachute models come in stylized color combinations from bright orange and turquoise to neutral black and sand. Choose colors that express your personality or will stand out on Snapchat. Because HammockHeaven’s travel hammocks are made from colorfast nylon, they won’t fade in the sun or become less bright with each wash.
6. Two minutes and counting
If you’re traveling solo, you won’t need an extra pair of hands to help you set up your hammock. With just the built-in ropes that are part of every travel hammock and either the stainless steel S-hooks that come with the Travock models or a hanging kit (purchased separately) for the Parachute models, you’ll be relaxing within minutes.
7. Sweet dreams
Did you know that sleeping in a hammock has been scientifically proven to be beneficial for your health? A study done at the University of Geneva Neuroscience Center concluded that the a gentle rocking motion like that of the hammock helps you sleep like a baby. Not only did the gentle rocking help a majority of the study participants fall asleep faster, it improved the quality of their sleep.
8. Buy them with Bitcoin
You can buy our hammocks with Bitcoin. Cool, right? That’s just the kind of hip company HammockHeaven is. We even give our customers a discount if they use Bitcoin to make their purchases. To buy a travel hammock with Bitcoin, transfer the amount of your purchase into your smartphone wallet. At checkout, open your wallet, scan the QR code, and press the button to confirm. It’s as simple as that.
9. The best things in life are free
HammockHeaven’s commitment to quality customer service includes FREE shipping to most UK locations on all of their hammock models. The Travock travel hammocks by HAMACA can even be on your doorstep overnight if you place your order by 12:30 in the afternoon! Not in the UK? No worries, mate. We ship everywhere from Austria to Australia. We have low cost shipping options for our neighbours in the EU and charge our international customers only what the courier charges us. The shipping rates will be displayed at checkout.
10. Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing
Our travel hammocks have the same warranty as our other hammock lines. If anything you buy from HammockHeaven breaks or malfunctions within the first 365 days, we will replace it or give you your money back. If you want to return an unused hammock you ordered or received as a gift, you can send it back to us within 60 days and we’ll refund the purchase in full. We also offer a low price guarantee on the HAMACA hammocks. If you find a Travock travel hammock for a lower price on another site, we’ll refund you the difference in price AND give you £20 to spend on any of our other products.
This quick guide will go from the smallest and cheapest hammocks up to the biggest and most expensive, then we will finish it off with some comments about hanging chairs, and some notes about hammocks with spreader bars.
Nearly all Hamaca hammocks are hand made in Colombia from recycled cotton. The cotton is soft, strong and comfortable and the colours and designs are gorgeous.
I will try to mention only the benefits and disadvantages specific to each type of hammock, and only when compared to other types of hammocks.
Nearly every Hamaca hammock has the following features which are an advantage over other brands of hammocks:
Cadejos – the stylish cotton chains at the end of the hammock which look great, but also help distribute weight perfectly.
Handy matching carry bag, which is big enough for the hammock, but with room for a book a drink and some ropes. Many other brands you really have to squeeze the hammock in…
Colombian style with an open loop at the end.
Recycled cotton with Azo-Free Dyes, and transported by ship. I.e. This is the most eco-friendly type of hammock you can buy.
Easy to wash in the washing machine.
Children’s Hammocks / Kids Hammocks
Single rope attachment for child safety.
Just about big enough for an adult.
2 x 3m ropes built in.
Packs up small and light, so perfect for taking on holiday or to the lake.
Low price per hammock.Transform a bedroom for £30 !
Small for an adult, so only one lying position (straight).
2 x 3m Ropes with Hooks built in to each Travock ( Travel Hammock ).
Packs up small for travels. The 2 person XL size packs up to 20x12x12cm which is about 2.4 litres in volume. The 1 person is slightly smaller.
Big hammocks, especially compared to the packed up size.
Extra strong, made from nylon, like parachutes.
A travel hammock will dry very quickly if it gets wet.
Price. At the lower end of the price range.
Cotton is softer and more comfortable than parachute silk.
The perfect size for an adult, a squeeze for two, plenty of room for kids.
Packs up small and lightweight, so good for travelling or taking to the park.
Cadejos, a carry bag and machine washable, as are all hammocks in the rest of this guide.
It’s a single hammock, so you remind others of this fact for some peace and quiet.
I can’t think of any disadvantages, unless you want a bigger or smaller hammock.
Room for two adults.
Same advantages as other size hammocks
If you want a different size hammock, choose that. Price and size…
It’s a short list for this one, but it’s one of our most popular hammocks. I just didn’t want to repeat the advantages of the single hammock.
Plenty of room. You can lay which way you like, or have lots of people in the hammock.
Value per person, or per square meter of hammock area.
Big hammocks look fantastic.
Can fold the edges around you as a sunshade or even a cosy roof.
Same advantages as other size cotton hammocks. Washable, bag included etc.
Not as portable for flights. Fine to take to beach or park, but maybe it takes up too much luggage space if you are just taking hand luggage.
Our biggest hammocks are our most expensive hammocks, but they work out quite cheap per person or for the size.
Hanging Hammock Chairs
Space saving, so suitable in almost any space.
Easy to get in and out of.
Sitting position allows typing etc.
Brightens up a room.
Cheaper than other types of chairs.
Can’t lay down, except in our denim hanging chair with it’s fantastic foot rest.
Not as portable as a hammock due to the bar. It has a bag with a shoulder strap, so it is fine to take to the park or beach, but more difficult to take on a flight.
Spreader Bar Hammocks
Fabric drys quickly if it gets wet.
Easy to get in and out of.
Not as portable as a hammock without the spreader bars. It has a bag with a shoulder strap, so it is fine to take to the park or beach, but more difficult to take on a flight.
Marginally less stable than hammocks without the spreader bar.
I hope this quick guide was useful. Please tell us your experiences with your hammocks. We woould love to hear from you. Contact us.
TLDR; Apparently the Daily Mail article saying that hammocks are good for sleep is Fake News. It was based on a study where the participants lay in a gently rocking BED, not a hammock!! Details below.
Do hammocks aid sleep? Don’t be swayed
Page contents Where did the story come from? What kind of research was this? What did the research involve? What were the basic results? How did the researchers interpret the results?
The news is based on a small sleep study which found that lying on a slowly rocking bed can help the transition into sleep, and that rocking also alters the type of sleep experienced. Researchers say that these changes in brain and sleep behaviour could explain why humans find rhythmic rocking to be soothing, for example when mothers rock their babies.
While this research is interesting, it was only a small study and its results were based on 10 healthy men who did not normally have sleep problems. It also only looked at the effect of rocking on a 45-minute afternoon nap rather than a whole night’s sleep. Given the limited scope of this research, it remains to be seen whether rocking might be able to help treat sleep disorders such as night-time insomnia.
Where did the story come from? The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Geneva, Geneva University Hospital and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, and the Université Paris Descartes in France. It was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The study was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Current Biology.
The media generally reported the story accurately. However, many articles gave the impression that the study took place in a hammock, whereas it was performed in a type of slowly moving bed. It should also be noted that none of the study participants had sleep disorders such as insomnia. It has yet to be determined whether rocking could help treat insomnia.
What kind of research was this? This small-scale sleep study compared sleep during an afternoon nap in which a bed was either stationary or rocking. It aimed to demonstrate that gentle rocking can change types of sleep experienced during a short afternoon nap. The study’s design was appropriate, but the study would have to be performed in greater numbers of participants before general conclusions could be drawn.
What did the research involve? Twelve healthy male volunteers, aged 22–38 years old, had two 45-minute afternoon naps (lasting from 2.30pm to 3.15pm) on a bed that either remained stationary or rocked gently at a rate of one full rock every four seconds.
The participants were good sleepers who did not have excessive daytime sleepiness and did not normally nap in the afternoon. Participants all had low anxiety levels and had enjoyed a good quality and quantity of sleep for three nights before each afternoon nap. This was determined using sleep questionnaires and from measurements of motor activity.
The two naps were at least one week apart, and the order in which the participants slept on the rocking or stationary bed was randomly determined. The naps took place in complete darkness, at a controlled temperature (21°C) and with the same amount of background noise (37 decibels). During the naps, the researchers continuously took multiple measurements of physiological changes and brain function. Sleep stages and brain activity were then classified from the measurements by sleep experts who were blinded to the experimental conditions. The volunteers also completed sleep questionnaires and their motor activity was recorded.
The data from 10 of the 12 participants were analysed. The data from one participant were excluded because he had elevated anxiety levels which prevented him from falling asleep during one of the naps, and technical problems prevented sleep measurements from being recorded during one other participant’s nap.
What were the basic results? Eight participants rated the rocking bed as more pleasant than the stationary bed, one participant found both conditions equally pleasant and one preferred the bed stationary.
The researchers found that rocking accelerated sleep onset. Sleep normally happens in cycles of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM). NREM is further divided into three types: N1, N2 and N3. A sleep cycle normally follows the pattern: N1-N2-N3-N2-REM.
The researchers found that N1 sleep duration was shorter on the rocking bed (about 30% of total sleep time) compared to on the stationary bed (about 50%). The duration of N2 sleep was greater on the rocking bed (about 66% of total sleep time) than on the stationary bed (about 46%). Rocking also modified brain activity during N2 sleep. The brain activity observed was characteristic of deep sleep. These brain changes were observed across all the volunteers.
How did the researchers interpret the results? The researchers suggest that rhythmic rocking enhances “synchronous activity” in the brain, which could “promote the onset of sleep and its maintenance”.
Conclusion This study showed that falling asleep is aided by gentle rocking, and that rocking can affect the sleep cycle. However:
This was a small study with only 12 participants, of whom only 10 where included in the final analysis. Also, the study only included male participants.
A previous study looked at whole-night sleep and found that rocking does not consistently affect N1 sleep, although it did reduce the percentage of the deeper-stage N2 sleep. However, it did not look at how the ease of falling asleep was affected.
None of the volunteers in this study had any problems falling asleep. It remains to be determined whether rocking can be used to treat insomnia or other sleep disorders.