Sleeping a child
Originally the rocking chair was created to reproduce the movement of the cradles back and forth. It allows an adult to take a child in his arms to put him to sleep more easily.
Improving sleep and memory
On the other hand, one of the beneficial and less well-known effects of the rocking chair's swinging movement is that it would also improve sleep quality and memorization.
On January 24, 2019, a first study published in Current Biology shows that rocking promotes deep sleep, sleep maintenance and memory in healthy people. The study is conducted in a bed at night with a lateral oscillation at a frequency of 0.25Hz.
A second study published in the same journal shows that this benefit of rocking on sleep also applies to animals. The study shows that the mouse is even more sensitive than humans to this rocking movement.
"It has long been known that rocking promotes sleep in infants and, more recently, also in adults, by increasing the N2 sleep stage of NREM and improving slow waves and EEG pins. However, it remains to be seen whether rocking also promotes sleep in other species and what are the underlying mechanisms. In this study, C57BL/6J mice equipped with EEG and EMG electrodes were rocked laterally during their main sleep period, the 12-hour light phase. We observed that rocking affected sleep in mice with a faster optimal rate than in humans (1.0 vs. 0.25 Hz)."
So don't be surprised if your cat finds sleep on your lap faster when you're sitting in a rocking chair. And as the purring of the cat would in turn make it easier for the adult to fall asleep, you could have the double benefit of rocking the cat's rocking flesh and purring.
Preventing back pain
JF Kennedy's doctor prescribed him in the fifties, against the back pain he was suffering from, swimming and using a rocking chair. The President appreciated the benefits of the rocking chair so much for his rocking back that, after his election in 1961, he took it everywhere with him, including on board his plane, Air Force One. He also installed these rocking chairs at Camp David and offered them to his friends, family and heads of state.
Improving blood circulation
It is common for sitting in a conventional chair to rest your legs on a chair. Blood circulates more easily because the heart pump has less effort to make to fight gravity. On the other hand, when the legs are raised, the pressure on the hamstrings is increased and pain appears in the buttocks.
If you use a rocking chair, however, the seat tilts to distribute the pressure between the seat and the backrest, as shown in the photo above. This improves the venous return to the legs, but also the distribution of pressure at the seat. We also see in the photo above that the back is well supported against the back.
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