Nothing quite hits the spot like a nap on a hammock when you’re on vacation. It’s the best way to take in the sun or stargaze into the vast open skies in comfort. Laying in hammocks feel so good for your back, you may even wonder if it actually has a beneficial effect. It’s not uncommon for people to want to replicate those vacation vibes at home which has led to many people choosing to invest in hammocks for personal use. When doing so, it is imperative to choose the best hammock for sleeping or lounging in, based on your individual requirements.
Some people enjoy the feeling of lying in a hammock so much, that they even get themselves an indoor sleeping hammock to replace their mattress and bed! For those who love spending time in the great outdoors, sleeping hammocks for camping have started forgoing tents too! With the increasing focus of people looking to sleep in hammocks, there are a wide variety of hammock products available to make sure you get a good night’s sleep in any environment.
How to Sleep in a Hammock Properly? Tips from the Professionals!
One of the most commonly asked questions is how to sleep in a hammock. If you don’t do it right, you might not end up with a positive hammock experience. These tips are all recommendations from professionals and people who have spent a good chunk of their nights sleeping in hammocks.
How’s it Hanging?
How you hang the hammock is, for sure, one of the top ways to ensure maximum comfort and minimize risk of injury to yourself.
- Hang the hammock with a sag of approximately 30° to the ground. This geometry is optimal for body position and also reduces the risk of falling off.
- Aim for the lowest point of the hammock to be 18 in / 45 cm from the ground.
- Don’t secure it too tight or too loose between your anchor points. When secured too tight, it may constrict your shoulders and put a fold in your back which would be extremely uncomfortable.
See below our tables to figure out how high to hang a hammock depending on the distance and height between your attachment points. Attach the hammock at the nominated heights, then tighten to achieve the height off the ground an you should achieve your optimal 30 degree sag.
Hammock Hanging Heights In
Hammock Hanging Heights In
Put Your Feet Up
An addition point to consider in hanging your hammock right is the position of your feet. You should aim to have them slightly higher (8 to 10 inches, to be precise) than your head. This position helps prevent sliding and bringing your torso to the center of the hammock which may cause discomfort.
Lie On Diagonals
As an alternative to sleeping in a banana shape, there is a flatter way to sleep comfortably in a hammock. If you lay diagonally across the hammock, you’ll find your torso is flatter which is great if you aren’t use to sleeping on your back. Then again, if you’re a hammock side sleeper, there are hammocks specifically created for people who share the same sleeping position as you. It is however noticed, that even traditional side sleepers often switch to sleeping on their backs quite instinctively when they rest in a hammock.
Cotton, nylon and polyester fabrics are wonderful options. For a short nap, rope and woven varieties of indoor hammocks may work but they prove to be uncomfortable to sleep in through the night. Choose a material that is easy to clean and maintain.
All About The Pillows
The one thing that can make or break a good hammock nap or sleep through the night is bedding – this includes a head pillow offering good support and elevation to the head and neck, a knee pillow and finally, a good comforter. Another bedding recommendation is to invest in an under quilt or sleeping pad. This is especially the case for outdoor sleeping hammocks so that mosquitos don’t bite you through the fabric below.
Accessories such as hammock sleeping pads or hammock sleeping bags are a great way to get additional comfort or support. These hammock accessories don’t need to be restricted just for the outdoor sleepers.
Sleeping with another person in the hammock
Another thing to keep in mind is how to sleep in a double hammock with another person. Several companies sell indoor sleeping hammocks that are wide enough to sleep two people at a time. While it is possible and you can sleep side by side, I don’t think it is a good option for an enduring solution. If you and your partner both want to sleep in hammocks, just get 2 and hang them up side by side. I won’t stop you sneaking into their hammock for a “cuddle”
Additional Camping and Outdoor Hammock Sleeping Tips
If you are taking your hammock into the great outdoors (which is highly recommended), you should also consider:
- Unlike the image below, ensure that there is a gap large enough to suspend the hammock between two posts or trees while remaining centered with the hammock. If you are forced to be off center due to obstacles, it will affect the optimal sleeping angles.
- Keep the pests at bay with a camping hammock that comes with a bug net attachment. Also, a rainfly is a good idea for when you go camping in unpredictable weather.
- Consider a hammock sleeping pad or hammock sleeping bag that is right for your conditions. These handy add-ons can convert an OK nights sleep to a top one.
- Be environmentally responsible when it comes to finding a camping hammock by selecting ones which are tree-friendly – look for the ones that come with straps offering tree protection. Also please leave the campsite without littering.
Why Should You Consider Sleeping in a Hammock
If this question is on your mind, it is an extremely valid one. If the comfort of a mattress is all that you have been exposed to, switching to sleeping in a hammock full-time every night may seem like it’s just not going to work.
However there are many reports of users who sleep in hammocks full-time every night and wouldn’t have it any other way. They swear the hammock lulls them to sleep faster and allows them to get a deeper sleep, free of pain and without activation of pressure points. Some people even recommend sleeping on hammocks for back pain alleviation.
A good hammock bed offers many benefits, including some health related ones, so it is worthy of consideration. Key benefits include:
Deeper And Better Quality Of Sleep
A hammock with a rocking motion can put some people to sleep a lot faster that a stationary bed and mattress. The quality of sleep in a hammock bed is also deemed to be deeper for some allowing for a more restful slumber.
A Healthy Position To Sleep In
While a little subjective, many professional sleep doctors believe that lying on your back with the head elevated at 10-30% is an optimal position to sleep as it allows for uncongested airways, and better circulation of blood to the head and neck.
Laying in a hammock most often forces even side sleepers or stomach sleepers to lay on their back with their heads propped up on a pillow. Many also believe that laying in hammocks reduces the unnecessary activation of pressure points while sleeping.
Hammocks are, in comparison, a lot cheaper to the pricey option of getting a mattress and a bed for inside your home, or getting an entire tent to head out camping. What’s best is that at a quarter of the price, you’re guaranteed a comparable (and sometimes much higher) level of comfort.
Mattresses harbor several microorganisms and dust, at a level much higher than hammock beds do. It is much easier to clean a hammock routinely than a mattress, making it all a lot easier to maintain dust and mite free bedding, an in the long-term optimal health.
This is especially relevant if you are looking at a hammock bed for indoors. For compact bedrooms with limited space, a bed with a mattress can take up too much room.
A hammock suspended against two walls or even supported by a stand will occupy far less space, and can be unhooked and taken down if you need more room when you aren’t sleeping.
Easier Installation Process
Forget the nuts, bolts and energy-intensive installation process for a bed. Or the time consuming set up of a tent when you just want to crack a beer; setting up a hammock is so much easier.
For hammock sleeping at home, the indoor sleeping hammocks come with either collapsible stands, or wall mounted hanging options. For outdoors, most sleeping hammock kits for camping will come with the straps and carabiners you need to hook up to a nearby tree or structure.
Common Mistakes to Avoid during Hammock Set Up
A good rule of thumb would be to hang it no more than 3 feet from the floor or ground while keeping away from any sharp objects, in order to reduce injury in the unlikely event of a fall.
Pay attention to the angles you achieve once your hammock is set up as described above. It can make the difference between your hammock sleeping experience being great, or really poor.
Remember the ideal hanging positions will leave you with a curve on the hammock akin to a smiley face that you’ll be donning after a good nap in your sleeping hammock.