One night after I came back from a 2 day hiking trip, I found myself lying in my bed wishing I was in my camping hammock. My mind began to wander, as minds do when you are actively trying to fall asleep. I began to think about how awesome it would be if I could get the kind of sleep I get in my hammock. You know, that energizing, rejuvenating, healing type sleep. No joke, I always wake up energized and rested after a night in my hammock. So I began to question if I actually could sleep in my hammock every night. So I decided to do some research to find out.
Can you sleep in a hammock every night? Is sleeping in a hammock every night healthy?
Yes, you absolutely can sleep in a hammock every night. Studies have shown that sleeping in a hammock has several health benefits and can also help you to achieve a deeper, more restful sleep. If you’re like me and you get your best sleep in a hammock, then I say go for it. Sleep in your hammock every night.
Is sleeping in a hammock every night healthy?
Personally, I feel my absolute best after sleeping in my hammock while camping. Usually, when I get out of my bed in the morning, I’m dragging myself to the coffee pot in desperate hopes of getting some energy to get through my work day. It’s awful. It makes me wish that I could sleep in my hammock all the time. Who knows? Maybe one day I will be able to convince my wife to let me hang my hammock above the bed – you know, so I’m still technically sleeping beside her. I’ll update more on that later…
Health benefits of sleeping in a hammock
I was pretty surprised when I found out how many health benefits there really are when it comes to sleeping in a hammock. It’s explains a lot about my own personal experience and how I always emerge from my hammock slumber with energy levels resembling that of the Engergizer Bunny. So let’s take a look at some reasons why sleeping in a hammock can also be good for your health:
While lounging or sleeping in a hammock, your body is naturally slightly angled downward with your head being elevated. Even the slightest angle allows for better blood flow and circulation throughout your entire body. 5 degrees of incline is all it takes. Doesn’t seem like it would make a huge difference, but your body certainly appreciates it.
After a long day of hiking, work, or any activity that requires a higher demand of exertion, proper blood flow is crucial for healing and repairing your sore muscles and joints. I know that after I spend a long day hiking, my body is exhausted and sore. When I am sleeping in my hammock, my body can efficiently do its thing and move more oxygen and nutrients to the areas that need the most rejuvenation. I always feel rested and ready to go after a great sleep in my hammock.
Stressed out from your day or life in general? Sleeping in a hammock can assist you in greatly reducing your stress levels. Spending time in your hammock whether it be overnight, for a nap, or just to hang out for a bit, allows your body to decompress and relax.
We’ve already talked about how body positioning and angling while in a hammock is beneficial, but did you know that being in a hammock also changes your brain waves? That’s right, the gentle swaying of the hammock alters your brain waves and allows you to achieve a more relaxed state. Hanging out in your hammock regularly not only assists in healing your physical body, but is great for relieving your mental stresses and anxieties.
For me, my hammock is like a little getaway. It’s my happy place whether I have it hanging in my backyard or I’m out in the deep wilderness somewhere. It’s an escape that I can easily access. Who doesn’t need that in their life?! It’s really truly difficult to feel stressed out when you are peacefully swaying in your hammock.
Faster and Deeper Sleep
There are many cultures in the world that use hammocks as their everyday beds. I don’t think it’s a coincidence either. Many Central and South American cultures use hammocks as a part of their daily lives. I personally wish I had this information when I traveled to Costa Rica a little over a decade ago. When we stayed in self-sustaining villages, we saw hammocks everywhere. I now understand why. Maybe I would have gotten better sleep had I known about the magic of hammock sleeping. Instead, I slept in net-covered ground beds hoping and praying the wildlife didn’t get to me. I think I would have felt more secure in a hammock…just sayin’…
I wish there were more studies outlining the benefits of hammocks. However, one study in particular was done in 2011 that suggested the gentle rocking and swaying motion of a hammock encourages deeper and more restful sleep than sleeping on a traditional bed.
In this same study researchers discovered that not only was deeper sleep achieved, but the participants of the study also fell asleep much faster when in the hammock-like bed.
This is what one researcher involved with the study stated about sleeping in hammocks:
“We observed a faster transition to sleep in each and every subject in the swinging condition,” researcher Michel Mühlethaler.https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20110621/hammocks-help-you-sleep
While there haven’t been any studies done on it, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence from hammock users that attest to the notion that sleeping in a hammock greatly improves sleep for sufferers of insomnia.
Hammocks are just plain comfy
There, I said it. I never have qualms talking about hammocks, nor do I beat around the bush about how I feel about them.I don’t really beat around the bush when I talk about how I feel about hammocks. I love them and I’m never afraid to talk about how great they are. I am always being asked about how comfortable hammocks are when I tell people about my hiking and hammock adventures. “Is it even comfy?” they inquire. My answer is always a resounding…YES! Hammocks are super comfy no matter what kind of sleeper (side, back, stomach) you are, you can sleep in a hammock.
There are always the fervent objectors. They always have an excuse as to why they couldn’t possibly sleep in a hammock.
I wrote another article explaining just how comfy hammocks can be here: Are Camping Hammocks Comfortable
“I can’t sleep in a hammock cause I’m a side sleeper or a stomach sleeper.”
Guythat won’t give it a chance.
I have a secret to tell you…I prefer to sleep on my side in my hammock. I can always find a good position to sleep in without my body being twisted or contorted in a weird way. Your body will just naturally conform to the optimal position and you will be so comfortable that you won’t want to move. This happens when your head, spine, and tailbone are in perfect alignment. When I get in my optimal sleep position, I am out within a matter of minutes. I never linger awake for very long. It puts me right to sleep and I don’t wake again until morning. No matter your preferred sleep position, I’ll bet you will be able to successfully find a position that allows you to get a great night’s rest in your hammock.
As I mentioned earlier about my trip to Costa Rica, I really wish I would have known more about hammocks during my college years. I spent all of college sleeping on a lumpy, extremely uncomfortable futon. I don’t ever recall waking up and feeling rested and ready for my day. I wonder how different my college time would have been had I just slept in a hammock? I guess hindsight is always 20/20.
Here is a fun story about a kid that has been sleeping in a hammock full time on his front porch
Are You Ready to Switch?
Bottom line is hammocks are fantastic. Although the studies for hammock sleeping have only been done with napping as opposed to all night sleep, I’m a firm believer in the benefits of sleeping in a hammock over a bed long-term. There’s a reason that hammocks have been associated with pictures of comfort and relaxation. Once you experience that first life-changing, restful sleep in your hammock, I’m convinced you’ll be just as hooked as I am.
I hope you have the most comfortable, deep sleep of your life out in the Wanderful Wild.