One of the first questions many people have when thinking about buying a hammock, whether for decoration, camping or to replace their beds, is how sleeping in one might affect their rest and posture. Well, we know for certain that sleeping in hammock can actually provide a better night’s rest than a mattress. As for posture, it depends on whether or not you sleep correctly on your hammock.
Position is everything
When many people start hammocking for the first time, and even some seasoned hangers, they don’t realise that there is a right and a wrong way to rest in a hammock. At first glance it might seem that you want to lie flat, head and feet aligned with the top and bottom of the hammock. Not so! This is actually horrible for your back and overall posture, as the inevitable banana shape formed by lying like this will put too much curve and pressure on your spine.
Instead, you want to lie in your hammock at a 30-degree angle with your head and feet resting at opposite sides, so you’re lying somewhat diagonally in the hammock. Depending on your height your feet might hang over the edge a little, but that’s okay. This’ll prevent your spine from arching too much but still provide your body with the perfect angle at the neck for a comfortable and healthy sleep.
Researchers have long known that lying on your back with your spine supported is the best position for overall health and posture, as side sleeping puts undue pressure on your stomach and lungs. It also causes wrinkles, in case you’re curious. Hammocks force you to naturally sleep on your back while also loosening pressure on the points in your back that might cause you to become restless while you sleep.
A hammock creates the perfect surface for your body to lie on by relieving the strain on your body created by firm surfaces. It also includes a natural angle for your head and neck, making a pillow unnecessary for most people. The hammock position, when slept on correctly, is already neutral and provides great support for your body.
While hammocks are great for lying in, it’s generally not recommended that you sit on one for extended periods of time. That’s because a traditional hammock doesn’t support you back while you sit and forces your body to hunch over. This greats a curve and undue pressure on your spine which, combined with other poor sitting and sleeping habits, will definitely hurt your posture in the long run.
If want the comfort and convenience of a hammock that you can still sit on, opt instead for a hammock chair. They provide support for your back while also allowing you to recline comfortably while you read, nap or just sit around and chat with friends. For the best setup you can have both a traditional hammock to sleep on at night along with a hammock chair to sit on during the day.
Posted in LA SIESTA Blog