From Fear To LovePeople ask me on an almost daily basis whether it’s comfortable or healthy to sleep in a hammock.  For all the questions I get asked directly, there are thousands more talking about it on sites like Reddit and online forums across the Internet regularly. Some are asking about using a hammock every night at home or on a long term backpacking trip while other people simply want to know whether you’ll wake up with neck and back pain if you spend too long in one or even ‘accidentally’ fall asleep.  What they all have in common though is that The Sleep Question almost always seems to be asked from a skeptical standpoint, as in “You really shouldn't sleep a whole night in a hammock, right?” or “Yeah, but your back will be broken if you spend a whole night in one of these things, right?”

Guess what?

Sleeping in a hammock is good for for you, it can even help cure your insomnia, and while it’s just now beginning to gain recognition in sleep studies it’s something that people around the world have understood and embraced for centuries. Often, the first example I’ll give to people who ask about long term use of a hammock is to look at Central and South America where literally millions of people use a hammock as their bed every single night.  It’s not out of necessity or poverty, it’s done because they prefer to sleep in a hammock for all the benefits it provides and in most cases grew up sleeping in a hammock since they were infants.

So, if millions of people around the world sleep in hammocks comfortably every single night and scientific studies are proving that it’s one of the healthiest ways to sleep, why do I encounter so many people who have had bad experiences trying or approach the idea of even spending too long in a hammock with skepticism?

Bad experiences in a hammock usually boil down to two things:  being in a hammock that is poorly designed or simply sleeping incorrectly in the hammock.  We're going to explore both of these areas over the course of the next few blog posts and whether your goal is just to learn how to rest comfortably in a hammock or to try sleeping in a hammock every night, consider this your definitive guide to making sure that you have the right hammock and the right technique to get a good and healthy rest every time.

Each part of this series will be posted as its own entry and this page will be updated to include easy links to each section.  So, without further ado, let's begin:

Part I: These Aren’t The Hammocks You’re Looking For: How You’ve Been Hammock Brainwashed

Part II: The Human Waffle Effect

Part III: The Hammock Angle: How To Relax And Sleep Comfortably In A Hammock, Even If You're A Side Sleeper

Seth Haber - Founder, CEO
Seth Haber - Founder, CEO

Over 15 years ago I started a small business with the goal of making the world a better place one hammock at a time. Thanks for reading and being part of this incredible community - never stop paying it forward.


48 Responses

The Hammock Angle: How To Relax And Sleep Comfortably In A Hammock, Even If You’re A Side Sleeper
The Hammock Angle: How To Relax And Sleep Comfortably In A Hammock, Even If You’re A Side Sleeper

April 12, 2017

[…] Everything Else,Hammock Health,Tips and Tricks [This blog post is part of Trek Light Gear’s Sleeping In A Hammock series. If you came here first, do yourself a favor and check out what you’ve missed by starting […]

You’ve Been Hammock Brainwashed – Part II: The Human Waffle Effect
You’ve Been Hammock Brainwashed – Part II: The Human Waffle Effect

April 12, 2017

[…] Everything Else,Hammock Health,Tips and Tricks [This blog post is part of Trek Light Gear’s Sleeping In A Hammock series. If you came here first, do yourself a favor and check out what you’ve missed by starting […]

These Aren’t The Hammocks You’re Looking For: How You’ve Been Hammock Brainwashed
These Aren’t The Hammocks You’re Looking For: How You’ve Been Hammock Brainwashed

April 12, 2017

[…] blog post is part of Trek Light Gear’s Sleeping In A Hammock series. If you came here first, you should definitely read the introduction to this series and find […]

Random Thought Thread
Random Thought Thread

April 12, 2017

[…] I found a site that talks about the Do's and Don'ts on picking a hammock to sleep in like a bed. Sleeping In A Hammock: Your Complete Guide to Going From Hammock Fear to Hammock Love Sleeping In A Hammock Is Good For You I was very surprised at the sheer amount of different ones […]

These Aren’t The Hammocks You’re Looking For: How You’ve Been Hammock Brainwashed
These Aren’t The Hammocks You’re Looking For: How You’ve Been Hammock Brainwashed

April 12, 2017

[…] Everything Else,Hammock Health,Tips and Tricks [This blog post is part of Trek Light Gear’s Sleeping In A Hammock series. If you came here first, you should definitely read the introduction to this series and find […]

Trek Light Gear
Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

Sounds amazing!! Glad to hear the bear wasn’t interested in joining you in the hammock.

DV
DV

April 12, 2017

Slept for a week straight in Yosemite in my TLG double hammock. Just set it up, close your eyes, go to sleep and wake up fresh. No issues or soreness just peace and quiet under the stars, minus the bear walking under my setup…

Interview: Seth Haber – CEO of Trek Light Gear… « WildernessDave.com
Interview: Seth Haber – CEO of Trek Light Gear… « WildernessDave.com

April 12, 2017

[…] […]

Seven Benefits Of Sleeping In A Hammock
Seven Benefits Of Sleeping In A Hammock

April 12, 2017

[…] […]

Pete
Pete

April 12, 2017

My bed just broke, and after taking my bent bed frame apart and dropping my mattress on the floor for my temporary fix for tonight I saw your hammocks on deals.woot! I ordered a double to replace my bed. I’ll see how it goes. 

Sleeping In A Hammock Is Good For You
Sleeping In A Hammock Is Good For You

April 12, 2017

[…] […]

You’ve Been Hammock Brainwashed – Part II: The Human Waffle Effect
You’ve Been Hammock Brainwashed – Part II: The Human Waffle Effect

April 12, 2017

[…] Everything Else, Hammock Health, Tips and Tricks [This blog post is part of Trek Light Gear’s Sleeping In A Hammock series. If you came here first, do yourself a favor and check out what you’ve missed by starting […]

How To Hang Your Hammock: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need
How To Hang Your Hammock: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need

April 12, 2017

[…] you’ve read our post on The Hammock Angle (part of our Sleeping In A Hammock Guide) you know that you should be hanging your non-spreader bar hammock with a nice loose curve so you […]

Curing Insomnia With A Hammock
Curing Insomnia With A Hammock

April 12, 2017

[…] […]

brian
brian

April 12, 2017

I’m getting my first apartment with some friends soon. I recently realized I don’t have the money to purchase, space to set up, or ability to transport a new mattress and box spring. After that realization, I started researching alternatives to the conventional ‘mattress & box spring’ setup and I came across this article. Initially I was skeptical because… practically no one sleeps in hammocks, and everyone thinks hammocks will destroy your back. Well, I’m glad to hear that’s not true. Thanks for providing a factual and realistic look at the hammock, and not to mention a really helpful users’ guide too. Because of this article and the hammock-researching-journey it sent me on, I’ll soon be ordering a double from Trek Light.

Sleeping In A Hammock Is Good For You
Sleeping In A Hammock Is Good For You

April 12, 2017

[…] of course, don’t forget to read our Sleeping In A Hammock Guide for the information you need to know to sleep in a hammock comfortably, whether for a short nap or […]

A Greener City » A Greener Sleep
A Greener City » A Greener Sleep

April 12, 2017

[…] crawling insects and snakes. The hammocks with wooden spreader poles commonly seen in the USA are not stable enough for sleeping. See below for some purveyors of lovely hammocks that can be used for […]

Sleeping hammock | Kedewang
Sleeping hammock | Kedewang

April 12, 2017

[…] Sleeping In A Hammock: Your Complete Guide to Going From …Mar 8, 2010 … Curious about sleeping in a hammock? Read this guide to find out what you need to know to get a healthy night’s sleep in a hammock. […]

rosie
rosie

April 12, 2017

I recently switched from the traditional mattress and box spring sleeping platform to a beautiful brazilian style hammock for my sleeping space. I have had the best sleep of my life since switching to a hammock. I highly recommend sleeping in a hammock and can not rain enough good words about it. :) hope you enjoy any hammock experience you are able to have :)

hammocks | Melinda Musil dot Com
hammocks | Melinda Musil dot Com

April 12, 2017

[…] not hard to find plenty of people on the Internet who swear by hammocks. I’m just crazy enough to wonder about this. Hammocks have been used since time immemorial, […]

Hammock Camping 101: 5 Reasons Why You Should Switch From A Tent To A Hammock
Hammock Camping 101: 5 Reasons Why You Should Switch From A Tent To A Hammock

April 12, 2017

[…] enormous amount of detail here, but I’ve already covered this subject pretty extensively in our Sleeping In A Hammock Guide and posts like Sleeping In A Hammock Is Good For You or Seven Benefits To Sleeping In A […]

Lawson Blue Ridge Camping Hammock Review | The Ultimate Hang
Lawson Blue Ridge Camping Hammock Review | The Ultimate Hang

April 12, 2017

[…] modern spreader bar culture, check out the “Hammock Brainwashed” article, part of the Sleeping in a Hammock series by Seth Haber. Highly […]

The Hammock Angle: How To Relax And Sleep Comfortably In A Hammock, Even If You’re A Side Sleeper
The Hammock Angle: How To Relax And Sleep Comfortably In A Hammock, Even If You’re A Side Sleeper

April 12, 2017

[…] blog post is part of Trek Light Gear’s Sleeping In A Hammock series. If you came here first, do yourself a favor and check out what you’ve missed by starting […]

You’ve Been Hammock Brainwashed – Part II: The Human Waffle Effect
You’ve Been Hammock Brainwashed – Part II: The Human Waffle Effect

April 12, 2017

[…] blog post is part of Trek Light Gear’s Sleeping In A Hammock series. If you came here first, do yourself a favor and check out what you’ve missed by starting […]

Trek Light Gear on BHK Outdoors Radio
Trek Light Gear on BHK Outdoors Radio

April 12, 2017

[…] some great hammock related discussions, covering everything from the benefits of hammock camping, how to properly sleep in a hammock, and many of the newly discovered medical and health benefits associated with […]

Summertime | Tokeloshe
Summertime | Tokeloshe

April 12, 2017

[…] Sleeping in a hammock guide […]

Joshua Oudin
Joshua Oudin

April 12, 2017

I have been sleeping in a TrekLight hammock every night for 3 1/2 years. The same hammock and its still good as new. No more back pain and much less knee pain are only two of the benefits I continue to reap. Thanks you guys!

win/win » Simply b Photos
win/win » Simply b Photos

April 12, 2017

[…] the current dilemma. We seriously considered hammocks. Jake was resistant to the idea until we read this article (thanks Nancy!) and then he was willing to give it a go. But as we walked the bus we realized that […]

Devil’s Advocate: Are There Times When A Tent Is A Better Option Than A Hammock?
Devil’s Advocate: Are There Times When A Tent Is A Better Option Than A Hammock?

April 12, 2017

[…] […]

Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear
Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

Hi Darryl – I just checked and it seems to be working fine. Try it again and let me know if you’re still having an issue. Here’s the direct link if it helps: http://www.treklightgear.com/treklife/angle-relax-sleep-comfortably-hammock/

Sleep In The Right Hammock: How You’ve Been Hammock Brainwashed
Sleep In The Right Hammock: How You’ve Been Hammock Brainwashed

April 12, 2017

[…] blog post is part of Trek Light Gear’s Sleeping In A Hammock series. If you came here first, you should definitely read the introduction to this series and find […]

Darryl H
Darryl H

April 12, 2017

Link to part 3 is broken?

Trek Light Gear
Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

Good catch – corrected! Thanks!

Blah Blaah
Blah Blaah

April 12, 2017

It’s ‘without further ado.’ ‘Adieu’ is French for ‘good-bye’ (like ‘adios’ in Spanish).

Nikole
Nikole

April 12, 2017

After having experienced bears in my camp, I’m hesitant to not have a total protection around us… so I’m thinking hammocks inside tents?? Or… I was thinking… do people sleep sorta like the Skipper and Gilligan…. like hammock bunks? I would want my kids closer and more reachable (think about adding a multi hammock bug screen too}. Just my thoughts as a widowed mom camping with 21, 19, 12, and 9 year old kids.

Seven Benefits Of Sleeping In A Hammock - Trek Life
Seven Benefits Of Sleeping In A Hammock - Trek Life

April 12, 2017

[…] encourage you to read the full post on the Almost Bohemian blog for even more insight on what makes sleeping in a hammock one of the healthiest and best ways to get your […]

Sleeping In A Hammock | Eno Across America
Sleeping In A Hammock | Eno Across America

April 12, 2017

[…] looked up the benefits of sleeping in a hammock (http://www.treklightgear.com/treklife/sleeping-in-a-hammock-guide/) and they are pretty numerous and pretty accurate. I can honestly say I have experience them all […]

Trek Life – The Best Advice You Will Ever Receive In Life
Trek Life – The Best Advice You Will Ever Receive In Life

April 12, 2017

[…] you’re ready to reduce stress in your life, find the answer to healthier sleep, and start living the hammock life – it all begins right […]

La Dolce Vita | Tokeloshe
La Dolce Vita | Tokeloshe

April 12, 2017

[…] Sleeping in a hammock guide. […]

Aaron Blue Rickabaugh
Aaron Blue Rickabaugh

April 12, 2017

Hey names Aaron..
I am in the market for a new bed and I am actually replacing my bed with a hammock after reading your articles. I suffer from a rare genetic disorder that causes immense amounts of pain and causes rapid joint degeneration (including the spine) so I am trying out a hammock in stead of a bed. Here is to hope!
Thanks for posting

Matthew Williams
Matthew Williams

April 12, 2017

I actually have, and grew up with, several types of hammocks. Net style, canvas, spreader bar… Living lakeside in the summer invites hammock use. I have spent many hours in hammocks and enjoy them very much. I have to say that I agree with you that spreader bar hammocks are the least enjoyable for long term use. That being said, I’m not a napper. I hate naps because I wake up feeling swollen and headachy. However the most peaceful, restful and relaxing sleep I ever had was an afternoon nap in a spreader bar hammock near the beach. The conditions were perfect; warm day, cool breeze, light blanket and only the sounds of nature. I have relived that nap in my head for years. I recently purchases a nylon hammock for camping and I cannot wait to use it. I haven’t heard anyone say that they would rather go back to their tent camping after using a hammock. Anyway, I just thought I should put that out there. Thanks for the guide.

How to Make a 2 Bedroom Feel like a Mansion
How to Make a 2 Bedroom Feel like a Mansion

April 12, 2017

[…] tradition.  There are people who claim it is the most comfortable of all sleeping options, see here and here.  I know I’ve had wonderful naps in them. The Japanese have a fancier system of […]

Camping USA 2013 | Tokeloshe
Camping USA 2013 | Tokeloshe

April 12, 2017

[…] Sleeping in a hammock guide […]

Christopher Andreae
Christopher Andreae

April 12, 2017

As embedded as I am in the transportation and logistics industry, I can’t help but wonder if you’re missing a target market in truck drivers. They are decreasing the number of hours truckers can log behind the wheel during a certain time period and not every truck has a sleeper cab. If you were caught in the middle of nowhere with a day cab truck a hammock would seem a downright fantastic option…even if you had a sleeper cab…who wants to spend your hours off in your workplace (the truck) anyway? Get a display stand and set up shop at a local truck stop sometime…you’ll find them very receptive and talkative (they don’t see other humans as much as they should and are open to new ideas.) The best part…just a few truckers happy with their hammock will spread the word all over the country for you free of charge as they chat over CB. Just a thought.

The 2015 list of 10 useful camping gadgets & tricks - Xplorables
The 2015 list of 10 useful camping gadgets & tricks - Xplorables

April 12, 2017

[…] as opposed to a hard surface. If you’ve never used a hammock before, be sure to read a bit about using one, so you’ll enjoy the full and correct experience with […]

Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear
Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

Thanks for sharing Aaron – hope and a hammock doesn’t sound like a bad combo to me! Here’s to hoping it gives you a great night’s sleep and some relief, don’t hesitate to check back in and let us know!

Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear
Seth Haber | Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

If you got a Trek Light Gear Double hammock from our site then you’ve definitely got the right one for sleeping!

Your other questions are all great questions and they all typically boil down to personal preference so I would try out a few different things and see what works for you. You can definitely use blankets either on top of your or beneath you or both. I would definitely expect an adjustment period, you’ve been sleeping in a bed your whole life (I assume) so there’s no reason to think that your body and brain won’t go through a bit of adjusting to being in a hammock. Although I honestly hear from people all the time that experience the ‘instant convert’ type of first night so if you’ve read the advice here and things go well don’t be surprised if everything is perfect for you right off the bat.

There’s no reason to be nervous, there’s nothing scary or intimidating about it and even if you don’t adjust to it immediately the odds are pretty good you’re still going to get a decent night’s sleep while you sort out what works for you. Good luck and don’t hesitate to let me know how it goes!

Taylor Brake
Taylor Brake

April 12, 2017

Hello, so I just ordered a hammock to try sleeping in because I have terrible chronic back pain and bad insomnia. I was curious about the setup you do? I like blankets so I’m wondering if that’s a possiblity and how? Also do you use a pillow? Is there an adjustment period of getting used to the change? Also any other advice you can pass on and share? It arrives Wednesday and I’m super excited to try it out. I hope I got a good one for sleeping, I read the three part article about styles and ways to lay and stuff so I feel more prepared but still nervous. Is that normal?

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