In January 2010, Janet Kinosian wrote an interesting article for the Huffington Post titled “What Your Sleep Position Says About You”.  Much of the article focused on costa_rica_indoorsexactly that, examining the link between personality traits and various sleep positions. For example, workaholic businessmen and entrepreneurs are apparently more likely to sleep on their backs (which, you’ll also learn, is called the royal position).  Sleep on your stomach? You, along with the author and Madonna, are likely very persistent and goal-oriented with some strong compulsive tendencies.  As with any study that attempts to tell you things about your personality, you’re either going to find the results spot-on or completely disagree – but what really caught my eye was this:
So what is considered the all-around healthiest sleep position?
Many doctors say it's lying on one's back, with the head slightly elevated, about 10 - 30 percent. This is postulated to give the brain optimal blood circulation rather than congestion and also allows for more un-obstructed breathing, says Dr. Steven Park, a head and neck surgeon and member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. You see many native cultures sleeping this way, via hammock and other devices, rather than on flat surfaces as in the West.

Sleeping in a hammock rocks (pun not intended but I’m keeping it nonetheless).  It’s peaceful, relaxing and it feels great both when you fall asleep and when you wake up.  Keep in mind though that not every hammock is going to be comfortable to spend the night in, so if you’re going to try it for the first time make sure you have a hammock that is designed with a full night’s sleep in mind.  You shouldn’t have to worry about falling out of it in the middle of the night (Trek Light Hammocks have a No-Flip™ design) and you don’t want to wake up with a permanent rope tattoo from sleeping on knots or string (silky smooth parachute nylon is where it’s at!).

{If you’ve never tried sleeping in a hammock before or if you’ve had a bad experience in the past, check out our blog series Sleeping In A Hammock: Your Complete Guide To Healthy Hammock Sleep.  Learn how to properly sleep in a hammock and how to avoid bad hammock experiences! }

It seems that the health benefits of hammocks are just beginning to be studied in depth and we’re really just scratching the surface. From the medical hammocks used in premature baby therapy to their application in the treatment of arthritis, acid reflux, sleep apnea, autism or simply to reduce stress and provide a healthier night sleep, it’s exciting to see science catching up with what native cultures (and hammock lovers across the world) have known for centuries. The zero-pressure point ergonomics and the ability to slightly elevate your upper body are the keys to a healthy sleep that no flat surface or mattress can truly provide. IMG_2750 It doesn’t mean you need to replace your bed with a hammock (although many of our customers have actually done just that).  But, if you’ve got a place at home to hang a hammock, I challenge you to think of it as more than just a place to spend a few minutes when you need to relax. Forget about those bad experiences you had falling asleep in rope hammocks and waking up with a waffle pattern on your face or a pain in your back. Get a quality hammock, learn how to sleep in it properly and take your next nap in it or try spending a full night in it if you never have before.  The health benefits of hammocks is a topic we’ll continue to explore in detail on the Trek Life blog and I hope you find it as fascinating as we do.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve already spent a full night in a Trek Light Hammock or any other hammock and if not, I encourage you to give it a try and let us know how it went! On a side note, if you’ve got the ability to hang a hammock in your home and you’re interested in trying a hammock sleep experiment and blogging about it,  please get in touch – I’d love to feature your experience on the blog.

UPDATES:  Since we first published this post there have been a lot more stories on hammock health in the news.  It's extremely encouraging to see that the more hammocks get put under the microscope so to speak the more we keep learning about how incredibly healthy the hammock experience is.  Here are some links to more great articles and hammock sleep studies - we'll continue to update this page as more studies come out:

NPR: Why Hammocks Make Sleep Easier, Deeper
WebMD: Gentle Rocking Helps You Fall Asleep Faster, Get Deeper Sleep
Current Biology: Rocking Synchronizes Brain Waves During A Short Nap
CNN: Hammocks Make For Deeper Sleep
Lifehacker: Want Better Naps? Sleep In A Hammock
Health.com: Study: Hammocks Make For Deeper Sleep
HealthGuidance.orgImprove Your Health With Hammocks

Check out our Hammock Health page for lots more on the health benefits of hammocks, and 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 as a full-time bed.

Seth Haber
Seth Haber

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.


59 Responses

Laurieleewalters
Laurieleewalters

April 12, 2017

I am so happy to hear I am not alone! I love sleeping in a hammock. I ordered a treklight hammock and I’m checking the mail everyday. I can’t wait to try it out. I sleep in a rope hammock with a speader bar. I can’t wait for the additional comfort of my new hammock. Of course my friends don’t understand why I sleep n a hammock. They have the hammock fear thing. It’s the only way I get a good night sleep. Thank you for the great article!
Laurie Lee

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

[…] […]

Sleeping In A Hammock: Your Complete Guide to Going From Hammock Fear to Hammock Love
Sleeping In A Hammock: Your Complete Guide to Going From Hammock Fear to Hammock Love

April 12, 2017

[…] what? Sleeping in a hammock is good for for you, and while it’s just now beginning to gain recognition in sleep studies it’s something that […]

MK
MK

April 12, 2017

I have just recently converted my uncomfortable dorm room bed into a couch and built a stand over it for my hammock. Honestly I have not slept that well in a long time. Also, this article should be read by more people. It has very many truths in it.

The Ultimate Ski, Snowboard and Snowshoe Gear: A Hammock
The Ultimate Ski, Snowboard and Snowshoe Gear: A Hammock

April 12, 2017

[…] Trek Light Gear can often be classified as education.  I’m educating people about the health benefits of hammocks, the importance of relaxation and how a hammock can improve their lives.  But, while you can […]

Tweets that mention Sleeping In A Hammock Is Good For You -- Topsy.com
Tweets that mention Sleeping In A Hammock Is Good For You -- Topsy.com

April 12, 2017

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Seth Haber, Bexx Ferri. Bexx Ferri said: RT @TrekLightGear: Science says: Sleeping In A Hammock Is Good For You http://fb.me/TQhjSTnp […]

Trek Light Gear
Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

Thanks for saying hello, it’s great to hear from people who sleep in a hammock regularly!

Oleg
Oleg

April 12, 2017

awesome! I have been sleeping in a hammock since I started camping with those, they are so much more compact, plus I feel very refreshed when I wake up —a healthy full night sleep. My friends thought I was crazy, but now I got proof that it is good for you, Thanks guys. Keep up the good work…

Trek Light Gear
Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

Thanks MK! Would love to see a picture of your new setup – you can share it on our Facebook page or just email it to us. Thanks for reading!

Notre Dame vs. The Hammock (Or, The Best ‘Letter To The Editor’ Ever)
Notre Dame vs. The Hammock (Or, The Best ‘Letter To The Editor’ Ever)

April 12, 2017

[…] is obviously entitled to concerns about what gets strung up on or around its property but with the health benefits of hammocks becoming clearer with every new study and the obvious stress reduction it provides, universities […]

Trek Light Gear
Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

Hi Luis – The only thing that I can think of is that you may be using a hammock that is too small for you to get completely comfortable. Our Double Hammocks are the best suited for sleeping and they’re 6.5’ wide and 10’ long. Those few extra feet definitely make a big difference when it comes to the amount of room you have in the hammock. You may think you’ve got enough room in your hammock and don’t need anything bigger (nobody’s 10’ tall after all) but everyone has a different ‘sweet spot’ when sleeping in the hammock and in my experience the more room you have the more options you have to get comfortable.

It sounds like you’re experimenting with the right adjustments to find your sweet spot but you may just not be working with a big enough hammock. It’s certainly worth a try if you’ve tried everything else!

Luis Ospina
Luis Ospina

April 12, 2017

Dear Trek Light Gear,

I’ve been trying to sleep in hammock ever since I fell upon this article (two months ago) and I have not been successful. I have a double parachute hammock that is 6 feet in width and 8 feet in length. I had it hanging between two walls that are 10 feet and 7 inches apart. I tried different hanging lengths form really tight to lose and curvy. I have slept in the 45 degree angle and still nothing. My lower back feels a pinch after a while and if I fall asleep I wake up in the middle of the night. I can feel the benefits of sleeping in a hammock: Rocking, slightly elevated head, etc.  Which is why I persist with sleeping in a hammock. What am I doing wrong? 
Thanks 
Luis Ospina 

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

April 12, 2017

[…] in Hammock Health David over at the Almost Bohemian blog recently wrote about the Seven Benefits of Sleeping In A Hammock and it shares a lot in common with many of the benefits we’ve discussed on this blog. […]

Caleb’s Journey: Another Trek Light Adventure Begins
Caleb’s Journey: Another Trek Light Adventure Begins

April 12, 2017

[…] […]

Raven
Raven

April 12, 2017

I’ve been using a hammock instead of a bed for 6+ years now and love it just as much as ever. It’s also one of the best inventions to take backpacking because it’s light and when I take mine I actually get a better night’s sleep than my fellow backpackers because while they sleep on the ground or on mats, I’m literally in my own bed that I’ve brought with me. I used to have really bad back problems from my mattress, but when I started sleeping in my hammock those dissapeared pretty quickly.
 I love my hammocks, and I challenge anyone who hasn’t slept in one for a few weeks to give it a go, it’s great for your back and it’s some of the best sleep you’ll ever experience.

The Hammock as a Tiny House Bed
The Hammock as a Tiny House Bed

April 12, 2017

[…] Links on Health Benefits: http://www.hammocks.com/hammockbedusearticle.cfm http://www.treklightgear.com/treklife/?p=745 Posted September 3rd, 2010 by Kent Griswold and filed in Tiny House Articles Tags: […]

David Roger Brett
David Roger Brett

April 12, 2017

All of your “studies” are articles about the same study. none of them address the stress on your back (whether its better or worse than a mattress) or the different shapes of hammock. A rocking motion seems to help but it is only one aspect of sleeping on a hammock. I recommend getting more insight before endorsing hammocks fully.

Hammocks For The Peace Corps
Hammocks For The Peace Corps

April 12, 2017

[…] […]

TrailGear
TrailGear

April 12, 2017

I have some heath issues … a bad knee and hip. When I slept in a bed I always tossed and turned because of the pressure points ( I’m a side sleeper in bed) and constantly woke up with each turn. I discovered sleeping in a hammock a few years ago and have never slept in a bed since. Hammocks provide the best sleep I have ever had. I sleep in a Byer Moskito Traveller Hammock (bug net on the bottom). It’s a Brazilian style nylon hammock with no seams. When you sleep on a 45 degree angle it causes the hammock to flatten out almost like a bed. There are no pressure points and I sleep on my back through the night and wake up totally refreshed. Hammock sleeping was the cure to my sleepless nights !!!

J. Falk
www.TrailGear.org

Guest
Guest

April 12, 2017

Sleeping in a hammock has to be the most comftorable thing that I have ever done.  So many people argue that it is horrible for your back but that didn’t stop me.  I have and will, always love sleeping in hammocks.
Go hammock sleepers!

Eric Charles
Eric Charles

April 12, 2017

So based on a lot of research, including reading most of this blog I’ve bought a hammock to replace my bed,and a stand for my apartment. I slept in it last night and now I have two questions: First, I had just a little bit of soreness in my shoulder, nothing bad just the soreness you get from sleeping on something the wrong way, any ideas why this could be? Also I am wondering if you need a pillow,or if the hammock’s angle and give are suppose to take the place of a pillow? I noticed last night that the large pillows I use on a bed create a soft side bar, but had some luck with some flatter, older pillows.

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

April 12, 2017

[…] learning more and more every day that sleeping in a hammock is good for you and I encourage you to read the full post on the Almost Bohemian blog for even more insight on what […]

Dreams Can Come True: A Story Of Happiness (Part 1)
Dreams Can Come True: A Story Of Happiness (Part 1)

April 12, 2017

[…] […]

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

April 12, 2017

[…] benefits of hammock camping, how to properly sleep in a hammock, and many of the newly discovered medical and health benefits associated with […]

Trek Light Gear
Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

Hi David – The links at the bottom are all referencing the same study on the positive effects of rocking yourself to sleep, but the original post was in reference to a sleep study which looked into what the ‘best’ sleep position was. The conclusion from the study was that the body position achieved in a hammock (lying on one’s back, with the head slightly elevated, about 10 – 30 percent) is a healthier sleep position than being on a flat surface (ie. a mattress).

The combination of having one of the healthiest sleep positions along with the rocking motion effect likely explains a lot about why hammock sleep feels so good and rejuvenating, but I agree that there are always plenty of other factors to look at. Hopefully we’ll continue to see hammock sleep studied in even more detail in the days to come and learn more about the reasons behind that great feeling so many have described in the comments on this post.

Hudson
Hudson

April 12, 2017

I have slept in a hammock the majority of my life. In college, I have lofted my bed and tied a hammock underneath. The only problems I could see arising are back problems, but my back is not bad. I grew up in a small house in Brazil, and a hammock made more sense than a bed. In the US I still dont see why I need one.

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

[…] 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 […]

google
google

April 12, 2017

google…

Google http://www.google.com…

Eric Charles
Eric Charles

April 12, 2017

You are spot on about the shoulder, thank you.

Trek Light Gear
Trek Light Gear

April 12, 2017

Hi Eric – Glad to hear you’ve made the switch! As for the shoulder soreness, it’s most likely the result of the transition – your body has been used to sleeping on a bed and many people experience a slight adjustment period when spending a full night in a hammock. When I spend my first night in a hammock after sleeping in a bed for a while I sometimes experience the same thing as my body adjusts, it’s usually gone by the next night for me.

The pillow question is often a matter of personal preference. Many people find that the hammock eliminates the need for a pillow – your head rests in a natural position as the material conforms to your body. But I find that having a small, thin pillow in the hammock with me is helpful – sometimes I use it and sometimes I don’t, but just having it near my head is sometimes all I need!

Thanks for reading and keep in touch to let us all know how everything goes.

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

[…] from the hammocks that dominate Central and South America and have served as comfortable and healthy beds for centuries (the hammock to the left is just one example of such a hammock).  In fact, the […]

Sleeping In A Hammock: Your Complete Guide To Healthy Hammock Sleep
Sleeping In A Hammock: Your Complete Guide To Healthy Hammock Sleep

April 12, 2017

[…] 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 […]

Curing Insomnia With A Hammock
Curing Insomnia With A Hammock

April 12, 2017

[…] happier can have a powerful effect on your mind and body.  I honestly never anticipated the true health benefits that a hammock could bring but the more I learned about hammocks and talked to customers the more it became apparent that the […]

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

[…] out underneath you, gently cradling your body in what just so turns out to be an absolutely ideal sleeping position with zero pressure points.  You’re not going to be perfectly flat, but your body doesn’t need […]

David Alexander
David Alexander

April 12, 2017

did you end up sticking with this Eric?

To Swing or Not to Swing | The Bold Bluebonnet
To Swing or Not to Swing | The Bold Bluebonnet

April 12, 2017

[…] http://www.treklightgear.com/treklife/sleeping-in-a-hammock-is-good-for-you/ […]

Caleb's Journey: Another Trek Light Adventure Begins - Trek Life
Caleb's Journey: Another Trek Light Adventure Begins - Trek Life

April 12, 2017

[…] people to relax for the first time in years, some to fall in love, some to find themselves, some to sleep better at night and many others to find adrenaline and adventure. And I’m sure there are plenty of customers who […]

What dreams may come... - Page 4 - Ford Transit USA Forum
What dreams may come... - Page 4 - Ford Transit USA Forum

April 12, 2017

[…] + above window cabinetry on both sides. Bed could still be above and come down as needed… OR (enters crazy person talk…) We could have a couple of hammocks in place. I got the idea from several van-campers that are […]

The Best Advice You Will Ever Receive In 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 […]

Mr. Roach
Mr. Roach

April 12, 2017

I will! I’m out like a light and don’t move at all. I’ve been sleeping wrong my entire life!

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

April 12, 2017

Love to hear it – keep spreading the word!

Mr. Roach
Mr. Roach

April 12, 2017

I’ve been sleeping in a hammock for a solid month now. Let me tell you; I sleep awesome. I love it. I don’t think I’m going back to a bed now. In fact, I’ve given my bed away.

This Number Affects Where You’ll Live, What You’ll Eat, and When You’ll Die (Sort Of) | baconomics
This Number Affects Where You’ll Live, What You’ll Eat, and When You’ll Die (Sort Of) | baconomics

April 12, 2017

[…] For more information about the benefits of sleeping in a hammock, go here). […]

Best Hammock Tents of 2015
Best Hammock Tents of 2015

April 12, 2017

[…] that usually takes up about half of a good night’s rest), synchronizes brain waves, reduces stress and allows your vertebrae to align properly with the head and tail bones of the spinal […]

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

April 12, 2017

Glad you found something that works for you – thanks for sharing!

Mr. Roach
Mr. Roach

April 12, 2017

This is my new hammock. I feel like a new man, as well! I love it, and so do my cats. No more beds for me.

Matt Jarvis
Matt Jarvis

April 12, 2017

You could also use a hammock stand.

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

April 12, 2017

Hi Randy – I understand your fear, and it’s a good thing to be concerned with! The best thing I can say is that every home construction is honestly different so if you’re not sure it would be worth it to have someone look at it that understands exactly what’s behind your wall/ceiling and whether it’s strong enough to support you without issue. Walls can be patched and painted fairly easily so it’s not the end of the world to cut a hole so you can investigate and then patch it back up – but if you’re renting your apartment that may not be the case. If nothing else, a hammock stand like the one we sell is a great alternative to get a hammock setup indoors without the work and worry.

Randy Clark
Randy Clark

April 12, 2017

I keep hearing about drywall issues and breaking 4 × 4′s and on and on… but I’ve searched and searched for actual incidents and nobody can show any evidence that this has happened. But my OCD keeps me from bolting my eagle’s nest hammock lugs to the wall in my apartment for fear of bringing down the wall. Any advice? I have a 14’ by 10’ hammock, rope extra thick, and I’m 6’7" and 260lbs. Thanks.

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

April 12, 2017

No worries Jerry – thanks for reading and sharing your knowledge, it’s what makes the Trek Light community what it is!

24jerome42
24jerome42

April 12, 2017

Seth – I found the page you reference AFTER I sent my comment. You are correct and I am chagrined!
Jerry Parker

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

April 12, 2017

Hey Jerry – You’re absolutely right about the hammock angle and it sounds like you may have missed this article on our site – it’s one of the most trafficked pages on our entire blog! http://www.treklightgear.com/treklife/hammock-angle/

24jerome42
24jerome42

April 12, 2017

I slept in a hammock during my two year Peace Corps experience in Colombia. In your articles, I have not seen a clear description of the “proper” position in which to sleep in a hammock. It is NOT in the center parallel to the center line of the hammock. Rather, it is at a diagonal. This allows the body to remain straight rather than bent to conform to the arc of tha hammock. Envision a forearm in a sling. Same idea.

Jerry Parker
Olympia WA

Favorite Things to do in a Hammock for Summertime! – Wold Tourism
Favorite Things to do in a Hammock for Summertime! – Wold Tourism

April 12, 2017

[…] that no mattress or mattress can actually present. Napping in a hammock has been proven to be good for you and the health benefits of hammocks are just recently being discovered and studied in more depth. […]

Favorite Things to do in a Hammock for Summertime! – 4k RED MOVIE
Favorite Things to do in a Hammock for Summertime! – 4k RED MOVIE

April 12, 2017

[…] in a hammock that no mattress or bed can truly provide. Sleeping in a hammock has been shown to be good for you and the health benefits of hammocks are just recently being discovered and studied in more depth. […]

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

April 12, 2017

Hi Willa – Happy to hear that you’ve been sleeping great in your hammock! We carry a hammock stand on our website here if you want to check it out: https://www.treklightgear.com/hammock-stand.html

Favorite Things to do in a Hammock for Summertime! – Jubelin
Favorite Things to do in a Hammock for Summertime! – Jubelin

April 12, 2017

[…] in a hammock that no mattress or bed can truly provide. Sleeping in a hammock has been shown to be good for you and the health benefits of hammocks are just recently being discovered and studied in more depth. […]

Willa Cain
Willa Cain

April 12, 2017

Hey Hey, Im so psyched i found Seth Haber’s article on Why sleeping in a hammock is good for you. I bought a double hammock 4 months ago and have been having great nights of sleep however, some nights i dont and was wondering if it mattered on how high you hang it and how far apart so that it is comfortable. I have slept in my hammock many nights with it tooo tight and my shoulders were killing me. Now that I found this great article i realize how to sleep in it, the angle, so that it’s comfortable. I was getting ready to return it. I borrowed a friend’s stationary one with the bars and have only slept in it twice and it totally sucks. Yippee, cant wait to loosen up my hammock and turn feet to one side and head to the other. I actually slept like that a bunch of nights but was not aware that that was why i was comfortable I went back to sleeping in my sleigh bed for 10 nights and my back and neck were so stiff so i am totally pumped to get back to the hammonck. I hung my hammock it in my cabin about 4 feet from my wood burning stove and LOVE it. Any hey, thanks again for giving me my SLEEP back and i recommend eveyone sleep in a hammock. Anyone know if there is any type of stationary stand for the hammock so when i go away or stay elsewhere i can take my hammock?? Thanks!! To Life sleeping in a hammock!!!!! Thanks Seth, you rock!!

Favorite Things to do in a Hammock for Summertime!
Favorite Things to do in a Hammock for Summertime!

April 12, 2017

[…] in a hammock that no mattress or bed can truly provide. Sleeping in a hammock has been shown to be good for you and the health benefits of hammocks are just recently being discovered and studied in more depth. […]

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Join the (Email) Club