Have you ever thought about getting away from the crowds to find some peace and quiet of your own, lying in a hammock, the tropical winds swaying you as you read an entire book whilst ocean waves crash against the shoreline? Some folks swear by sleeping daily in a hammock. And its popularity is growing.
Sleeping in a hammock is peaceful, relaxing and it feels great both when you fall asleep and when you wake up. There are countless communities praising the benefits of the swinging beds and shouting, “Best Sleep Ever!” Well, we’re not out to prove whether or not sleeping in a hammock is really better than sleeping in a bed.
Supporters of hammock sleeping contend that;
- Hammocks alleviate your back pain because there are no pressure points
- Because a hammock resembles a womb, you will actually sleep like a baby
- Sleeping in a hammock aids in rebalancing your internal organs
What do you think? Are these simply clever marketing tales from the hammock merchants?
Ancient history records that it was common to see hammocks used in tropical climates and aboard military ships, particularly, soldiers being issued hammocks for relief from battle. Certainly our forefathers considered the pragmatic benefits – being safe from venomous spiders, stinging ants, snakes and other dangerous creatures on the forest floor.
Recent studies have uncovered some fascinating benefits. Hammock sleeping, indeed, seems to be one of the best cures for a good night sleep that man has ever invented.
5 Benefits Of Sleeping Outdoors In A Hammock
- Enjoy a quicker and deeper sleep
- Improves focus and ability to concentrate during the day
- Enhanced Reading Hobby
- Allegedly alleviates back pain
- Reduced exposure to dust mites and no more dead skin cell stuffed mattresses
In a June 2011 article published in the journal Current Biology, researchers found that the swinging effect of a hammock provides the same kind of brain waves in adults that make babies fall so quickly into a deep sleep by rocking.
Why is a deeper sleep important? Consider that we sit in front of computers all day, afterwards we drape ourselves on the couch, and we don’t exercise like we should. According to the researchers deeper sleep is not necessarily healthier but deeper sleep usually means a better recovery. This is when our body repairs itself. Energy is restored, tissues and muscles are repaired, and the immune system is fortified.
As such, the hammock advocates propose that sleeping on a mattress is not exactly the best we can do for our bodies and may perhaps be the reason for back aches.
So, do hammocks reduce back aches? Well, it appears so and it makes sense that pressure points are alleviated much more effectively than even the best mattresses.
Hammocks Put Your Body in an Ideal Sleeping Position
In a Huffington Post blog post, Dr. Steven Park, a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, is quoted as saying that the ideal sleeping posture is “lying on one’s back, with the head slightly elevated, about 10 – 30 percent.” And by design, hammocks put you in this exact position: on your back, with your head slightly elevated. Unlike a bed, which allows for all sorts of unhealthful sleeping positions, a hammock forces you into an optimal sleeping position.
There are countless stories on hammock health in the news, nowadays. 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. Below we share a few links to more great articles and hammock sleep studies:
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.org: Improve Your Health With Hammocks
TrekLightGear.com: Sleeping In A Hammock Guide
Will you be trading your traditional bed and mattress for an island bed when you arrive in paradise or just grabbing a short nap?