I don’t know how you wandered onto this blog post. Maybe it’s 2am, you’re struggling to sleep, and you’re desperately googling creative ways to cure insomnia (trust me, I’ve been there). Maybe you’ve heard through the grapevine about the craze of swapping your bed for a hammock and you want to find out what all the fuss is about. Or maybe you stumbled across it by accident. I hope for those of you who are the latter, I’ve peaked your interest. Yes, sleeping in a hammock instead of a bed is a thing – and people actually do it with great effect. In this post I will explore the hows and the whys, and will try to convince you why you should swap your bed for a hammock.
Technically, What Is a Hammock?
A hammock is a swinging bed made of material and slung between supports each end. Hammocks have diversified since their early days, with lots of types now available for indoor and outdoor use. The material used for hammocks varies between nylon, cotton and acrylic, depending on what the hammock is to be used for.
Where Did This All Come From?
Hammocks date way back to the time of the Mayans – between 1800 B.C. and 250 A.D. (aka a very long time ago). The word originates from the Hamack tree. The bark of this tree was weaved to create a suspended bed we now call a hammock. The purpose was originally to protect from poisonous animals. Christopher Columbus was believed to be the first to write the word down and consequently introduce hammocks to Europe.
Believe it or not, in many cultures sleeping in hammocks is still the norm. If you look at South America, you will find hammocks instead of beds in many households. The practice is also pretty common in Asia, where you will find hammocks in sleeper trains brought on by travellers who don’t wish to sleep in seats or on the floor.
Why On Earth Should I Consider This?
There are many benefits of sleeping in a hammock (some more far fetched than others). One is hammocks promote deeper sleep. This is thanks to the gentle rocking motion hammocks provide when occupied. The rocking sensation is compared to that of a parent rocking their baby to sleep, and is thought to send you to sleep faster. Great news if you suffer with insomnia. Deep sleep is stage 3 on the ‘sleep scale’. It is the most refreshing stage of sleep and allows for accelerated tissue repair. Getting more deep sleep can have wondrous effects, including:
- Increased alertness
- Boosted immune system
- Better memory
- Improved digestion
- Restored energy..
Basically, it’s really good for you, and hammocks may aid you in getting more of it.
Another (possible) benefit of sleeping in a hammock is alleviation of back pain, if you choose the right one. Sleeping on a bad mattress can actually cause back pain so swapping it for a hammock could be a good solution. When sleeping on a mattress your body is in contact with pressure points, where your weight collects in certain areas. These pressure points cause discomfort to areas of you body which can in turn cause back pain. Hammocks alleviate these pressure points, as they adjust to your body shape.
Hammocks require you to sleep on your back which is considered the optimum sleeping position. Sleeping on your back promotes back and neck health as no strain is put on them. This position also results in better breathing (unless you suffer with sleep apnea) and allows for peak blood circulation in the brain. All the reason why you should swap your bed for a hammock!
The Mistakes Not To Make
If you’re going to take the plunge in changing your bed for a hammock, you might as well do it properly. It can be confusing which one to choose with so many different types on the market. It is vital to choose the right type of hammock for sleeping. The best hammocks to go for are those made out of cloth, rather than netting. These are the most comfortable and will better support your back.
Also be sure to pick a hammock suitable for your size. Hammocks have weight and size restrictions. If you’re broader than average, it might be a good idea to opt for a double hammock so you have additional room. No one wants to feel squashed while sleeping!
Why You Should Swap Your Bed For A Hammock -The Take Away
All in all, there are some very good reasons why you should swap your bed for a hammock. The decision is a big one to make, but it could potentially revolutionise your sleep which could in turn change your life. Okay, this may sound a little dramatic, but getting the best night’s sleep plays an incredibly important part in your physical and psychological health. We would love to hear any success stories if you tried this! To read more about hammocks, check out our Hammocks Guide.
Megan works in the Primrose marketing team. When she is not at her desk you will find her half way up a hill in the Chilterns
or enjoying the latest thriller series on Netflix. Megan also enjoys cooking vegetarian feasts with veggies from her auntie’s vegetable garden.