Is sleeping in a Hammock Bad for your Back?

Although camping partially takes away the comforts that you have on your own home, it doesn’t actually mean that you would experience a harsh night in the woods. There are a lot of options when it comes to camping so you shouldn’t limit yourself on the typical tent and bonfire setup. Hammock camping is one of the types that you can choose to venture on.

Some people say that sleeping in a hammock is bad for your back when in fact it’s the opposite, as it lets you meditate in a new form of rest. You’ll surely be enlightened as we answer some of the most asked questions for a better camping experience.

Is a Hammock Good for your Back?

What most people think about Hammocks is that it gives a relaxing feeling as you feel the breeze when the wind slightly rocks you back and forth. However, there are also some debates on whether sleeping in a hammock is bad for your back or not. We have been used to lying flat on bed so by resting on a hammock, it creates an arch making either your back or buttocks area drop a bit from your level.

Now behind that, there are actually some techniques needed when lying in a hammock. Those would be discussed later on but to answer the question, the answer is actually YES. According to some individuals, they can’t even go back to sleeping on a bed after trying out hammock camping for a few weeks or so.

The Common Mistakes

Sleeping in a curved position would be new for you so you decide to tighten your hammock up to make it flat and more like a bed. Although it would appear to be flat after tightening it up, it will still result in a slight dip down in the center of the hammock. You will also find yourself being somewhat enclosed like a cocoon if you tighten the hammock too much.

how not to lay in a hammock
how not to lay in a hammock

The edges would narrow down and will be constricting to anyone who would sleep in the tight hammock. Another common mistake is tying the hammock too low and too high. If the hammock is too low, this would result in hitting the cold ground and if it’s too high, then it would be quite difficult to climb up on it.

Proper Techniques in Hammock Camping

In order to have a wonderful sleep in a hammock, you need to have no pressure points so that you would not wake up having a sore back. The proper angle when sleeping in a hammock is by raising your feet part a little higher than your head, as it would give you that zero pressure point resting position which would result in a healthy and relaxed form of meditation or sleep.

You should also tie your hammock loose enough for it to hang as it allows more stretch, giving a lot more space to the sides. The curve in the hammock is nothing to fear because that would actually give you a good resting position. What you have to eliminate is having a big arch which is more like a boomerang as it could result into various back problems.

Correct way to lay in a hammock
Correct way to lay in a hammock

Some people say that it is nearly impossible to sleep in a side lying position, which is false. As long as you consider the technique mentioned earlier which is having a loose hammock, it would give you a lot of room to turn sideways. There are even some people who sleep in a hammock not only diagonally but on a fetal position and have no problems with this whatsoever. They even feel more relaxed than ever so this is a good tip to try out when hammock camping.

Sleeping in a Hammock versus a Bed

We have been accustomed to sleeping in beds and as a matter of fact, once we see our bed from a tough day at work, it induces our minds to rest. Of course this is a fact but is sleeping in a Hammock actually better than sleeping in a Bed? There are a lot of things to consider when choosing from the two so let’s dig into it one by one.

A bed is a stationary object that brings comfort and support while a hammock could gently swing you, giving a new experience and also alleviates all sorts of back pains. There are a lot of options when choosing a bed because you can choose custom mattresses that would suit the lumbar support that you desire. The hammock has also a lot of options to choose from when it comes to comfort and support but the biggest factor that places the hammock a bit higher is that it takes a smaller space to set up.

So which one is better?

With regards to functionality, a hammock and a bed provide different forms of relief but there is one thing that they have in common, and that’s providing comfort. If we were to weigh in on which one would be the best, there is actually no better one. The answer would depend on the individual as people have their own preferences.

It is quite uncommon to see houses that have hammocks instead of beds though. However, the hammock is one portable item that you can bring if you are a light traveller. Having a big roll of foam and a tent is quite bulky so if you are to trek through several miles through the wilderness, a hammock would work out better for you.

Aside from being lightweight, sleeping in a hammock would set your mind in a very relaxed state as you connect with nature. If you want to free yourself from the heavy stress that your work brings, then you need to experience hammock camping. It would only take you a few minutes to set up so grab your backpack and be one with nature.

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