Is It OK to Sleep In A Hammock Every Night?

Is It OK to Sleep In A Hammock Every Night

Is it OK to sleep in a hammock every night? That’s the question many people are asking themselves as the use of hammocks for sleeping has been growing in popularity over the past decade.

Originally used mostly for relaxing outside on camping trips or in backyards, hammocks are now being embraced by some as their full-time sleeping solution. But is this actually healthy and advisable?

Hammocks come in a variety of styles and sizes, from parachute nylon camping models to woven Mayan-style cotton hammocks.

Proper setup involves finding two stable points to hang the hammock from and getting the height of the hammock correct so you can easily get in and out without straining your back.

Can You Sleep In a Hammock Every Night?

Generally, yes it’s OK to sleep in a hammock every night, but there are some important considerations.

Regular hammock sleeping may provide benefits like pressure point relief, spinal alignment, and deeper sleep due to rocking motions. However, the unusual sleeping position could lead to postural issues, back pain, or chafing over time if improper technique is used. Hammocks also provide less stability than beds.

While more research is still needed, sleeping in a hammock nightly could be feasible for healthy adults if done carefully by choosing the right hammock, hanging height, and sleep position to minimize strain and discomfort.

Those with pre-existing back problems or mobility limitations should consult a doctor first. Overall, listen to your body and adjust your setup to determine if full-time hammock sleeping works for you.

Benefits of Sleeping in a Hammock

Pressure Point Relief

Unlike a mattress, a hammock conforms to your body shape and cradles you in a way that reduces pressure on areas like your shoulders, hips, and heels. This can enhance circulation and reduce pain and numbness in these high-pressure points.

Deeper Sleep from Rocking Motion

The gentle swinging and rocking motion of a hammock has been shown in EEG studies to induce deeper sleep, longer REM cycles, and more relaxation of the brain during sleep. This allows you to fall asleep faster and get higher quality rest.

Spinal Alignment and Pain Relief

Lying flat in a hammock keeps your spine in alignment and takes pressure off your back and neck. This can alleviate pain from conditions like arthritis or slipped discs. The elevated leg position also improves circulation.

Fewer Bugs and Allergens

Elevated off the ground, hammock sleepers are less exposed to dust mites, mold, and other allergens. Bugs are also less likely to be an issue. This can benefit people with allergies or respiratory issues.

Portability for Naps and Relaxation

Hammocks can be easily set up in yards, parks, beaches, or even inside your home. This makes it easy to take a nap, relax, or get some sleep anytime, anywhere. Their portability and adaptability are a major perk.

You may also like:

Can You Sleep On Your Side In A Hammock

Pros and Cons of Hammock Camping

Potential Risks of Sleeping in a Hammock Every Night

Improper Sleeping Position

If you sleep in a curled fetal position in a hammock, it can compress your abdomen and chest cavity and lead to back pain or postural changes over time. Proper flat sleeping position is important.

Chafing and Discomfort

Ropes, straps, or fabric edges can rub against your skin while sleeping and lead to chafing or irritation. Using a sleeping pad or specially designed hammock liner can help reduce this.

Difficulty Getting In and Out

It can be tricky maneuvering in and out of a hammock without flipping over. Older adults or those with mobility issues may have a hard time getting situated. Read about How to Get in and Out of a Hammock Safely.

Lack of Stability

The nature of a swinging hammock can make some feel seasick. Any motion can disrupt sleep. Securing hammocks very tautly can reduce excessive movement.

Why Do you Sleep Better in a Hammock?

Controlled studies using EEG and polysomnography tests have found beneficial impacts of hammock sleeping:

  • Increased alpha brain waves indicative of a relaxed state
  • Faster transition to deeper sleep stages
  • Longer periods of REM sleep
  • Reduced tossing and turning at night

Researchers have attributed these results to the pressure-relieving design and constant mild rocking motion unique to hammock use. Further study is still needed on the long-term physical effects.

Tips for Safe, Comfortable Hammock Sleeping

Choose the Right Hammock

Look for a hammock around 110-130 inches long and about 47-56 inches wide to accommodate an average adult sleeping on the diagonal. The material should also be sturdy and breathable.

Hang at the Proper Height

Hang your hammock so there is just enough sag in the middle for your body. About 12-18 inches of clearance below you is ideal.

Use Padding and Bedding

A sleeping pad, mattress, or thick blanket can add cushioning and insulation for more comfortable sleep. Consider a fitted sheet too.

Adjust Your Sleep Position

Lying diagonally or on your side keeps your spine straight. Use a small pillow for your head and between your knees if needed.

Prioritize Safety

Check that suspension points are secure, avoid setups too high off the ground, and keep ropes and straps away from your neck area. Have a plan for safe entry and exit.

Read also: How to Hang A Camping Hammock In 5 Easy Steps


Is it OK to sleep in a hammock every night? In general, yes, it can be OK if done properly, but it depends on the individual. Listen to feedback from your body and adjust your setup as needed.

While hammock sleeping has some promising benefits, more research is still needed on the long-term effects of adopting it full-time. Discomfort, pain, or insomnia after regular hammock use may be signs it is not the right solution for you.

As with any major lifestyle change, it’s wise to consult your doctor if you have any concerns before committing. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages and take precautions like choosing the right hammock and sleep position.

If you decide to try sleeping in a hammock nightly, start slowly and see how your body responds. A hammock can provide a novel, relaxing way to sleep for the right person with the ideal setup.

Helpful Sources:

Healthline: The Pros and Cons of Sleeping in a Hammock

Simply Hammocks: How To Prevent Back Pain When Using a Hammock

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