Are you looking for ultimate relaxation? Then you need to spend more time sleeping in a hammock.
Why? Because it combines the two most relaxing elements; the great outdoors and the most comfortable, and possibly healthiest, form of laying down and sleeping.
Good sleep is critical for a healthy mind and healthy body. We need sleep. In an ideal world, the quality of your sleep is high, leading to optimal mental and physical performance.
For most Americans, however, sleep quality is mediocre at best. If that’s you, you need to try sleeping in a hammock.
Wondering how to relax more during the week? Want to know how many health benefits sleeping in a hammock provides? Keep reading to discover your new favorite bed.
What Is Unique About Sleeping in a Hammock?
Before digging into the benefits of sleeping in a hammock, let’s address what makes hammocks unique. First off, hammocks suspend your body in the air.
You aren’t laying on a solid surface like a mattress. Under your body, and the thin material of the hammock is open air.
To experience the benefits of hammock-sleeping, you need to position your body the right way. Most people, when they lay in a hammock for the first time, put their head on one end and feet at the other., aligned with the hammock.
When you do this, your body curves, elevating your head and feet, which isn’t natural. Generally, this is only comfortable for a few minutes.
But this position is not good for sleeping, as you are sure to discover on your first night. Rather, you need to lay at an angle so that your body is flat.
You want your feet to be about 30 degrees off-center on one end, and your head to be 30 degrees off-center on the opposite end. This allows you to fully extend, stretch out, lay flat, and sleep comfortably.
One of the biggest benefits of sleeping in a hammock is the gentle rocking motion. As you lay, the breeze, as well as body movements, will cause you to sway back and forth.
If you have children, you know that rocking your baby is one of the most effective techniques for helping them fall asleep. Rocking can be just as effective for adults as it is for kids.
Researchers have found that rocking decreases the time it takes for adults to fall asleep. This improves sleep quality and keeps people in a deep sleep longer. On top of that, those in a rocking bed or hammock have more brain activity while sleeping. This supports memory and overall cognitive function.
Hammocks Encourage Napping
Many overly-productive adults think napping is a curse word, or that it’s a luxury reserved for retired people. But why is it that most infants and elderly persons nap regularly? Because it’s good for us.
Many studies have been done, including some by NASA, showing the health and mental benefits of regular napping between 10 and 60 minutes. Napping can improve cognitive function, help regulate emotions, reduce sleepiness, and boost energy.
You can’t help but want to lay down in a hammock anytime you see one. And when you do, the rocking motion kicks in making it easy to fall asleep.
While you can use a hammock indoors, most people use them outdoors, either in the backyard or while camping. You can even take them to a park or trail and spend a few minutes or hours enjoying the scenery.
Being outdoors, in any capacity, provides innumerable health benefits; physical, mental, and emotional. Simply being outside, particularly in green, natural environments, can help you relax, lower stress, and experience greater contentment.
Mental health and sleep are linked. If you are always worried, anxious, stressed, or otherwise out of balance emotionally and mentally, you will struggle to sleep.
Spending more time outdoors, both during the day and through the night, can boost your mental health, which also correlates to better sleep.
Hammock Camping Promotes Exercise
Laying in a hammock and taking a nap is the opposite of physical exertion. However, camping in a hammock and spending time outdoors usually involves some form of physical activity, which our bodies need.
If you are hammocking while at a campground, chances are you’re going to hike, bike, paddle, or swim while camping. If you are backpacking, you’ll be hiking each day to reach your new campsite in the wilderness.
Even if you just want to hang a hammock at a local park, you’ll at least have to walk in order to find the perfect spot. Regular exercise benefits our mind and our sleep, as well as our bodies.
What You Need to Start Hammock Camping
Ready to enjoy the many benefits of sleeping in a hammock? You don’t need much to make it happen.
You’ll want to get a hammock that’s sized to fit your body. Generally, hammocks come in one or two-person sizes. Taller or larger individuals generally prefer sleeping in a two-person hammock.
Hammock straps are responsible for harmlessly hanging your hammock between trees or posts. Make sure to get straps that allow for easy tension adjustment. You can buy hammock straps here.
You are going to want a sleeping bag suited to the weather conditions you plan to camp in. Even during warm weather, you can feel cold when sleeping in a hammock due to air flowing beneath your body, which doesn’t happen in a bed or tent.
A hammock quilt, which lines the underside of your hammock, makes sleeping in cooler weather comfortable. You can also get a rainfly to keep you dry and a bug net to keep you bite-free.
The Benefits of a Hammock at Home
Many people who discover the sleeping and health benefits of hammocks wonder how they can enjoy them every night. You don’t have to camp outdoors in order to use a hammock, though that’s the most fun.
You can bring a hammock indoors using a portable hammock stand. Made of metal, these can suspend your hammock anywhere without needing trees or posts.
Though, if you have a partner, sleeping in your own hammock every night may not support a thriving relationship.
Getting Off the Ground Is the Ultimate Relaxation
Hammocks truly offer ultimate relaxation. You can’t deny the fact that laying in a hammock makes you want to take a nap.
Once you get in, it’s hard to get out. And when you discover how to properly sleep in a hammock, you may experience the best night’s sleep. Give it a try for a few nights to see if hammocking helps you.
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