Recently, there have been several stories in major publications online and in print highlighting the various health benefits of sleeping in a hammock. To our western ears this may seem a bit of an odd trend having more to do with a “green” or back-to-the-earth mentality than actual science. But there’s real science to it, and the benefits are plenty. Here’s a few good reasons why giving your mattress a rest can mean a great nights rest for you.
The Ideal Sleep Position
Researcher’s have shown that the optimal sleep position is on your back with the head raised 10-30% and the fleet raised slightly as well. This not only frees up your airways for easier breathing, it also allows for better blood circulation. Ever wondered why hospital beds can be set to an incline? This is why. This sleep position is also why a hammock can be so much better for your day-to-day health. In a hammock (without a spreader bar) your are naturally cocooned slightly, with your head raised that ideal 10-30% and your feet raised too. By varying your laying position you can increase or decrease these angles to find what’s best for you.
Faster, Deeper, Better
According to a University study published in Current Biology, a dozen participants had their sleeping patterns tested in standard still beds vs. beds that gently rocked back and forth; in exactly the same way a hammock rocks. They found that not only did the participants fall asleep faster, but they achieved a deeper sleep with more sustained periods of crucial REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, that is so crucial to your immune system and physical and mental health, and intellectual ability.
Is a Hammock Good for Your Back?
Yes. In fact, a hammock is great for your back! A good woven hammock, without spreader bars, does a great job of conforming to your natural body weight and shape. The hammock forms a sort of cocoon around you gives you that beautiful feeling of “weightlessness” hammock users so often describe. This “weightlessness” is actually the hammock supporting all of your body’s pressure points equally. Mattress companies charge you thousands of dollars to relieve these pressure points and support various parts of your body. But a hammock, with a simple weave perfected by artisan people who have slept, read, and relaxed in them for centuries, accomplishes this for less than $ 200.
All of which kind of makes you wonder: Why don’t I already have a hammock in my bedroom?