Hammock Experiment

When I was about to move in last fall and was super tight on money due to the truck repairs, I thought about getting a hammock instead of a bed to sleep in, but I had really mixed feelings about that. I’m such a poor sleeper that I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to sleep properly and I knew I would miss nighttime reading in bed and luxurious morning lie-ins. On the other hand, I also knew locals had been sleeping in hammocks for millennia, so, surely, I was missing out on something. Then, I had the epiphany that, hey, I could move one of the guest room beds upstairs to my room and the hammock thoughts were relegated to the back of my mind.

Until this month, the first that the heat has really bothered me. Even while attempting to run the AC at night, I would wake up drenched in sweat shortly after it turned off. Everything was just sticky and uncomfortable. The idea of the hammock came back to me, what with all the air flow such a thing would allow.

After three naps in the hammock (yes, I took two yesterday), I knew that I could super easily fall asleep in a hammock in a way that I’ve never been able to in a bed. So I moved the hammock to my bedroom last night and added a sheet as I knew I would be chilly at least in the first part of the night until the room warmed up again.

The first surprise when I finally managed to arrange myself in the hammock was that I could very comfortably read and reach a surface on which to safely drop my iPad for the night. I eventually was ready to try to sleep. Research I’d done had tons of testimonials of folks sleeping so well in a hammock that they would do so well past their wakeup time. So even though the idea was laughable, I set an alarm for 8:00. I then rearranged the sheet, shuffled into my favourite position (curled up on the right side), gave myself a little push to rock and…

Next thing I knew, I was feeling surprisingly awake. I looked at the time and it was 5:00. I had slept straight through from 10:30 to 5:00. Wow!!! I had no trouble getting out of the hammock to use the bathroom. The sheet had bunched around me while I slept, so I wrapped myself in it toga style to make it easier to wrangle and resettled myself into the hammock, doubtful that I’d go back to sleep. Well…

Next thing I knew, the alarm was ringing. WOAH. That was a pretty much a 9-hour night of real quality sleep. I’d go so far as to say it was the best night’s sleep of my entire life. I need to do a few tweaks, adjusting the tension on the hammock and figuring out a way to keep the sheet from bunching up as sleeping on the bare strings is a bit of uncomfortable, but other than that, I’d say I’m a convert.

Check out this article, The Hammock Angle, for lots of tips on how to sleep in a hammock. The advice I got there was invaluable. One thing that I’m quite shocked about is how easy it is to get in and out of a properly hung hammock.

Feeling quite perky this morning, I went to the market for tacos (of the local delicacies relleno negro and cochinita) and fresh pineapple juice. I then found a pretty dress in a style I love made by the lady selling them at a bargain price ($160!) and ordered a bunch more to pick up next week. I have to get to work now, but a big work day seems less daunting with such a good night of sleep behind me. Not sure that means I’ll skip the siesta, though. 😉

11 thoughts on “Hammock Experiment

  1. Great news, glad you had a good sleep! Our friend Kathe in Chetumal guided me through my first serious hamoca purchase, telling me the tighter the weave (within reason) the more comfortable I would be. She also suggested the double (matrimonial) size because I am a big guy. I have bought three or four hamocas over the years but the best one was the one I bought when Kathe took us to the Chetumal State prison to choose from the products made by the prisoners!

    I have not spent the night in it but have had several naps and like you, found it very comfortable. I think a thin quilt (or sheet) that goes underneath and is also large enough to serve as a cover that can be thrown off to hang down the side if it gets too hot might be the answer.
    I am happy it worked out for you. It is always harder to sleep in a hot climate than in a cold one.

    • My current hammock is going to become the guest hammock at some point as now that I know hammocks work for me, I want one of the prisoner-made ones!

      The weave on mine is pretty tight. I saw tighter, but I’ve seen looser. I have a mid-range model, also in matrimonial style, although I can’t imagine two people in this one!

      What you suggested with the quilt is what I did with the sheet last night, but it bunched with the hammock bunching as I moved around.

      I like sleeping in a cooler climate to be buried under a pile of bedding, but I hate waking up in a cold room! It’ll be interesting to see if I keep up with hammock as we get into the winter overnight temps!

  2. Hi Rae! I have severe to moderate back pain and found that sleeping on a hammacka has been the most restful sleep I’ve ever had. I waken with no stiffness, no new pains, and totally refreshed. In cold weather I would just wrap a sleeping bag around me, and be set for the night, all cozy and comfy. Even my dogs and cats love it! Have a great day.

    • Hi Pat! I also found that I was less stiff this morning than I normally am in the mornings! I can imagine how cosy the hammock would be with a ton of bedding. Not sure I want to share with Ms. B, though… 🙂

  3. Oh, I am SO glad to read this. Happy sleeping makes for happy days. I wish there was a place in this apartment for me to try that.

    • You could get a stand for the hammock. That link I shared has a store where they’ll help you pick out the right hammock and stand combo. Use at night, then store in a corner during the day! 🙂

  4. Glad you finally had consistently good sleep!

    It’s interesting you mention this… the Brick and I slept in hammocks on a medical trip to Brazil down the Amazon. Our group lived on a riverboat that visited various villages to do dental and medical care. (I sterilized the instruments and passed out toothbrushes/toothpaste; the Brick assisted the dentist.)
    We used hammocks at night that were then rolled up and stowed during the day. While I was always comfortable at first, invariably I’d wake up in the morning with a backache. And getting to the bathroom (on the other side of the boat) was no joke — you’d have to crawl under the various hammocks. As the trip went on, they’d sag lower and lower…once I got stuck under one of our friend’s hammocks — until he finally turned over, and I was able to escape.
    We brought the hammocks home, and got a stand. They were very good for afternoon naps…but overnight? Back to the backache.

    • Sounds like they were not hung and/ or slept in properly….

      But otherwise, what a great story! 🙂

  5. WOW! It has been so long since I have used my hammock that I have forgotten how awesome it is to sleep in!

    Way back when (in 1998) my hammock hung in a little house that I shared with “my person” in Chemuyil, Mexico (south of Playa del Carmen). I normally slept in my hammock when I wanted to escape the scorpions. LOL Our AC was a crapshoot and I DO remember thinking how much cooler the hammock was than being up against the HOT mattress.

    Also way back when (in 1999) when I was living back in the Kansas City area, I was able to hang my hammock from the posts on my privacy fence. Even though it was outside, the patio area was covered and I was able to take many naps there, especially in the summer. My first grandson loved being in the hammock with his gma!! LOL

    It is hard to believe that I have lived where I do now since the middle of 2003 and have not used my hammock since August of that year.

    Outside where I am now, I would have to put in a post to hang it from that to a tree, OR what I really need to do is check out your link and find a stand for inside, which is what I plan to do.

    Sorry for rambling, but I sooooo appreciate you sharing your hammock experiment!! 🙂

  6. Pingback: Still Sleeping Soundly in a Hammock |

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