Hammock Angles for Sleeping: What is Healthy and What Isn’t

All across the globe hammocks are replacing beds as people’s primary source of sleeping apparatuses thanks to their functionality, chic design and overall health benefits. If you’re thinking of making the switch but are hesitant about how to go about getting a good night’s rest, here are some tips to keep in mind on how to sleep at the proper angle in your hammock bed. We recommend using a classic South American hammock for sleeping, as spreader bar hammocks must be hung tightly and don’t allow as much flexibility.

The proper hang
First off, it’s important to discuss how to hang your hammock properly before we even start getting into proper sleeping angles, otherwise you’re not going to find much success no matter which way you lie. A lot of folks make the mistake of trying to imitate an actual bed by stretching their hammock so tight that it hangs nearly flat and parallel to a bed’s typical surface. This is huge no-no, as making it too taught creates a surface that is both uncomfortable and hard on your back. Plus, you could roll over and fall out in the middle of the night.

Instead, you want your hammock to curve a bit. Aim for the typical banana shape that hammocks are associated with when you’re not lying in it to achieve a healthier hang.

What’s not healthy?
While allowing your body to hang limply like a banana, with both your head and feet above your belly, is the typical picture that comes to mind when we think of hanging in a hammock, it’s not the best idea for a full night’s rest. The banana, or C-shaped curve, puts undue pressure in the center of the hammock, causing it fold in around your body. As the hammock compensates for the concentration of weight in the middle it folds in around you, making it difficult for both you and the hammock itself to move. You’ll basically be squished in a like a burrito, and that’s not a great way to sleep.

On top of that, you’re also decreasing the blood flow in your legs by positioning them at such a high and awkward angle. You don’t necessarily want them lying completely flat, but you don’t want them parallel with your head, either. You also want to avoid lying on your hammock in a perpendicular fashion, 90 degrees to the direction in which the hammock hangs, so your feet aren’t dangling over the edge and restricting blood flow.

The right way to lie
So what is the perfect angle to lie in a hammock? Well, the answer is approximately thirty degrees. By keeping your body slightly off center you’ll avoid the harsh curvature of the banana shape while also creating more space in which to allow your body to stretch. You want your head to remain elevated, between ten and thirty degrees in order to maintain optimal blood circulation and proper breathing, while your legs are extended and feet are flat.

Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable to lie on your side if that’s how you’re most comfortable, but lying on your back is the healthiest approach. By lying in a diagonal angle off the center of the hammock you’ll give yourself plenty of room to move around and help prevent the hammock from folding in on itself. The curvature you’ll attain in this position is also just the right amount to keep pressure off your spine while allowing for a great night’s rest.

Since most hammocks conform to your body’s natural curves sleeping on one removes the weight from your body’s pressure points that causes most people to wake up in the middle of the night, which a normal bed cannot do.

People throughout Central and South America have been sleeping this way for centuries and it’s time for the rest of the world to get on board, we say!




There are many ways to sit in a hammock. How many of them do you know?