Sleeping Tips for National Hammock Day: Best Hammock Sleeping at Home
7 minute read
There seems to be a national day dedicated to almost everything these days. Hammocks even get their own special day of recognition for National Hammock Day on July 22nd, but maybe the hammock is worth it.
Considered to be a relaxing way to hang out in a garden or at a beach house, hammocks are comfortable, cool, and quickly becoming a hot item. In fact, it seems that sleeping in a hammock offers benefits that your bed cannot.
People for centuries have raved about the benefits of sleeping in hammocks. The gentle rocking motion is thought to place you in a deeper and more relaxed sleep.
However, there have also been questions raised as to their true effectiveness. Do hammocks really alleviate back pressure or rebalance your internal organs? Do they lull you to sleep because it is like being in the womb? Or are these just clever marketing ploys?
The Science Behind a Swinging Bed
Many of our ancestors slept in hammocks, especially those living in tropical climates. It has been debated that this was more for necessity rather than comfort or health benefits, but recent studies show that the benefits were there, even if they were unknown.
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Not only were you off the ground and away from harmful creatures, but the gently rocking motion eased you into a deeper and more beneficial sleep.
Recently neuroscientists have discovered that the gentle swaying motions of hammocks are soothing to the body and have a physical impact on the brain. The rocking motion of a hammock puts people to sleep faster, which was expected, but the changes in brain waves were a new discovery.
Sleeping in hammocks increased the length of N2 sleep and frequency of sleep spindles, which are associated with tranquil sleeping.
Sleep spindles are present when people are sleeping in chaotic or noisy surroundings, and are a sign that the brain is trying to keep a person calm. They are also associated with brain plasticity, which is the ability of your brain to rewire itself, and an increased ability to remember new information.
These would both be beneficial for the brains of those recovering from a stroke, making hammock sleeping a potential form of therapy.
Studies have also shown that the swinging motion helps ease you into sleep better, no matter how chaotic your day was. Rocking a baby to sleep works for them, so there is no reason to think it wouldn’t work for adults too.
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Sleeping in a hammock, therefore, has potential benefits for insomniacs or those with anxiety, who have difficulty sleeping at night. Brain waves are synchronized easier with the help of the rocking motions, helping sleep arrive quicker.
Why You Need a Hammock
The term “sleeping like a baby” can be more than just a common idiom. Switching to a hammock can give you a tranquil and deep sleep, providing all the comfort and peace that sleeping babies experience.
Sleeping is an active process, despite appearing to be passive, because your body never really stops working. That is why restful sleep is important—your body needs time to rest and recharge, so you can be at your best every day.
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Apart from sleeping soundly, a hammock has several benefits that can improve your health and overall well-being.
You can fall asleep faster: When the day is long and busy, it often leaves your brain in a tired frenzy. You are exhausted, but your brain still runs through all the day’s events trying to make sense of everything.
This can prevent you from falling asleep and, in severe cases, you can develop insomnia, which can be debilitating. The gentle rocking motions of hammocks ease you into a peaceful state, synchronize your brain waves, and bring sleep much sooner.
You get a deeper sleep: Sleep occurs in stages, but your body only truly benefits from deep or delta wave sleep. This is a restorative state, allowing your body to recover from the day and refresh for the next one.
During this stage, your heart rate and breathing are slowed and your muscles barely move, causing complete relaxation.
Your concentration improves: This enhances both learning and memory. The brain waves that are reinforced during deep sleep provided by hammocks are linked to increased concentration and memory.
A lack of sleep impairs your ability to think clearly the next day, which hinders performance. Sleeping soundly in a hammock allows your brain neurons to rest, so upon waking they are ready to fire on all cylinders and provide optimal brain power.
You can reduce back pain: For those suffering from back ailments or who sit at a desk all day, it can be difficult to get comfortable at bedtime. Special mattresses are made to help those with back troubles, but there is debate as to how much help they really provide.
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The soft and curved shape of hammocks relieves pressure on your lower back, which brings comfort and sleep. While there is no definitive research to support this idea, many people claim that their back trouble disappear after sleeping in a hammock.
Regular deep sleep improves your immune system and organ health: The stresses of your day will wear your immune system and organs down, and deep sleep allows them to recover. A lack of sleep can cause chronic inflammation, which will impair your immunity and the function of vital organs.
Delta wave sleep given by a hammock rests your body so that energy can be used to repair and restore tissues and muscles, keeping you at optimal functioning levels all day long.
The Bottom Line
Sleep is essential for your health, and a growing collection of evidence suggests that sleeping in a hammock will give you the deeper sleep you need. Hammocks are no longer just novelty items when outdoors, they are beneficial for everyone.
If you have trouble sleeping or are looking for ways to improve your well-being, give a hammock a try. You could be sleeping like a baby in no time.