Side sleeping in a hammock
How do you wake up in the morning after a night out in the hammock? Most people fall asleep afloat on their back and they don’t bother to get in any other position. Sometimes this can wreak havoc. Side sleepers often ask the question: can you sleep on your side in a hammock?
Are you a side sleeper?
Side sleepers love a nice big pillow or collection of pillows to prop their head up on. To sleep on your side without a pillow can be extremely hard on your neck. Many side sleepers also favor some form of fetal position while they sleep.
How do you sleep in a hammock if you enjoy sleeping on your side? Can you recreate your favorite position when deeply nestled into a hammock?
Can you sleep on your side?
The answer to your question is: YES! Not only is it a yes but there are a couple ways that you can make it work. There are however many factors to consider in setting yourself up for success, but you can get it done.
Side sleepers will benefit from laying diagonally on a hammock. This gives you the ability to bunch up the edges of the hammock around your head so that you have support while you sleep on your side. With the right kind of hammock this can be very effective.
Another method is to bring a mass of cloth, blanket, or a couple of pillows into the hammock with you. We find it easier to roll up a couple blankets and hang them off our pack. One is to cover us in colder weather and the other is to bunch up under our head.
Benefits to sleeping on your side
If you are going to be calling upon a hammock as your camping shelter, you should be able to maximize the benefits of it, and not be relegated to sleeping on your back for 8 hours.
The more ways that you can sleep through the night the better the sleep you will have. What is better than when you get into that perfect position in bed? You should aspire to reach that same perfect position when you are in your hammock.
Sleeping on your side also helps you stay warmer in the Spring. Hammock camping can get downright cold. You can find yourself shivering through the night if you just lay your head back and fall asleep.
Sleeping on your side with a blanket allows you to get into a bit of a fetal position and use the covers and your body to keep the heat contained.
Will there be any discomfort?
We feel like we learn something about sleeping in a hammock almost every time we spend a night in one. There are all sorts of positions you can maneuver yourself into. Some are great finds and others are altogether uncomfortable.
Until you find out your best position for side sleeping, you too, are going to experience some discomfort. It helps to set the hammock up outside of your home and find your new side sleeping position.
Use the method we discussed to get yourself in the right position.
Factors to consider when side sleeping in a hammock
There are things outside of your own body position that will affect how you sleep on your side in a hammock.
- Size of Camper
The size of your body and the size of your camper are all going to have a serious effect on how you sleep. A hammock that is too small is going to be a true nightmare. If you don’t enjoy being completely wrapped up by your hammock, then you might not like the larger models that are available if you are a smaller person.
- Length of Hammock
The length of your hammock will often work in the benefit of the side sleeper. If you slip your body up so the strap is closer to your head, you can get a little lift and support on your neck.
- Width of Hammock
We love a nice wide hammock because you can just get wrapped up in it, and when the time comes to sleep on your side you can move diagonally and bunch all that width up and put it under your head.
- Movement in the Hammock
When you get into position on your side you will not want to be moving much. You might easily slide out of position.
- Sleeping Pads and Quilts
It’s always better to be warm when you sleep. Keeping warm in the cold spring nights is a great way to sleep. Quilts are incredible. They really hold on to that body heat.
Sleeping pads in hammocks don’t really make sense to us and as we have always enjoyed the comfort of the hammock itself. That is side sleeping or back sleeping.
As mentioned, the pillow is one of the difference makers in quality side sleep. It all goes back to neck support.
Can you sleep on your stomach?
Sleeping on your stomach is another adventure entirely. We have never had success sleeping on our stomach. While it may be possible it just seems like sleeping on your side in a hammock and sleeping on your back are so much better.
It’s not to say that it’s impossible but it will take a bunch of added support, and this could be one scenario where a stout sleeping pad might actually come in handy.
Opening your eyes to a new day in the wild is always special. Those bunched up hammock lines across your cheek are actually a sign of success. It’s a sign you slept well and did so on your side.
Yes. Sleeping on your side in a hammock is not only possible but it can be optimal. It works much better when you invite covers and pillows to the party. We also like a nice deep hammock to make the most of side sleeping.