Are Hammocks Good For Backs?
Everyone knows that lying in a hammock is a comfortable way to rest while away on a pleasant summer afternoon in the backyard or at camp.
Yet, while we all know that hammocks are extremely comfortable, there could be more to these simple items than first meets the eye.
These days, many people are looking to hammocks to help alleviate back pain and enjoy a good night's sleep. With more and more people asking whether are hammocks good for backs, we decided to take a good look at some of the reasons why this may be the case.
The History is on the Hammock’s Side
While it may seem strange to think about, the bed, as we recognize it today with a solid base and a mattress to lie on, is actually something of a modern invention. The truth is that there are written references and evidence of hammocks in existence long before beds came along. A student of Socrates, for example, mentions a hammock in writings dating all the way back to 450BC.
Now, just because people in the past thought they were the best way to a comfortable night’s sleep, doesn’t mean that it is a definitive proof that they are perfectly designed. However, the fact that this simple design has carried on down the ages right up to the modern day is surely a good sign.
The Pros of Sleeping in a Hammock
Do you think sleeping or resting in a hammock would do your back any good? Let us try to find out by looking at the benefits and advantages that sleeping in it offers.
Lets You Sleep Like a Baby
One thing that is not good for a bad back, especially at night, is tossing and turning in your bed because you can’t sleep. We all know that feeling when the clock is showing two in the morning, but you just cannot drift off. During times like that, it’s easy to wish you could just drift away and sleep like a baby, right?
Well, a hammock could help make that happen, at least according to a study published in Current Biology back in 2011. This study suggests that it is the rocking motion of cribs that can help lull babies to sleep.
The good news is that there is no evidence to suggest that adult brains are not equally susceptible to being lulled into deep sleep by a rocking motion—a rocking motion that you could get from a hammock, for example.
(Not) Under Pressure
When you sleep on a bed, you are always in contact with the mattress surface as it supports your entire body. The unfortunate thing about this is that even the softest, most ergonomic mattress can have pressure points. They can build up over time too, so what was once a comfortable mattress can, after a while, begin to play havoc on your back.
A hammock is different because you are essentially suspended in mid-air. When you sleep in one, it does not rely on a solid mattress like a normal bed does. No mattress means there are no pressure points on a hammock. The entire surface area supports your body while it is suspended in the air.
A Way to Fight Modern Life
Sitting hunched over steering wheels and behind computer screens is not what our bodies were designed for. It is, unfortunately, a part of modern life that many of us can’t avoid. At the same time, sitting in a chair for long periods is definitely a recipe for a bad back.
A hammock can help you fight back against the damage of modern life in a couple of ways. One, it allows you stretch out—and I mean really stretch. Because it is so supportive and, as mentioned above, pressure point-free, it allows you to remove all pressure and tension on your back caused by bad posture.
The other big plus is that it is pretty hard to sit upright in a hammock! The simple act of getting into a hammock, therefore, goes a long way to stop the damage caused by sitting in that it prevents you from sitting.
A Change is as Good as a Rest
The last thing to bear in mind is that most of us don’t sleep in hammocks very often. In fact, if you have come across this article and read this far, it is likely because you’ve asked yourself are hammocks good for backs. The fact that you’re looking for this info online suggests you don’t have a hammock yet, or you would already know if it is good for your back!
The truth is that a change really can be as good as a rest. If you are struggling to sleep, or if your back is aching, then just changing to a new way of sleeping can really help to overcome these problems.
Sometimes, it is the simple solution that can solve the most problems, and simply changing where you sleep, even for a couple of nights, can be that solution. You can almost look at it as a reset for your body and your mind.
This is the question we set out to answer, and the truth is that it is hard to say a definitive yes. For one thing, there have not been a huge amount of medical studies in this area. Another issue is that everyone’s body is different, and everyone will react to things differently.
On the other hand, there is equally no evidence that hammocks are bad for the back. There is, however, a lot of anecdotal evidence that they are fine, and there are many people who swear by their hammocks as the best thing for their backs.