Sleeping in a Hammock Indoors and Outdoors

Medically reviewed by
 Dr. Jordan Burns DC, MS

Dr. Jordan Burns DC, MS

Meet Dr. Burns, a devoted chiropractor with an extensive seven-year professional career dedicated to optimizing patient health. With an academic background in Kinesiology, Life Sciences, and Sports Science and Rehabilitation,…

By Geoff McKinnen Certified Sleep Coach

Last Updated On January 15th, 2024
Sleeping in a Hammock Indoors and Outdoors

Key Takeaways

  • Benefits of Hammock Sleeping: Hammocks allow for a natural sleep position, promoting deeper and more comfortable sleep. The gentle rocking motion induces relaxation and synchronizes brain waves for better sleep. They offer a unique and enjoyable sleeping experience, leaving individuals feeling refreshed and energized upon waking.
  • Creating the Perfect Indoor Hammock Setup: Select durable hammock straps of the right length to support your weight. Adjust the tension of the hammock to find the ideal sleeping position. Enhance the experience with accessories like sleeping bags and sleeping pads. Weigh the benefits of hammocks against traditional mattresses and bed frames to make an informed choice.
  • Hammock Sleeping Tips: Find the right-sized and breathable hammock for comfort, then experiment with different sleeping positions to discover the most comfortable one. Address pressure points with pillows, cushion inserts, and hammock pads. Allow time for adjustment if you’re new to sleeping in a hammock.

Have you ever considered trading in your traditional mattress for an indoor hammock? Sleeping in a hammock can provide a deeper, more natural slumber that can be difficult to achieve with a typical bed.

“The debate between indoor and outdoor hammock sleeping revolves around comfort, spinal support, and environmental factors,” says Dr. Jordan Burns. “While research in Verified Source Wiley Multinational publishing company specializing in academic and instructional materials. View source ‘The Journal of Sleep Research’ doesn’t explicitly delve into hammock sleeping, it underscores the importance of a sleep environment that aligns with individual preferences and promotes relaxation.”

Save $450 On Any Mattress

Plus free shipping

Get $450 OFF Mattresses

In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of hammock sleeping, as well as provide tips for creating the perfect indoor hammock setup to ensure a comfortable and restful sleeping experience.

So whether you’re struggling to fall asleep or simply looking for ways to improve your sleep, read on to discover how sleeping in a hammock indoors can lead to a more rejuvenating waking.

The Benefits of Hammock Sleeping

Hammock sleeping offers a range of benefits that can improve not only the length of your sleep, but also its quality. One such advantage is the ability to find a natural sleep position, unlike traditional mattresses that force you to sleep on your back, stomach, or side.

In a hammock, your body is free to adopt a more natural and comfortable sleep position, which can lead to a deeper sleep. While you can do this with other options such as an adjustable bed, a hammock is often the more budget-friendly solution for sleepers.

Another advantage of hammock sleeping is the gentle rocking motion that promotes deeper and more restful sleep. The pendulum-like motion of a hammock can provide a calming effect that lulls you into a state of relaxation, making it ideal for those who have trouble falling asleep fast.

For those on a budget who aren’t able to invest in a traditional bed frame setup, sleeping in a hammock avoids the two main drawbacks of a mattress on the floor. One, a mattress on the floor is prone to retaining heat and moisture, and two, by putting you closer to the ground you’re more exposed to pests. However, the hammock’s height allows for air circulation and keeps pests at bay.

Overall, hammock sleeping can offer a unique and enjoyable sleeping experience. According to fans of the practice, it can lead to more restful and rejuvenating sleep, leaving you feeling refreshed and energized upon waking up. However, we strongly suggest you speak with your doctor before you make the switch from a bed to an indoor hammock.

The Science Behind Hammock Sleeping

Have you ever wondered why sleeping in a hammock feels so restful and rejuvenating? The answer may lie in its potential for a soothing rocking motion, and how this can affect the brain.

A 2011 study Verified Source ScienceDirect One of the largest hubs for research studies and has published over 12 million different trusted resources. View source has shown that sleeping in a hammock can cause our brain waves to synchronize, leading to a deeper state of relaxation and sleep.

The study involved 12 healthy male volunteers who napped on both stationary and gently rocking beds. Researchers found that lying on a slowly rocking bed facilitated the transition from wakefulness to sleep, leading to an increased duration of stage N2 sleep.

The findings suggest that the rhythmic motion associated with rocking may enhance synchronous activity within thalamo-cortical networks, promoting the onset and maintenance of sleep. Or in simpler words, it helps individuals fall asleep and stay asleep.

However, this study is an older one, involved a small sample size (also limited by thesubjects being all male and healthy), and looked at naps and not at sleeping for a full night in a hammock.

A larger 2021 study Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source with 68 college students. Thirty-three preferred traditional beds and 35 chose hammocks.

The results revealed no significant differences in subjective sleep measures between hammock and bed users. However, objective measures unveiled distinctions.

Hammock users exhibited a 7.62-minute increase in the activity index, suggesting higher levels of movement during sleep, compared to bed users. Moreover, hammock users experienced shorter mean sleep episodes by 19.67 minutes.

Importantly, the study found that hammock users generally had a higher BMI (body mass index) compared to bed users. This is essential to recognize as differences between sleep may result from BMI differences, rather than hammock vs. bed.

Otherwise, the research that looks at adults sleeping regularly in hammocks is limited, with more studies needed to observe in full the pros and cons.

Are Hammocks Bad for Posture?

Hammocks, when used correctly and in moderation, may not necessarily be bad for posture. Unlike traditional flat surfaces like mattresses or chairs, hammocks contour to the shape of the body, providing a different kind of support. This curvature can promote a more natural spinal alignment, potentially reducing pressure points and alleviating discomfort.

In fact, some people find that reclining in a hammock can help ease tension in the lower back and neck. However, spending extended periods in a hammock, especially in one that lacks proper support, can have drawbacks.

Prolonged use may lead to a position where the spine is not adequately supported, potentially causing discomfort or strain. Hammocks that are too loose or lack proper tension might force the body into awkward positions, impacting the natural alignment of the spine.

“Maintaining proper spinal alignment is essential, even when opting for non-traditional sleep surfaces like hammocks,” says Dr. Burns. “Scientific insights from orthopedics studies, such as those referenced in ‘The Lancet Neurology,’ emphasize the significance of spinal health.”

“When using a hammock, ensure it provides adequate support to your back, and consider experimenting with different positions to find what aligns with your unique spinal curvature.”

Hammocks vs. Traditional Mattresses and Bed Frames

Traditional mattresses can sometimes create pressure points, making it tough to fall asleep. However, before you consider switching to a hammock, let’s explore the benefits of both options.

Mattresses, when paired with a sturdy bed frame, offer several advantages. A good mattress provides support and alignment for your body, helping to reduce discomfort and promote better sleep.

If pressure points are an issue, memory foam mattresses are an excellent option. The material is quick to hug the body and support delicate areas.

Meanwhile, bed frames contribute to stability, preventing mattress sagging and impressions and ensuring a comfortable sleep surface.

Traditional mattresses and bed frames help reduce the risk of morning stiffness and pain caused by poor sleep posture. Additionally, the familiar setup can contribute to a sense of security and relaxation, promoting a restful experience.

On the other hand, hammocks present a unique alternative. They distribute weight evenly, reducing pressure points and allowing for a weightless sensation. This can lead to a deeper, more refreshing sleep, with the added benefit of potentially falling asleep faster.

While hammocks offer their perks, mattresses and bed frames also have their merits. Mattresses provide targeted support, and bed frames offer stability crucial for a comfortable sleep environment. There is also, simply put, more research examining the positive effects of sleeping in a bed than sleeping in a hammock at night.

For those who are curious about a hammock but still want a frame and mattress, we also want to point out the technological comforts that adjustable beds offer. These beds allow users to customize their sleeping positions, elevating both the upper and lower parts of the body.

By adjusting the bed to a reclined position, similar to the curvature experienced in a hammock, users can distribute their weight more evenly, reducing pressure points and promoting a weightless sensation. Many beds offer the one-touch option of the zero-gravity position, which elevates the legs and head to create a neutral body posture that minimizes pressure points and reduces stress on the spine.

If you’re considering a change, weigh the benefits of each option. Traditional mattresses and bed frames offer proven support and stability, while hammocks introduce a unique and potentially more relaxing sleep experience. Ultimately, the choice depends on your personal preferences and the comfort you seek for a good night’s sleep.

“Whether indoors or outdoors, adopting healthy sleeping practices in a hammock involves strategic planning,” says Dr. Burns. “The American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests adding padding or blankets for lumbar support. Additionally, find the right tension in the hammock for a comfortable sag that contours your body without causing strain.”

Concerns about Allergens in Hammocks

Hammock sleeping can be a comfortable and enjoyable experience, but individuals with allergies should be mindful of potential concerns. Hammocks, especially those used outdoors, can collect allergens Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source such as pollen, dust, and mold. However, keeping your hammock indoors doesn’t completely remove the potential for allergens to accumulate.

It’s important to regularly clean and maintain the hammock to minimize the accumulation of these allergens. Choosing a hammock made from hypoallergenic materials can also help reduce the risk of allergic reactions.

When setting up an indoor hammock, it’s advisable to ensure that the indoor space is well-ventilated to prevent the buildup of indoor allergens. You may also want to take advantage of the benefits of air purifiers and set up one near your hammock.

Regularly washing and airing out bedding and hammock accessories can also contribute to a cleaner and allergy-friendly sleep environment. However, sleepers with severe allergies will likely be better off with a hypoallergenic mattress.

Creating the Perfect Indoor Hammock Setup

Sleeping in a hammock is a unique experience, but to get the most out of it, you need to set up your hammock correctly. First and foremost, you’ll want to choose the right hammock stand. A good hammock stand is sturdy, holds your weight, and fits your indoor space.

Once you have the stand, you need to choose the right hammock straps. These straps should be strong enough to support your weight and have the right length to fit your stand. Look for hammock straps made of durable materials that can support your weight without risk of breaking.

To ensure a comfortable sleep, you need to find the ideal sleeping position. You can do this by adjusting the tension of your hammock, so it fits your body shape and offers support in the right places. Avoid sleeping too tight or too loose, so you can be assured of the most comfortable sleep possible.

When you have the right stand and straps, you’ll be well on your way to a comfortable and supported hammock experience. Take the time to adjust your hammock properly and be sure to find a position that helps you sleep most comfortably.

“Creating a sleep-conducive environment extends beyond mattress choice,” says Dr. Burns. “For hammock enthusiasts, it’s vital to consider the surrounding conditions. Shielding yourself from temperature variations and ensuring a dark, quiet space is crucial. These principles, grounded in sleep hygiene, contribute to a restful experience, whether under the stars or in the comfort of your home.”

Enhancing Sleep Quality with Accessories

Hammock sleeping can be a comfortable and relaxing experience. However, adding accessories to your hammock setup can enhance your sleep quality even further.

Sleeping Bags

A sleeping bag can keep you warm on cold nights while sleeping in a hammock indoors. They also help reduce pressure points from contact with the hammock and ensure that you maintain a comfortable sleeping position throughout the night. Consider a sleeping bag that is compatible with your hammock, specifically.

Sleeping Pads

A sleeping pad can cushion your body from the hard surface of your hammock, promoting a more comfortable sleep. By reducing pressure points, sleeping pads help to prevent back pain and joint discomfort.

Hammock Pillows

Elevate your hammock sleeping experience by adding specialized pillows that cradle your neck and head, ensuring optimal support for a truly comfortable and ergonomically sound sleep position.


Extend your hammock usability into colder seasons with an underquilt, a cozy layer designed to provide insulation and warmth beneath your hammock. Say goodbye to chilly nights and embrace a snug and comfortable sleep in any weather.

Bug Nets and Mosquito Nets

Bug nets and mosquito nets are essential accessories for hammock sleeping outdoors, but also serve to protect you from pests while sleeping indoors. These nets can keep you comfortable throughout the night, ensuring that bugs and mosquitoes do not disturb your sleep.

Hammock Sleeping Tips for a Good Night’s Rest

Sleeping in a hammock can be a great way to improve your sleep quality, but it does require some adjusting. Here are some practical tips to help you get the best possible rest while using a sleeping hammock:

Find the Right Hammock

Make sure your hammock is the correct size and designed for sleeping. Choose a hammock made of soft and breathable material to ensure maximum comfort. Check the weight limit to ensure that it can support your weight and avoid feeling cramped.

Adjust Your Sleeping Position

Experiment with different sleeping positions to find one that is most comfortable for you. Many people find lying diagonally in a hammock to be the most comfortable position for sleeping. To avoid sleeping with your head and feet elevated, ensure the hammock maintains a diagonal position.

Address Pressure Points

When sleeping in a hammock, pressure points can develop, leading to discomfort and difficulty sleeping. To reduce pressure points, use pillows to support your head, neck, and lower back. Accessories such as cushion inserts and hammock pads can also be used to increase comfort and support.

Take Your Time to Get Used to It

If you’re new to sleeping in a hammock, it can take some time to get used to it. Give yourself some time to adjust to the new position and experiment with different positions to find a natural sleeping position that is most comfortable for you. With practice, you can improve your sleep quality and reap the benefits of hammock sleeping.


Is it OK to sleep in a hammock overnight?

Sleeping in a hammock overnight is generally safe and comfortable for many people. However, ensuring the hammock is hung correctly is crucial, allowing for a flat and supportive sleeping position.

Some individuals find it beneficial for their back and sleep quality. However, others may need an adjustment period to get used to sleeping in a hammock for extended periods.

Is it safe to hang a hammock indoors?

It is safe to hang a hammock indoors if proper installation measures are taken. Ensure the anchor points, such as wall studs or ceiling beams, are strong and secure. Use reliable hardware designed for hammock hanging, and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Indoor hammocks can be a unique and comfortable addition to a bedroom or living space.

Can I use a hammock instead of a bed?

While some choose to use a hammock instead of a bed, it may only suit some. Sleeping in a hammock requires an adjustment period, and it may not provide the same level of support as a traditional mattress. Before switching, consider personal comfort, sleep preferences, and any existing health conditions.

Is sleeping in a hammock better than sleeping on the ground?

Sleeping in a hammock can offer advantages over sleeping on the ground. It can provide a more comfortable and supportive sleep surface, potentially reducing pressure points and promoting better spinal alignment.

Additionally, hammocks elevate the sleeper above the ground, minimizing exposure to uneven or hard surfaces. However, your individual preferences and any specific health considerations you have should be taken into account.

What are the cons of sleeping in a hammock?

While sleeping in a hammock has its benefits, there are also potential drawbacks. Some people may find it challenging to get used to the swaying motion, and others might need help understanding the stability of a traditional bed. Sleeping in a hammock may not be suitable for those with certain medical conditions or mobility issues.

Additionally, finding the right height and angle for the hammock is crucial, as improper positioning may lead to discomfort or difficulty sleeping. It’s essential to experiment and determine if sleeping in a hammock aligns with your personal comfort and sleep needs.


Overall, it is clear that sleeping in a hammock indoors can lead to better sleep for most people. By allowing the body to align itself and providing a gentle rocking motion naturally, hammocks can promote deeper and more restful slumber.

Creating the perfect indoor hammock setup, using accessories to enhance the sleep experience, and following practical tips can all contribute to a more comfortable and rejuvenating sleeping experience.

Furthermore, hammock camping is a fun and exciting way to take the outdoors indoors, and many people have reported positive experiences with hammock sleeping to reduce insomnia and promote relaxation outdoors.

If you are someone who struggles with traditional mattresses or wakes up feeling groggy, it may be worth trying out sleeping in a hammock. While it is not a one-size-fits-all solution, many people have found it to be a game-changer in terms of waking up feeling refreshed and energized.

About the author

Geoff McKinnen is a writer focusing mainly on the healthcare industry and has written articles on everything from foods to help you lose weight to the connection between Alzheimer’s and sleep. Geoff’s passionate about helping readers improve their well-being to lead happier lives. Outside of work, Geoff enjoys cycling and hiking and believes that by leading a healthy lifestyle, he can help others do the same.

View all posts

Discover the ultimate sleep system

Choose your mattress

Shop top-rated mattresses with proven sleep-boosting materials.

Get a pillow

We have the perfect pillow to pair with your mattress.

Browse Pillows

Pick out bedding

Bring out the best in your mattress with our soft and breathable bedding.

Browse Bedding