Why Lay at a Diagonal in a Hammock? (And A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Do It)

Cartoon of Steve in shirt laying on grass

When sleeping in a hammock, position is everything. The way you lay helps you get good-quality sleep and it ensures that you won’t feel any pain in your back

In this fast-paced generation where electronics almost take over our lives, rest is everything. Rest and sleep give you physical energy and rejuvenate the soul.

The right position will encourage deep sleep, whether you are in bed or a hammock.

And there is a right position when sleeping in a hammock. You need to lie in it diagonally. 

Why do you have to lay at a diagonal in a hammock?

That’s what we’re here to discuss. 

There are several reasons why you should lie down in a hammock diagonally:

  1. It is more comfortable as it provides a flatter surface.
  2. It is less tight around the body
  3. You can easily transition into side sleeping if that’s your preference.
  4. It’s easier to use pillows in that position.

What Is the Proper Way to Lay in a Hammock?

Person in hammock with landscape in front

First off, it’s best to point out that there is no wrong way to truly enjoy hammocking. 

The point of discussing a proper way of lying in a hammock is to provide you with the most comfortable position to give you a good day or night’s rest. 

Your resting or sleeping position affects your quality of sleep

So, how do you comfortably sleep in a hammock? You have to sleep in it diagonally. 

Why Lie in a Hammock Diagonally?

There are several reasons why you ought to rest or sleep in a hammock diagonally:

Reason #1: It Makes The Hammock Less Curved

One of the reasons people love being in a hammock is because the material will mold into your body, cuddling or hugging you. It’s very comfortable that way. 

However, when you sleep in it diagonally, it is less constricting. The material will still envelope you but not as tightly. 

Lying in a hammock diagonally makes it a bit splayed, if that makes sense in the hammock concept. 

In short, the position will prevent you from sinking too deeply into the material. 

Reason #2: It Is Less Tight Around the Body

When you follow the orientation of the hammock, you will most likely be cocooned by it.

A hug is great but a tight hug is constricting, which is exactly what you feel if you don’t lie down at an angle. 

You may also have a hard time getting out of the hammock when you are cocooned too tightly. 

Reason #3: It Is Easier To Accommodate Pillows

Most people sleep with pillows and they are easier to accommodate in the hammock when you sleep diagonally. As earlier mentioned, you have a flatter surface in the context of a hammock when you are lying diagonally in it.

You can put your head on a pillow without it bunching up because of the hammock. 

Since it’s not too snug, you can have an additional pillow to hug, if that’s part of your sleeping habit. 

Reason #4: It Allows You To Be Flexible With Sleeping Positions

There is a common misconception that you can only sleep in a hammock on your back. It’s the easiest position to accomplish since many will sit in the hammock first before transitioning to lying down. 

But when you lie down at an angle, it allows you to easily transition on your side. 

Did you know that six out of 10 people prefer to sleep on their side

If you are among the majority of side sleepers, the good news is that you can carry the preference over to the hammock. 

How Are You Supposed to Sleep in a Hammock Diagonally?

Is it hard to sleep in a hammock? It’s not! 

But to make it even easier for you, we’ve laid out the steps on how to position yourself diagonally in a hammock, and the video above also explains it.

Step #1. Sit Down in the Middle of the Hammock

Sitting down in the middle of the hammock ensures that your weight will be distributed evenly in the core. It’s also the easiest way to lie down in a hammock. 

It’s not like a bed where you can flop your whole body in at once. 

Step #2. Slide Your Body and Legs Into the Hammock

Lie your upper body slowly in a slanting manner so you are off-center in the hammock. Slide your legs the same way, also off-center. 

Your whole body will make a diagonal line across the whole hammock. 

Step #3. Find a Comfortable Position

Now that you are diagonal, you can choose to sleep on your back or your side. It’s all based on preference. Your head should be closer to the edge, which means it is highly elevated. 

As Dr. Brandon Peters said in an article for Verywell Health: “Raising the head during sleep prevents collapse of the airway, and this may diminish the risk of snoring and the problems associated with sleep apnea. If positioned properly, it may also be possible to relieve pain.”

Step #4. Use Pillows If You Want

Since your comfort is essential in achieving a good night’s sleep, use a pillow on your head. You can also hug one for additional comfort and warmth. 

And don’t forget there are pillows made specifically for hammocks.

Step #5. Keep Warm

For maximum comfort, cover yourself with a blanket to stay warm. You could also use the hammock material to provide warmth if you don’t have a blanket. 

How Do You Sit Comfortably in a Hammock?

Person sitting in hammock

How a hammock is hung matters. 

The hammock should not be too tight. You want it to give a good sag, which is more comfortable for your butt. 

Sit down slowly in the middle of the hammock so that your weight is in the center. Try to feel if that position is comfortable for you. 

If not, try to lean back so that your back is supported by the hammock. It’s not necessarily lying down as only your upper body is on the hammock. 

Your upper back is basically across the hammock with your feet on the ground. Again, try to feel if it’s right for you and if you can get comfortable that way. 

But if not…

Depending on the material of your hammock, take one edge of the hammock and fold it down the middle. Sit on the fold and it will give you a flat surface. 

Should Your Feet or Head Be Higher in a Hammock?

There are logical reasons why your feet should be higher than your head in a hammock. 

For one, it prevents your upper body, which is much heavier, from sliding down the hammock. Some say your feet should be at least six inches higher than your head, but one must also consider a person’s comfort level. 

Experts have also said that having your feet at a higher elevation will promote better blood flow. The position will also reduce pressure on your back. 

But at the end of the day, you really should listen to your body. 

Why Is My Hammock Cocooning?

There are two main reasons why your hammock might be cocooning:

Reason #1: It’s Too Tight

Sometimes, you might think that tying the hammock ends tightly is good because it is secure. 

While that makes sense, it actually doesn’t provide much comfort. The hammock will cocoon, which is more difficult to sleep in. Not to mention, the space will be too tight. 

The hammock must have a good sag. A common rule of thumb is the smiley face. You read that right! A hammock that looks like a smile has a good sag. 

Reason #2: You Are Not Lying Diagonally in It

Lying right smack in the middle of the hammock will cause the edges to cover you as the material molds your body. 

Lying diagonally across the hammock will prevent that from happening. 

Final Thoughts

INFOGRAPHIC Answering the Question Why Lay At A Diagonal in a Hammock
Click infographic to enlarge.

Hammocks are fantastic! They are comfortable to sleep in and they are good for your back. 

However, sometimes, your sleeping experience in a hammock will depend on your position. 

Sleeping diagonally in a hammock will help prevent cocooning while also giving you a wider and flatter space so you can have the option to sleep on your back or your side. 

Now that we have that figured out… Enjoy sleeping diagonally in your hammock!

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