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  1. #1

    Hammocks for stomach-sleepers?

    Hello, this is my first post here. I originally posted this question in the Touring section over at Bike Forums, and a few fellow cyclists suggested I visit you here.

    I've never used a hammock before, but lately I've been looking into Hennessy and Clark hammocks. My problem is that I tend to sleep in some rather creative positions, most of them being on my stomach, and pretty much never flat on my back. It seems like 90% of the online reviews I've read of these hammocks have stated that their users were unable to get comfortable on their stomachs, and the minority seem to have had no problem (but then again, I have no way of knowing if the writers of those reviews are hardcore stomach-sleepers like me).

    Are any of you stomach-sleepers? If so, how have you adjusted to sleeping in your hammocks? Have you found ways to sleep comfortably on your stomachs (and if so, are there any special tricks that you've used to do so...sleeping pads or mats or anything of that sort)?

    I don't think I've ever successfully fallen asleep flat on my back, but one of the members of Bike Forums had the following interesting advice about adjusting to hammocking: "Your body will adapt. For the same reason that you don't roll off the bed in your sleep your body will get used to the idea of sleeping a little different." This makes a lot of sense, but I'm still concerned because historically my body has been very stubborn when it comes to sleeping positions.

    Thanks for any advice, insight, etc.

  2. #2
    Dutch's Avatar
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    I don't sleep in my stomach but I would think the only real chance of doing it would be in a bridge hammock.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    I use the bridge hammock design, have made a bunch of them. I got into that style originally because I too am a stomach sleeper, and the bridge design was the only hope I saw for doing that.

    So, now approaching two years later, I find that yes I can sleep on my stomach, but placing my arms where I like is problematic. At home I fold my arms, put a pillow on top, and plunk my head on that. In most bridge hammocks this means my elbows want to go where the hammock body is. I can put my arms at my sides, and that sorta works, but my face is staring at hammock wall and I don't like that much.

    But the funny thing is that in my hammock my more natural position is on my back! I rarely can sleep that way on a mattress of any kind, but that's typically the way I end up in a hammock. Go figure.

    I like the lay the bridge hammock better than I do a gathered end hammock, so that's why I continue to use that style.


  4. #4
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    I think the nugget the Bike Forums member gave you is very accurate. I was, for my whole life, a stomach and side sleeper in a bed. Changed almost immediately when I started sleeping in hammocks. I became a back sleeper for the first time in my life and didn't set out to do that. It was just very natural in a hammock and I never felt the need to roll. I will occasionally find myself waking-up on my side in a few of my hammocks, but I'm mostly a back sleeper these days.

    Dutch is right, the Bridge hammocks are actually more comfortable on my stomach than on my back. I'm not comfortable (as comfortable) sleeping on my back in a Bridge, but the 3 nights I've had in a Bridge on my stomach was delightful.

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  5. #5
    sclittlefield's Avatar
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    This is only my second summer hammock camping (and it's been the best change in my backpacking/camping system ever!). I sleep on my side at home in bed, but always slept on my stomach in a tent. In a hammock, I find sleeping on my side is the most comfortable.

    I too have a great deal of trouble actually getting sleep on my back - even in a hammock. I can rest in that position quite well, but not sleep. Rolling to my side (almost on my stomach actually) has been amazing in my gathered end hammock. Far better sleep than in my bed or on the ground in a tent.

    Obviously no one can guarantee that a hammock will work for you, but I bet it will. Just don't try it for one night and call it quits. For me, it takes three nights to adjust to a new sleeping style. And hammock camping has a whole new learning curve to it.

    I bet you'll find you love it! And welcome to the forum, we're glad you're here.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    I am a stomach/side sleeper at home in bed almost never on my back for several reason not the least of which is breathing stops when I am on my back. Not a truly encouraging situation. However, in my HH I find it very east to lie cradled on my side and have support for both my back and stomach in that position. I like it.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member titanium_hiker's Avatar
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    side half/back hammock position. Hammocks taught me how to sleep comfy on my back in a bed, weird, eh? Basically it's a non-flat lay, so if
    --- is back sleep (of course --- is stomache sleep too)
    | is side sleep,
    \ is sorta how I lie. (both hammock and bed, both "nose up" and "nose down")

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  8. #8
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Stomach sleeping in a bridge hammock is feasable but you may need to put a pillow or pad inder the stomach as the upper body sinks lower due to material stretch a lot like a water bed... one thing for sure is that, it is easily the flatest laying style, so back arch issues are the least with bridge style hammocks.

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  9. #9
    Thanks for advising!

  10. #10
    Yes a bridge is your best bet.
    You might find this thread of interest.

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