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  1. #11
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    I avoid the banana shape for one reason: my knees only bend in one direction which is the opposite direction of the banana shape.

    If I try to lay in the banana shape for more than 1 or 2 minutes, my knees begin to ache and if I try to tough it out and stay longer, the pain in my knees gets very intense.

    So its just personal preference for me.

  2. #12
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    Just had to go check it out. In my house hammock my upper body is slightly elevated in a diagonal position with legs outstretched. This is my starting position. When I shift into a side position it is not fully on my side but with my back against the side of the hammock. The upper body is still elevated, legs both extended, figure 4 or fetal. Since going to the hammock fulltime I don't sleep fully on my side. The elevated position of the upper body has stopped the frequent need for antiacids at night and my back has never felt better. I have never whipped the ends of my hammock, just larksheaded the ends which allows me to play with different folds. Currently I'm using a modified version of Jeff's 'W' fold on the foot end which seems to remove all of the center ridge that causes the pressure against the leg. Since moving into the hammock I hope to never have to return to the discomfort of a bed. One other thing I have noticed,when in a bed I was using two pillows and would place an arm under my head/pillow causing discomfort in my shoulders. In the hammock I'm using a small travel pillow only.
    Last edited by olddog; 08-02-2011 at 19:52. Reason: addendum
    Most of us end up poorer here but richer for being here. Olddog, Fulltime hammocker, 365 nights a year.

  3. #13
    Senior Member leepingreenlizards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    LGL, just for discussion sake and fun: you say "Enjoyed the "recliner" feel so much...........................and I've never had any difficulty sleeping on my side".

    To make sure I understand you, are you saying that when sleeping on your side- with legs straight- you are also in the "recliner" position rather than diagonal and not flat, and are still comfortable? Or, are you saying that, while side sleeping, you are in a pretty good fetal position(either diagonal or mid-line) so that your body is only really in one half of the hammock? Thus avoiding most of the hammocks curve, and effectively allowing your body to be straight?

    I have never seen a non-bridge hammock that did not have a more or less "banana" shape. Some def more than others, but all seem to be in a banana shape to me.

    Before getting in, these bridges are actually a bit higher in the middle rather than lower. Hence "reverse banana" or maybe "upside down".
    Yeah, sorry about that.

    What I'm referring to when sleeping on my side is "while in my hammock" and I'm not in the fetal position. I may pull my knees up slightly, but then I don't know of anyone, who sleeps in any position while at the position of "attention" and stiff as a board...even in bed.

    Again, "banana" is an rather liberal description and I know it's just the term used in the hammock community to describe the shape some hammocks appear to take. But in reality, a properly installed hammock isn't even close to the shape of one.

    One good point that I agree with is that a gathered end hammock is less forgiving than say...a bridge style and it can at times be a little restrictive.

    Great discussion so far!!!
    It’s what we believe that makes us, as individuals, who we are. Suppress that and we all become the same…"sterile and boring." "Sir William Orville Martin"

  4. #14
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toober View Post
    If people want to lay flat, the floor works great for that. But wait, the human skeleton is not shaped flat. But shhh, don't tell them that, they should have learned that in school.
    Very true that you can achieve a pretty flat position on the floor. You also can do that in a bed, something I have been doing for a lot of years! And that is really not much of a problem, like being flat on the floor would be. I am flat enough in my bed, despite the fact that the bed gives somewhat(but not as good as a hammock) to various pressure points, that I don't have any side "torque". The somewhat inaccurate term that has been used to describe the discomfort that a huge number of hammock hangers have had over the years whenever they were unable to have a "flat" or "straight" spine/hips/legs when trying to side sleep in a hammock.

    As far as I can tell, all of the dozens(hundreds?) of threads over the years, having to do with lack of comfort side sleeping, are related to NOT being flat(enough). That does not mean folks were complaining about the hammock nylon "giving" to their various bony pressure points, thus relieving any pressure points. I guess technically that is not flat, but no one is concerned about that. What they would often complain about, with many various hammocks, was that their side/waist was uncomfortable because their feet were headed a little bit north, as were their head and shoulders, while their hips were headed south- groundward. Just as you would expect with even a hint of banana position. People's head/shoulders/feet were higher in the air than their hips(low point). Often, even on the diagonal, even if just by a small amount, but enough to feel it. IOW, they were not flat. Occasionally you would hear of someone putting a small pillow under their waist trying to flatten/straighten the spine, to bring it up higher and closer to the level of the shoulders. Or, often the fetal position would be the cure. But some hammocks have always been more comfortable for side sleeping- fetal or legs straight- for most folks. I think those hammocks- one way or another- gave a "flatter position".

    Same applies to back sleeping except there is no problem with a "hinge" at the waist. The problem now is the knees, as Tiredfeet said, trying to go the wrong way for most folks. As already stated, now what is required is that the legs/knees be AT LEAST flat, or bent in the right direction. Either way. Or, you can rig some knee flex- just like with the waist example above- with a pillow under the knees. But any sort of normal hammock curve is not going to work for the great majority of people. Hence the diagonal position trying to get closer to flat, or the pillow, or some sort of hammock position that allows knee flexion.

    A few years back JRB and various DIY folks started coming out with the bridge hammocks. Now sure, they have their own set of pros AND cons. Many people will still choose non-bridge hammocks because they feel they are OVERALL more comfortable or they don't like the bars or the bar/tarp problems, etc. However, I think that very few people ( anyway to test this?) will argue that the bridge hammocks are not more comfortable in the waist when side sleeping, and in the knees ( and calf!) when back sleeping, than probably all others designs. And for certain more comfy in these ways than all but a VERY few other hammocks. Personally, for me the only one that really comes close(in these areas), when I set my jaw just right, is my huge Safari. The best of the rest I am often searching for the sweet spot, hoping I can find one to match a bridge.

    And what is it about a bridge that gives it such superiority ( in these 2 specific areas only)? It is hands down the flattest laying hammock design I've seen so far. So in this case, flat is good! The flatter the better for side sleeping. I can't see any advantage- side sleeping- to NOT flat. The closer my non-bridge can come to the bridge flatness, the better, at least for side sleeping. And I want my legs straight also on my back, just like in my bridge, unless they can actually be flexed a bit. Flexed away from the banana curve. But side=flat as possible!

    But, that's just me!
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  5. #15
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leepingreenlizards View Post
    Yeah, sorry about that.

    What I'm referring to when sleeping on my side is "while in my hammock" and I'm not in the fetal position. I may pull my knees up slightly, but then I don't know of anyone, who sleeps in any position while at the position of "attention" and stiff as a board...even in bed.
    OK, but again to be perfectly clear, are you saying that you are on your side straight down the middle, going with the curve of the hammock? And not at a diagonal, which gives a relatively flatter lay- with less flex at the spine/hips- than a mid-line approach? If you are straight down the middle- with a non-bridge hammock- and with your knees only slightly bent, I need to know which hammock that is? I'm thinking it must be very long. I can't do that even with my super long Safari. I might can if I pull my knees way up and get only in the top half of the hammock. But even fetal, even in the safari, life is going to be easier for me on a diagonal- because it has less curve- it's flatter- than straight down the middle.

    Again, "banana" is an rather liberal description and I know it's just the term used in the hammock community to describe the shape some hammocks appear to take. But in reality, a properly installed hammock isn't even close to the shape of one.
    Did you see the picture I posted of my Safari, just using the stock HH RL? Sure looks like a banana to me! And when you say "properly installed", so many people here have reported more comfort with certain hammocks when they added more "sag". IOW, they end up much like a banana, like in the pic I posted with my Speer and PeaPod.

    One good point that I agree with is that a gathered end hammock is less forgiving than say...a bridge style and it can at times be a little restrictive.
    In the legs or waist, I agree also! Because they are flatter!

    Great discussion so far!!!
    Agree!
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  6. #16
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    My first time today in the hammock....

    Today I setup my diy hammock for the first time and layed back into it. I really liked the slightly curved cupping feel of it. I also tried laying my legs diagnally to see what it was like and both ways felt so good. I don't sleep flat out on my bed, and I have a huge, comfortable bed. I can't wait to get my bug net up and working so I can try it out for the whole night.

  7. #17
    Senior Member pedro's Avatar
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    I think that a bit of curve in the torso has positive effects on the back as opposed to laying absolutely flat. It stretches the back in a similar way to the 3rd world squat or the downward facing dog yoga position.
    "Interesting! No, wait, the other thing.....tedious!"- Bender Bending Rodriques

  8. #18
    Senior Member leepingreenlizards's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=BillyBob58;518783]OK, but again to be perfectly clear, are you saying that you are on your side straight down the middle, going with the curve of the hammock? And not at a diagonal, which gives a relatively flatter lay- with less flex at the spine/hips- than a mid-line approach? If you are straight down the middle- with a non-bridge hammock- and with your knees only slightly bent, I need to know which hammock that is? I'm thinking it must be very long. I can't do that even with my super long Safari. I might can if I pull my knees way up and get only in the top half of the hammock. But even fetal, even in the safari, life is going to be easier for me on a diagonal- because it has less curve- it's flatter- than straight down the middle.

    To clarify:
    Straight down the middle, no "extreme fetal position (whatever that is)" assumed, same when I'm on my back, all though I can lay at a bit of an angle if I want.

    No, I'm not lying flat, as I stated before, my hammock doesn’t lay flat like a bridge does, because it's a gathered end hammock.

    I'd rather not get into brands, as that's not what this thread is about and when you start the brand war it quickly becomes an argument. I'm only interested in reasons and the "type" that seems to work best for you.

    Hope this helps

    Thanks friend: D
    It’s what we believe that makes us, as individuals, who we are. Suppress that and we all become the same…"sterile and boring." "Sir William Orville Martin"

  9. #19
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    BillyBob has eloquently described the problem for both back and side sleeping.

    I personally have never been able sleep on my stomach, but I would imagine that people who do would not like the banana curve either.

    For stomach sleepers it would seem that the knees would not be a problem, but the back would. The backs of most people will bend backwards only so much and that is probably not very much and gets to be less as you get older. Also, I would imagine that people with back problems/injuries would have an even bigger problem with bending backwards.

    So for stomach sleepers, it would seem that the knees would be bent in the correct direction, but the back wouldn't.

    As I said, I'm not a stomach sleeper, so this is just all guess work for me.

  10. #20
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    [quote=leepingreenlizards;519431]
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    OK, but again to be perfectly clear, are you saying that you are on your side straight down the middle, going with the curve of the hammock? And not at a diagonal, which gives a relatively flatter lay- with less flex at the spine/hips- than a mid-line approach? If you are straight down the middle- with a non-bridge hammock- and with your knees only slightly bent, I need to know which hammock that is? I'm thinking it must be very long. I can't do that even with my super long Safari. I might can if I pull my knees way up and get only in the top half of the hammock. But even fetal, even in the safari, life is going to be easier for me on a diagonal- because it has less curve- it's flatter- than straight down the middle.

    To clarify:
    Straight down the middle, no "extreme fetal position (whatever that is)" assumed, same when I'm on my back, all though I can lay at a bit of an angle if I want.

    No, I'm not lying flat, as I stated before, my hammock doesn’t lay flat like a bridge does, because it's a gathered end hammock.

    I'd rather not get into brands, as that's not what this thread is about and when you start the brand war it quickly becomes an argument. I'm only interested in reasons and the "type" that seems to work best for you.

    Hope this helps

    Thanks friend: D
    Well OK then, LGL, my hats off to you then. But I'm sad you won't say what hammock, because I want one!

    I can not picture the non-bridge hammock where I could lay on my side, straight down the middle, without also having my legs in a pretty much extreme fetal, allowing me to stay pretty much in one half of the hammock, not crossing the "bend" or "curve".

    And by extreme fetal that I mean knees pulled all or nearly all the way up. Maybe that is simply "fetal" without needing "extreme" added? I would call moderate fetal knees pulled ~ half way up. Non-fetal = legs mostly or completely straight, or knees bent just a little.

    I've tried (and own ) a whole bunch of gathered end hammocks, with very little sag or a little more sag or a whole bunch of sag. Or just used whatever sag the factory ridge line provided. But I sure have never been able to sleep on my side straight down the middle of a gathered end hammock. I consider myself lucky to be able to do that, with full comfort, with some GE hammocks(but not all) on the diagonal.

    Bridge hammock, no problem whatsoever. But no GE hammock I have tried has been flat enough for anything but discomfort in my spine if try to lay on my side straight down the middle. Unless MAYBE ( with one or two hammocks) if I pull my legs way up. I suspect I could come closest with my Claytor No Net, adjusted with very little sag. But then, even if I could actually pull it off- in my experience, it would be uncomfortable in the shoulders.

    So for now I will just have to remain in envy of you!

    Maybe we should start a poll? How many folks - with non- bridge - sleep straight down the middle, not even bothering with a full ( maybe that word is better than extreme) fetal? With thousands of members now, that might yield some good info. Who knows, maybe lots of folks can do this.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

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