Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Snyder, TX
Hammock: DIY 30d MARPAT
Tarp: DIY .74 oz cuben
Insulation: Marmot Mod
Suspension: ISLS with UCRs
I found that an 80% adjustment to the SRL was good for me.
Also, clinical research has shown that most men sleep in a fetal position. I've been able to do that in the Grand Trunk Ultralight, though it is rather narrow and my new sleeping bag allows it though my old one did not (which got converted recently to an UQ).
Usually we change positions in sleep several times during the night, often not even knowing it. But if we sleep with fear of falling out, which I did the first couple of times in a hammock, then the stress alone might cause back and shoulder pain, or a headache ... or however your body registers stress.
But hardly anyone falls out of bed, right?
A hammock seems to be the same. So I have learned to sleep with confidence, if that makes sense.
I have a theory that there is a subconscious sleep adaptation that can eventually accept a new "bed." Soldiers on campaign, for instance, can learn to adapt, even when noise, chaos, uncertainty, or threats to life and limb surround them.
Research has shown that it takes 48 hours to acclimate to a new or changing situation. I intentionally spent three straight nights in my back yard in the hammock to be sure it was for me. In he process I discovered a better pillow for me, even, so it has been a great and enlighteneing success. Human psychology is deeply connected to the need for sleep (Carl Jung). So, keep trying.
I expect that hammock-phobia would disrupt life goals at about the same rate as other disorders, less than 2%. That is about the ratio of those on this site that have expressed similar concerns as yours. It seems that one guy dropped out entirely. But as they say, admitting the problem is half the solution.
What is the motivation?
I found hammock camping because of injuries that require me to go ultralight. But some may be perfectly happy to stay on the ground and lug heavier loads. There is nothing wrong with that. The point for me is the love of nature and of nature's God. Whatever a man needs to do to get out there ... well, we are all brothers and sisters that love it.
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Billings, MT
Insulation: Down quilts
Suspension: Bat Feet
Love is blind. Marriage is an eye opener.
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cleveland, Ga
Hammock: Darien UL
Tarp: HG Cuben Hex
Insulation: WL SSUQ/HG TQ
Suspension: Dyna Whoopies
Did you have a 30* angle on your suspension? Too loose or tight of suspension can affect the comfort of your lay even with a 83% ridgeline.
"As a well spent day brings happy sleep, a well spent life brings happy death." -Da Vinci
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Hammock: DangerBird 72
Tarp: Kelty 12' for now
Insulation: UGQ Zeppelin 20°
Suspension: Whoopie Sling, DIY
Don't give up. I had the same experience, but discomfort was in my knees extending beyond their norm. I was about to take my first campout and decided I must sleep a week in the hammocks.
The first nights I woke up every time I changed position but managed with determination to stick it out. By the end of the week I'd become a convert and slept the whole Summer in hammocks.
After I learned that no way could I tumble out in sleep, and my knees adjusted to the hyper-extension (not really hyper though, just beyond usual). Later when I'd made a 11' tablecloth hammock did I learn that I could side-sleep in comfort, even more so when I got my DangerBird 72.
There's adjusting to make but your body will adapt. Like posted earlier in this thread, 3 days was really all it took to get a good night's sleep. It's worth the dedication. Then don't give up exploring what works best for you. If you get something that doesn't work, you can post it For Sale and not take too harsh of a beating on the price. Or get some tableclothsfactory tablecloths and make your own to find out what you like.
You're already invested, now commit to a plan and go with it.