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How to Sleep in a Hammock

Updated on February 21, 2012

There is one thing that most people do not realize when they are traveling in central and South American countries. That is how prolific hammocks are in the culture. Not only do you see them in many homes but everywhere you go they are for sale in marketplaces, street vendors, and even on the road. An evening on the beach or along a nice breeze way are perfect spots to relax in one of these hammocks. The next question when a traveler encounters one of these traditional Mayan hammocks is how to you choose the right one, sleep in it, and then get out?

All the hammocks that are made today in these small villages are still mostly completed by hand. They are made of cotton or nylon with a thread measurement that vary depending on the thickness of the hammock. The higher the amount of thread that is each hammock the closer they are together and the softer it becomes. They come in various sizes made to accommodate a wide variety of sizes and shapes of body styles. The larger the hammock the more comfortable it is, but also the best chance of getting a perfect night’s sleep.

Most people are used to sleep on the flat surface of a bed. But, in a hammock you are being naturally supported as the hammock conforms to your body. Here are three steps to enjoy a great night’s sleep in your Mayan hammock.

Mayan hammock.

1. Always make sure that the hook you are attaching it to a tree, pole, pieces of wood, or any other object is solid. If it is loose it would be quite a wakeup call if you hit the ground.

2. At the ends of each hammock you can specify the tension that you would like to have the hammock sit at. So, either a more relaxed fit on the hammock or a firmer base on the hammock. But, you also want it tight enough that it does not slide down the tree.

3. Now the real secret to sleeping well in a hammock is to sleep at an angle. If you sleep in a diagonally position you will feel more comfortable going to sleep because your body will be laying flatter. You can even change positions but as long as you are sleeping diagonally then you are going to be solid on the hammock. The hammock will still conform to your body and give you plenty of support.

Of course, after your wonderful and refreshing night’s sleep how to plan on getting out? Well there is a little secret to that too.

1. Swing both legs together and sideways out of the hammock.

2. Grab the ends of the hammock where the ropes meet the weave.

3. Then pull yourself upright

Or if you are like me and relatively tall there is another way.

1. Swing your legs over either end of the hammock

2. Now grab the ropes and pull yourself out on either side.

So, now you know all about how to pick sleep and get out of a hammock. So you can enjoy a great nights sleep under the stars and listing to the exotic bird calls. Or, if you are by the beach listing to the thunderous sounds of waves as they crash on the shore. Both way enjoy it and don’t forget to bring one home.


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  • FRANK sr profile image

    FRANK sr 5 years ago

    Surely we need to observe the rituals of other country's, before we agree to travel there.

    Meeting new cultures and their tastes are the culenary treasures in life.