To Swing or Not to Swing

When we decided to relocate from Texas to Oregon we began taking a closer look at all of our stuff. Since it is expensive to move we decided we would take only the essentials. For the past few months we have had to review important questions like:
“Do we need 57 DVDs when everything can be streamed online?”
“How did two people who never cooked five years ago acquire 14 whisks?”
“What is the least expensive way to get our king-sized bed to the pacific northwest?”

Early on in the relationship we learned we were incapable of sharing anything but the largest bed on the market. Despite being 5 feet tall and weighing in at a fierce 112 lbs, I am what some would call “a sprawler.” Putting me in a bed is the same as putting something under a magnifying glass. Beds are bewitched to stretch my limbs beyond the confines of my small frame until I have Amazonian reach. No edge is beyond my grasp! No one is safe from my cuddle! My partner is a tosser-turner. A master of tangling sheets and relocating pillows. We also share that problem that all bed-sharing couples encounter – he is too hot and she is too cold – making for a sleep-encumbered cat and mouse chase around the bed every night. Transitioning to a smaller bed was out of the question. Yet the muscle, cost and headache of moving our king-sized bed to a home up north that might not even fit it seemed foolish.

I was searching for ideas when I stumbled across an NPR story about the sleep benefits of sleeping in hammocks. Hammocks?! Yes. Hammocks. As I continued researching, I found countless blog posts devoted to educating the public about the benefits of hammock sleeping. As it turns out, it’s not as simple as buying any hammock, stringing it up and hopping in. There’s a logic to it. There are preferred hammock fabrics, hanging formulas, biomechanically beneficial sleeping angles and theories that proper hammock sleeping could actually make for a better night’s sleep than our bed.

I asked for a hammock for Christmas and surprisingly my husband got two. He had been against it from the first time I brought it up. Hammocks?! Like the kind you camp in?! But always the supportive adventurer, if I was going to try it, he would try it with me.

We strung the hammocks up over our bed (he was convinced he would fall out the first time he tossed around). That first night we lasted three hours. It was early January, we had not put any sort of insulating material beneath us and our backsides were shivering. The second night we put sleeping bags in them. He said his legs were numb after three hours and crawled into the bed. I made it the whole night. I woke up refreshed, comfortable, cocooned, and without any stiff joints like I did in our bed.

I like my hammock, but it feels limiting to the sprawler within. I think if we get a couple of two person hammocks and try those, it would fix my sprawling issue and give him more room for his legs.

If you are curious to try to do away with your bed and sleep in a hammock, here is some helpful info I found about hammock sleeping from folks who have done it more than two nights: