Struggling

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Re: Struggling

#16

Post by Idaho Hanger » Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:54 pm

I switched to hammocks because my back always hurt after using a pad. I sleep far better in the hammock, but I still wake up every night. There's wind, rain, animals making noise, the call of nature....

There's also the psychological difference of a hammock if you've been a tent camper. Despite the fact that you're protected from bugs and weather, you're far more exposed than in a tent. A tent feels like you're indoors. I never felt like I was in danger but there's some primal part of your brain that doesn't want to sleep when you're exposed. We all want that great view to wake up to, but that great view is in opposition to a desire to sleep in a protected place.

There have been a lot of good suggestions; the only other one I could suggest is to try hanging your tarp close to the hammock to make it feel more enclosed. Even if you're not consciously bothered by the exposure, it might help.


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Re: Struggling

#17

Post by sarge » Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:37 pm

Idaho Hanger wrote:I switched to hammocks because my back always hurt after using a pad. I sleep far better in the hammock, but I still wake up every night. There's wind, rain, animals making noise, the call of nature....

There's also the psychological difference of a hammock if you've been a tent camper. Despite the fact that you're protected from bugs and weather, you're far more exposed than in a tent. A tent feels like you're indoors. I never felt like I was in danger but there's some primal part of your brain that doesn't want to sleep when you're exposed. We all want that great view to wake up to, but that great view is in opposition to a desire to sleep in a protected place.

There have been a lot of good suggestions; the only other one I could suggest is to try hanging your tarp close to the hammock to make it feel more enclosed. Even if you're not consciously bothered by the exposure, it might help.
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Re: Struggling

#18

Post by ADVStrom14 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:06 pm

Idaho Hanger wrote:There's also the psychological difference of a hammock if you've been a tent camper. Despite the fact that you're protected from bugs and weather, you're far more exposed than in a tent. A tent feels like you're indoors. I never felt like I was in danger but there's some primal part of your brain that doesn't want to sleep when you're exposed. We all want that great view to wake up to, but that great view is in opposition to a desire to sleep in a protected place.

There have been a lot of good suggestions; the only other one I could suggest is to try hanging your tarp close to the hammock to make it feel more enclosed. Even if you're not consciously bothered by the exposure, it might help.
I'm sure there is an element of truth in this. I will try that next time. I used my Eno winter tarp this trip for the first time and I liked the doors being cinched down. I felt like I had more privacy and I did feel less exposed. Although, at least consciously, this has not been a large concern before. Maybe it does weigh on me some subconsciously.
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Re: Struggling

#19

Post by BillyBob66 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:15 pm

Jes,
I feel your pain. But so far at least, I only feel it in my back yard. That is, with rare exceptions- a no sleep zone.

Since you seem to be pretty comfortable in a variety of hammocks, I suspect it is some psychological issue more than anything. Your mind ( not your body apparently) just refuses to accept this hanging in the air craziness, which is just a very unnatural thing for most of us, and it would not take much for us to fall. This may be keeping you on some sort of mental alert even if it is not obvious to you, and refuses to either allow you to stay asleep or maybe even get to sleep period. But I am no psychologist, so I can't say for sure obviously, it's just a guess. But I bet it is a pretty good guess. If you are on a thick, cushy pad when on the ground in a tent, do you sleep better then, at least until something uncomfortable wakes you? If so, then I highly suspect your mind is messing with you.

Though it turned into a fiasco ending with me sleeping on the ground, even on my first night ever in a hammock, with major altitude sickness at 10,000+ feet, and despite no trust in my hammock and fear of falling, I slept like a log until violent shivering woke me up at 0200 ( 24*F on the 1st of Sept 06). Laying in the netting of my HH, with the bottom opening and HHSS pad above me. I originally blamed the shivering on me not understanding the HHSS, but mostly it was inability to get inside my sleeping bag and hood and zipped up. All that thrashing around trying to get into the bag is what caused me to flip the hammock. But despite everything that went wrong, I slept deep for hours. After much dog cussing of HHs and HHSS and swearing off hammocks forever, after the next days hike we got into camp earlier with more time and daylight to figure out setup and for a friend to help me figure it all out. Though I don't remember exactly how, I also figured something out about the sleeping bag, either how to get into it or I used it as a quilt, don't remember. Whatever, I was toasty warm and slept with a profound depth, never matched on a previous camping trip and seldom matched at home, if ever. This continued for each night the rest of the trip, even the final night as cold winds blew under my little HH tarp and bounced my hammock around. ( the deafening noise of the tarp snapping and flapping in the wind kept me awake for quite a while, but when I finally passed out, next thing I knew the sun was shining bright about 0900, my hiking mates had to wake me up). I was hooked.

So that has so far been my experience on backpacking trips. One thing all of those nights have in common is me being very tired from carrying a pack and my over weight self 4 or 5 miles up and down some very steep climbs at high altitude where the air is very thin. Plus much less ambient noise than my back yard, and no place to bailout to. My subconscious could not be telling me "screw this you moron, go get in the bed with your wife", which is probably happening during backyard testing.

Contrast that to my average backyard experience: after laying there 3 or 4 hours, I am wide awake, I give up and go inside. This never improved over a period of years. And sense I live sort of out in the country, I am still always amazed at the noise I hear once I try to sleep in my yard. Cars on the roads 1/2 mile away, neighbor's car doors slamming or engines starting, dogs barking. Ear plugs really help with that, but having ear plugs in is no fun either. (but better than the noise)

And get this one: One 10*F night testing my Pea Pod, after establishing that I was going to be adequately warm, I gave up about 1 or 2 AM when I had to get up to pee, and I decided I would just go inside and try to sleep. But I check my watch and low and behold it is like 0500! So I just crawl back in and go back to sleep, until the sun comes up, go in and get coffee. Did you catch what happened there? I thought I was still awake at 0100, which turned out to be 0500, which means I must have been dreaming I was awake and couldn't sleep! These are the challenges of trying to sleep in my back yard when I am not even tired, and an easy bail out to my quiet bedroom is just a few steps away. Lack of fatigue and plenty of noise can give me mental issues where my mind refuses to let me sleep while hanging in the air.

But if your mind is messing with you, I don't know what to tell you except maybe to hike a bunch of miles up hill with a pack! That probably will help. I think once you get a few nights of long sleep behind you, you won't have near as much trouble in the future, just because your mind will accept hanging as somewhat normal.

As for positioning, can you not sleep on your left side, at least in fetal position, in your HH? I can do that with no problem either side in my HH, though it may need to be with my knees drawn up. In my JRB bridge hammocks, (and to a lessor degree in my WB bridge), when I sleep on either side (done with ease except can not sleep fetal position, except slightly, not much room for my knees), I can lean back into the side walls of the hammock. I love that!

Anyway, a whole bunch of us have trouble sleeping in a hammock, at least under certain circumstances, even if very comfy. Good luck!
Rom8:21the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption23..but..we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit.. groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body

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Re: Struggling

#20

Post by Scuba » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:28 am

Is your foot end higher than the head end? My sleeping comfort changed drastically once I realized that, for me, I need the foot end about 6-12 inches higher than the head end.
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Re: Struggling

#21

Post by ADVStrom14 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:00 pm

I agree about the phone thing. I usually bring a 26,800 mAh charging station but I still don't want to risk being without a phone. So I bought a white noise fan that Sarge had in his video - the 3-speed TravelOn. We will see how that works. I do usually sleep with my feet slightly higher than my head but I did notice that this time I wound up with them being higher than I wanted but I contribute that to a night of wiggling and sliding down some. We have a hang coming up in a couple weeks so hopefully if I don't have it figured out by then, I will have someone there that can help me. Thanks for the help and advice everyone!
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Re: Struggling

#22

Post by HammockMom » Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:17 pm

ADVStrom14-
Like you, I am a dedicate left side sleeper. I can sleep on my left side or on my back in my Hennessy. The changed environment may be a big part of your sleeping issue, as is being accustomed to "white noise." I use foam ear plugs to somewhat muffle night sounds. Sleeping outside usually means a night call to water a bush, a sort of need which rarely happens indoors. Maybe I am not sleeping as soundly outside. Give it more time to tweak things to your preferences. You may need to be warmer or cooler, change the sound levels, or, as you hint, get the right pillow. I tend to use two sections of a child's swim cuff. Find the type with a flat side and two that inflate, cut off the flat part, and use the "V" to just maintain the curvature of your neck. Leftover clothing or towel can make up a knee pillow, should you need one. I keep my inflatable pillow in a Tyvek stuff sack which gets softer with use and washing, so it can be rather cloth-like. My night things and Montbell down sweater are handily stored in this stuff sack which protects them by day and holds things together at night. Hammocking is as much a HYOH as hiking... Good luck!

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Re: Struggling

#23

Post by southernfire97 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:30 am

I know this is an older post, but I haven't been on in a while. My wife's issue was a combination of noise and being a side sleeper. We went with a small fan( don't recall the brand), ear plugs, pillows and a bridge hammock. Fixed her issues so far. Good luck and don't give up!

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Re: Struggling

#24

Post by BillyBob66 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:25 pm

southernfire97 wrote:I know this is an older post, but I haven't been on in a while. My wife's issue was a combination of noise and being a side sleeper. We went with a small fan( don't recall the brand), ear plugs, pillows and a bridge hammock. Fixed her issues so far. Good luck and don't give up!
Thanks for bumping this post. I wonder how Ms. Jess made out, did she ever get any sleep? Sure has been a disappointing winter so far for me, as I get a kick out of testing hammocks in the cold.
Rom8:21the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption23..but..we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit.. groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body

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Re: Struggling

#25

Post by ADVStrom14 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:47 pm

BillyBob66 wrote:
southernfire97 wrote:I know this is an older post, but I haven't been on in a while. My wife's issue was a combination of noise and being a side sleeper. We went with a small fan( don't recall the brand), ear plugs, pillows and a bridge hammock. Fixed her issues so far. Good luck and don't give up!
Thanks for bumping this post. I wonder how Ms. Jess made out, did she ever get any sleep? Sure has been a disappointing winter so far for me, as I get a kick out of testing hammocks in the cold.
Sorry for not checking back in!

I did manage to go get a pretty good night's sleep for 2 nights in a row. I won't say there weren't a couple responsibly enjoyed cocktails the first night to take the edge off but the second night was all on my own. It was down to 30* the first night but 45*ish the second night.

I have gone camping again a time or two since then and have slept pretty well both times since.

I agree with the disappointing winter. I have really enjoyed cold weather camping when I could get it but I am not looking forward to it getting hotter than it's already been. This has been a very mild winter for sure. I did manage to make it down to 24* one night which is the coldest I have been able to go so far. But it is a rare occasion that it gets much colder than that here in eastern NC.

I appreciate all the advice from everyone! I did get the ridgeline fan but I have not used it yet. I also used ear plugs which have not really helped and have presented their own set of issues. But I am hoping that I am "over the hump" so to speak and most nights from here on out will be good!
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. -E. B. White

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Re: Struggling

#26

Post by atoz » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:18 pm

Try benedryl, 50mg. Or melatonin.
Sleeping away from home is stressful but you can try a mild sleep aid.
I take stronger meds and still sleeping can be some what evasive at times.

If the hammock isn't comfrontable then go to ground.

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Re: Struggling

#27

Post by lambdahammock » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:25 pm

Practice sleeping in a hammock.

You're used to sleeping in a bed. You've done it you're whole life.

Then all of the sudden you try sleeping in a hammock. Of course it's going to be hard to sleep in it.

But there's a way out!

Practice sleeping in a hammock.

Last summer I would take daily naps in my hammock which I hung in my room.

Then when I went camping it was easy for me to sleep in the hammock.

Also I use ear plugs, I think that helps a lot too.

For more tips on sleeping in hammock look here: https://bestcampinghammockgear.com/how- ... k-properly

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Re: Struggling

#28

Post by Flynguy521 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:17 pm

I generally sleep better in the woods than I do at home, but I too hear everything when laying awake. Each noise leads to a different thought and I strain to hear engaging my mind even more and not letting it shut down. I have to push thoughts out of my mind to clear it so I can fall asleep. It is a conscious effort, but it works. I focus on one sound, the crickets, the frogs, what have you and focus on that. Also, staying up way too late around the campfire helps knock me out like a baby.
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Re: Struggling

#29

Post by UncleMJM » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:54 pm

I love to get out, especially for multi night hangs. The first night is pretty good, although I too hear most of the sounds. The second night always seems better for me and nights three, four and beyond are the best.

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Re: RE: Re: Struggling

#30

Post by ADVStrom14 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:48 pm

UncleMJM wrote:I love to get out, especially for multi night hangs. The first night is pretty good, although I too hear most of the sounds. The second night always seems better for me and nights three, four and beyond are the best.
I have noticed this too. First night sucks, 2nd night better and by the 3rd night I have been able to knock off pretty good. Hiking helps. :)

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