How Brazilians lie in hammocks
The most important thing is to arrange the hammock's suspension loops at head height, and only some 3m distant from each other, thereby allowing the hammock to hang down in a deep arc. This then allows a diagonal lying position, like a real Brazilian ("from corner to corner"), and not straight. This keeps the back straight and is the secret of being able to lie comfortably and relaxed for hours on end in a hammock. As wobbly wooden cross-pieces are intentionally not used, one lies securely and without fear of falling out!
In Brazil, hammocks are still used as beds, as they always have been. This is the reason that they are as wide and comfortable as a bed! Even if you are only going to use your hammock for relaxation, you should still try to adopt the Brazilian way of lying: Contrary to European ideas, hammocks are not hung taut.
How to make the most of your Hammock
You will soon learn how to use a hammock to get maximum comfort out of it. The beginner tends to lie straight at first try, in the length of the fabric. This, however, bends the back and raises the legs. A diagonal lying position is widely spread and traditional, especially in Brazil.
The body opens the hammock and the back is surprisingly and agreeably straight.
Lying diagonally is only possible in a hammock without spreaders. The back remains straight and the whole body is relaxed.
Lying across a hammock is particularly comfortable in a Mexican hammock, since it stretches very easily.
Lying length-wise will keep sun, wind and insects away from you, but it is not nearly as comfortable as lying diagonally or across a hammock.
Hammocks without spreader bars are hung so that they sag way down. The hanging loops of the hammocks are fastened at approx. head height and about 3 m apart.
Hammocks are fastened using ropes (tree / beam) or hooks (wall or ceiling for hanging chairs). If trees or walls are further apart, the hammocks can be extended by ropes or chains. The suspension point then needs to be selected somewhat higher.