The leisure of sleeping in a hammock with its soothing, swaying motion has been enjoyed by people for many years. It is believed that the hammock dates back some 1,000 years to Central America, where the Mayan Indians used hammock made from barks of trees. The earliest hammocks were woven from the bark of the Hamak tree. This was later replaced with the fibres of the Sisal plant because it was more abundant.
The main idea behind using a hammock was the fact that since it was suspended using ropes, slightly above the ground, it provided protection against snakes, rodents and other poisonous creatures. It was also used to ward off insects so as to enjoy peaceful sleep.
Hammocks were introduced to the Europeans by Christopher Columbus in 1492. He noticed natives of the Bahamas enjoying their afternoon siesta in hammocks. He brought some hammocks back to Europe. Hammocks soon captured the interest of European sailors who found the hammocks very useful and practical for sleeping at sea. Colonists started using hammocks in many parts of what is now Latin America. They preferred hammocks to the stationary beds owing to the health benefits they offered. They loved to take a nap while enjoying the hammock’s soothing motion.
The spread in usage of hammocks continued and by the mid-16th century, the English and Spanish natives also adopted hammocks as their on-deck sleeping accessory.