Stress Reduced When Sleeping on a New Mattress


A new study at Oklahoma State University shows improvements in sleep quality, back discomfort and stress symptoms when sleep on new beds. The findings are being published in the Winter 2009 Journal of Chiropractic Medicine with the title "Back Pain, Sleep Quality and Perceived Stress Following Introduction of New Bedding Systems."


Lead researcher Dr. Burt Jacobson also headed earlier groundbreaking research on the relationship between new mattresses, back pain, sleep quality and sleep efficiency. The first study was published in the Winter 2006 Journal of Chiropractic Medicine and featured in the March 2007 issue of Sleep Savvy.


In the studies, 59 healthy subjects recorded back discomfort and sleep quality upon waking for 28 consecutive days in their own beds and then for 28 consecutive days on a new mattress set. The earlier studies found that the comfort and support of the sleep surface is related to problems of sleep quality and efficiency. Specifically, Jacobson and associates found that replacing old mattresses with new, medium-firm mattresses reduced clinically diagnosed back pain, should pain, spine stiffness and positively affected sleep quality.


The new study, funded by the mattress industry's Better Sleep Council, went a step further and examined a set of stress-related factors, revealing that the improvements in sleep and back discomfort associated with sleeping on the new mattresses were paralleled by a significant decrease in stress.


The Study

The subjects were 30 women and 29 men with minor Musculoskeletal sleep-related pain and compromised sleep, but with no clinical history of disturbed sleep. They owned and slept on commercially made innerspring mattresses at least five years old. The average was 9.5 years.


The 28-day pre-test period required subjects to sleep in their own beds and to rate their sleep each morning to establish a base-line. The 28-day experimental phase began with the delivery and set up of the new bed sets, which were unlabeled and manufactured exclusively for this study. The mattresses were described as "medium-firm" with a "foam-encased bonnell spring unit, densified fiber pad, super soft foam, damask cover, semi-flex foundation and slick fiber." The new beds were the same size as the subjects' original beds. To provide the most natural sleep environment during both phase, they sleep in their own bedroom and with their personal linens and pillows.

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