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Posted on by Amber Merton
The study, Back Pain, Sleep Quality, and Perceived Stress Following Introduction of New Bedding Systems, was conducted at Oklahoma State University and appeared in the Winter of 2009 Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. The study indicates that people experience less back pain and fewer stress symptoms when sleeping on a new mattress, noting that the best mattress for back pain is a new one.
What did the Study Find Specifically?
The study, conducted over the course of 28 days, discovered that among participants lower back pain reduced significantly over each of the four weeks the study tested, and that the improvement was consistent over the course of the study. Stress results were measured according to behavior as well as physical manifestation of stress, both of which improved notably among study participants.
Bed Times Magazine warns against putting too much stock in a new mattress as a miracle cure for all things stress-related. Stress comes from too many different aspects of daily life. It’s a much more complex issue than most people give it credit for being. That being said, however, choosing a mattress that allows you to get better quality sleep, like a latex mattress, can certainly help lower many stress triggers, and may even relieve some of the physical manifestations stress causes.
What Does this Study Mean for You?
The study was conducted on 59 healthy adults. Many of them complained of stress-related symptoms and discomfort associated with sleeping on their mattresses (the average mattress age people were sleeping on prior to the study was 9.5 years – all mattresses were more than five years old).
Upon switching to the new mattresses, 48 percent (nearly half) of participants reported less back pain, and 55 percent noted an increase in overall sleep quality. The test itself didn’t factor in things like ideal firmness in the new mattress, finding specific comfort zones, or dealing with environmental sleep distractions and interruptions. It was solely focused on changing the mattress.
Can you imagine the difference it will make if you regulate your bedroom temperature, choose the proper combination of firmness and support, and eliminate sleep distractions (such as televisions, tablet devices, laptops, mobile phones, and MP3 players) from your bedroom?
Important Considerations about the Study
One of the most important bits of information in this study is the fact that the average mattress age of the “Before” mattresses was 9.5 years. Most mattresses are not designed to last much longer than six or seven years.
|Innerspring Mattresses||5 to 7 years|
|Memory Foam Mattresses||4 (low density) to 10 (medium/high density) years|
|Air Bed Mattresses||9 years|
|Hybrid Latex Mattresses||20+ years|
|Pure 100% Natural Latex Mattresses||25+ years|
Unfortunately, the study didn’t reveal the types of mattresses used before or after the study was complete. It did, however, mention that all of the participants chose to keep the mattresses once the study concluded.
Stress is a condition that can kill. Small steps, like changing a mattress to reduce stress, really add up to help you improve your overall health. Make sure when you make the decision to purchase a new mattress that you’re buying one that will meet your needs now and well into the future.
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