Alexandria, Virginia-"A groundbreaking study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (Winter 2006) attributes significant improvements in back discomfort, sleep comfort, and quality to sleeping on a new mattress," says a 23 Jan press statement from the Virginia-based International Sleep Products Association (ISPA).
ISPA, together with the Better Sleep Councils (BSC) of the US and Canada, and the European Bedding Industries' Association (EBIA), agree that the study provides firm evidence of "the critical link between mattress quality and sleep quality, as well as the importance of regular mattress replacement," the statement continued.
"Research found that participants with high back pain reported 63 percent improvement in back discomfort at the end of the study," said Dr. Stacy Irvine, on behalf of BSC Canada, in ISPA's press release. "When you couple this with the fact that back pain affects eight out of 10 people, it's imperative for consumers to evaluate their mattress for optimum comfort and support on a regular basis."
The paper, "Subjective rating of perceived back pain, stiffness and sleep quality following introduction of medium-firm bedding systems," by researchers Bert Jacobson, Tia Wallace, and Hugh Gemmell of Oklahoma State University, compared sleep variables for 59 healthy individuals on their own mattresses (at least five years or older) and on new bedding systems.
Results revealed significant improvements-regardless of age and weight-in lower back discomfort, spine stiffness, and in quality, comfort and efficiency of sleep.
"Largely from this study we have found that new bedding systems provide immediate and sustained benefits in sleep," said Jacobson, in the ISPA statement. "… participants noted an increased improvement in sleep quality and efficiency and in the other targeted variables, all attributed to the new sleep surface."