Alexandria, Virginia - Researchers at Oklahoma State University have established that sleeping on a new mattress improves sleep quality. Not only do sleepers get better comfort, but back pain, stiffness and shoulder pain is reduced on a new mattress, compared to mattresses five years or older, the study concludes.
According to the work, to be published in the Journal of Applied Ergonomics in March those initial benefits improved over time, regardless of participant age, weight, height or body mass index.
The paper, on "Grouped comparisons of sleep quality for new and personal bedding systems," provides "solid scientific evidence of the critical link between health and sleep benefits and mattress quality," said a 29 Feb statement from the International Sleep Products Association.
This work emphasises the importance of people regularly assessing their mattresses. Improvements reported by participants by percentage included reduced back pain (63 percent), shoulder pain (62 percent), and back stiffness (58 percent) and improved sleep quality (64 percent) and sleep comfort (70 percent).
"Our work showed that new mattresses have a considerable impact on reduced back pain and improved sleep quality, among other benefits," commented Bert Jacobson, EdD, and lead researcher at Oklahoma State University, in the ISPA statement. "Based on our research, there's no question that a new mattress can sustain these benefits for just about anyone, regardless of age, weight or gender."
This study is a fresh analysis of findings from a control group of 59 healthy participants who contrasted their sleep on their own mattresses (at least five years old) to that on a new bedding system. The first study was published in 2006 in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine.
Back pain was more prominent in participants sleeping on the cheapest beds than those sleeping on moderately or higher priced beds, the study also established.