There has been a lot of research over the years into mattress quality and whether it relates to back pain.
A study done in 2009 by Jacobson, Boolani and Smith and published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine discussed changes in back pain, sleep quality and perceived stress after people changed their mattresses.
They found that those who replaced their old mattress and chose medium-firm mattresses reported that they felt their back pain had reduced by approximately 48% and that their sleep quality had improved by 55%. The study also showed that the increase in sleep quality and pain reduction was accompanied by a decrease in stress.
An ‘old’ sleeping surface for this study, was deemed to be a mattress over 9.5 years old. Previous studies also concluded that medium-firm mattresses positively affected sleep quality and that medium-firm mattresses can be recommended to ease nonspecific low back pain. Several studies have concluded that stress is highly related to poor sleep quality and that stress has been associated with insomnia and insufficient sleep.
We should not just assume from these studies that a ‘new’ mattress is a big stress reliever but it certainly seems that a new mattress can certainly help!
We spend more than half of our lives in bed so we need to take what we sleep on seriously!
Sealy, in partnership with the British Chiropractic Association found that more than half of us do not seek professional advice when choosing a mattress and that 40% of us spend less than half an hour choosing our mattresses..
Neil Robinson, Sealy’s sleep expert said: “The research indicates that people aren’t taking their sleep seriously, underestimating the impact of a mattress on their everyday lives and wellbeing. That’s why we’ve teamed up with the BCA to encourage people to seek professional guidance when choosing a new bed or mattress. There may be a misconception that “a mattress is a mattress” but this really isn’t the case – different products offer different benefits catered for individual sleep requirements – from zonal support to the materials used in production. That’s why we’ve developed our new Bed Selector App, to make the process clearer and easier for consumers. We hope our study, and the new application, encourage people to take more time to consider the model and features they opt for before making a commitment.”
The British Chiropractic Association recommend taking your time to choose a new mattress but also remind us of the advantages of lying on our side or our back and not on our front!
If you don’t just want to plump for a medium-firm mattress, and you want to get more information, Sealy has a new bed selector app: www.sealy.co.uk/bed-selector/. The app takes you through a series of question about your body, sleep habits and preferences, from support, comfort and profile to value, to identify the perfect bed. Advice on safeguarding back health when making that selection can be found on the BCA website http://bit.ly/posturebed.
Don’t forget though, that if you are lying there, not able to sleep – you can help yourselves by relaxing – a simple ‘self hypnosis’ trick is to lie on your back in a comfortable position; breathing using your abdomen. Close your eyes and think of the last thing you saw before you did so. Then focus on one thing you can hear. Then focus on one thing you can feel. Then go through the process again and again – this time thinking of two things you saw, heard and felt, then three – up to five things in each category. Breathe slowly and carefully while you do – then imagine that you feel well, comfortable, confident and calm…. I promise you that if you keep doing this regularly it WILL work … and of course a good mattress that is not sagging or bulging really does help!
If you need more advice on choosing beds or relaxation and back pain, do please call the clinic for a chat.