Mattress Firmness and Sleep Quality
How Many People Suffer From Sleep Problems?
75% of people report that they experience sleep problems more than once per week. The average person sleeps 6.8 hours per night, which can result in symptoms of sleep deprivation, and which can have a negative effect on quality of life. Sleep deficiency is linked to an increased number of annual sick days, higher injury rates, overall loss of work productivity, and lower reported enjoyment of life.
Why is Good Quality Sleep Important?
Poor sleep quality can contribute to an increase in perceived stress, intensify existing levels of stress, and can exacerbate the effects of stress. Other effects include: anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.
Studies have also shown that stress can result in impaired and shortened sleep, sleep fragmentation, and possibly a reduction in the most restful stages of sleep. It’s a viscous cycle: poor sleep quality can cause stress, and increased stress can lead to poorer sleep quality.
Studies show that good sleep quality improves attitude, mood, and competence. High quality sleep supports optimal mental and emotional function.
Your Mattress and Sleep Quality: Medium-Firm is Best
Many studies have compared mattress comfort and support, and have determined that your mattress has a significant influence on your sleep quality. Although studies have shown that different mattresses result in lower back discomfort, pain, stiffness, and shoulder pain, the majority of scientific literature indicates that medium-firm mattresses serve to reduce low back pain more so than those that are either soft and very firm. For example, Dr. Hadler and Dr. Evans of Cook County Hospital, Chicago, concluded in a 2004 study that medium-firm mattresses served to reduce low back pain more so than firm mattresses.
Ironically, according to Dr. Howard Levy and Dr. William Hutton of Emory University’s Orthopaedics Department, 75% of orthopedic surgeons recommend firm or hard mattresses for the relief of back pain despite the lack of guidelines, and scientific evidence that suggests otherwise.
In 2009, Dr. Bert Jacobson, Dr. Doug Smith and Ali Boolani of Oklahoma State University conducted a study that tested the effect of new medium-firm mattresses on back pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress. They enrolled people that had been sleeping on the same mattress for at least 5 years and replaced their mattresses with new medium-firm mattresses.
After a few weeks, the subjects were surveyed and their new level of back pain, sleep quality and perceived stress levels were compared to baseline measurements taken before their mattresses were replaced.
The results of the study were consistent with previous research:
“Previous studies in agreement with the present data also concluded that medium-firm mattresses positively affected sleep quality and that medium-firm mattresses can be recommended to ease nonspecific low back pain.”
Science and a Novosbed Memory Foam Mattress
We base all Novosbed mattresses on solid science, like that summarized above. Novosbed mattresses are supportive, medium-firm, and are made of memory foam that conforms to your shape to distribute support like no other material can.
References: “Changes in back pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress after introduction of new bedding systems“. Bert H. Jacobson, Ali Boolani, and Doug B. Smith. J Chiropr Med. 2009 March; 8(1): 1–8.