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Report: Pillows can lead to pain

September 16, 2007|From Times Wire Services

Pillows that change the spine's natural curvature may lead to backache and restless sleep, a study in Japan found.

A pillow that's just 1 inch too high can reduce sleep quality by causing shoulder and back strain, a study of 22 women found, while a pillow that gives correct neck support can yield a more refreshing slumber, said Noriko Matsuura, a scientist at Tokyo's Research Institute on Sleep and Society.

Matsuura gave healthy women 50 to 59 years old a properly fitting pillow and one that was 1 inch too high, and tracked the quality of their sleep for two weeks. Those using an ill-fitting pillow were 2.8 times more likely to suffer back pain and 1.5 times more likely to experience tiredness than the women who slept on a pillow of correct height.

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