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From Home Furnishing Business

Kingsdown Launches Sleep Research Center

By Home Furnishings Business in Bedding on May 2007 Bedding major Kingsdown Inc., Mebane, N.C., has set a June 1 opening for the Sleep to Live Research Center, an institute to study the importance, impact and development of healthful sleep.

Based in Joplin, Mo., the center will focus on how people sleep and scientific methods to improve sleep quality.

Dr. Robert Oexman has joined Kingsdown as vice president of strategic development and research to head the new facility. Most recently, Oexman served as vice president of marketing for Leggett & Platt Inc. He will direct the day-to-day operations and research.

David Scott, who also worked at Leggett & Platt, most recently serving as manager of controls and technologies, has been has joined the Sleep to Live Research Center as director of research. He will be responsible for analyzing the relationship between sleep products and sleep quality; develop new products based on the center€™s research.

€œOur extensive research during the past 15 years has demonstrated the enormous benefits of healthy sleep, as well as the serious consequences of sleep deprivation,€ said Eric Hinshaw, Kingsdown chairman and chief executive officer. €œWith our own sleep research center, we will study how the environment affects sleep, and as a company, we will be able to enhance the BodyDiagnostic€™s program and create new products that enhance sleep. We also will be able to better educate retailers and consumers about the importance of quality sleep.€

Oexman first became interested in sleep as a respiratory therapist working with adult sleep apnea patients in a Kansas City medical center in the 1980s, followed by post-graduate education in sleep disorder medicine at Stanford University.

€œSleep is my background and my love,€ Oexman says. €œThe new sleep center will not be a typical research and development facility focused on bedding materials and how they perform. Instead, we will concentrate on how people sleep. We will actually measure people€™s sleep and focus on how they interact with the environment in terms of the quantity and quality of sleep. Our research will focus on how changes in the sleep environment impact sleep.€

Hinshaw noted that Oexman€™s original research led to the development of Kingsdown€™s proprietary DormoDiagnostics system, recently relaunched as BodyDiagnostics, a patented computer technology that analyzes an individual€™s body structure for a personal profile of that person€™s specific bedding needs.

€œ(Oexman€™s) passion for studying and promoting healthy sleep will certainly lead to exciting future innovations,€ he said, adding that David Scott€™s math and engineering background will be critical to the sleep center€™s activities from an analysis standpoint. €œIn blazing new ground to measure healthy sleep, we must develop new testing methods, new equipment and new tools.€

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