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Yoga, exercise do not aid sleep problems in menopausal women: Study

Research finds that exercise and yoga are not helpful in improving sleep for menopausal and perimenopausal women.

By
Amy Wallace
New research shows that aerobic exercise and yoga do not improve the quality of sleep for menopausal women. Photo by netjumps/PixaBay
New research shows that aerobic exercise and yoga do not improve the quality of sleep for menopausal women. Photo by netjumps/PixaBay

Jan. 23 (UPI) -- A new study has found that aerobic exercise and yoga do not play a role at reducing sleep disturbances in women going through menopause.

A report from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine analysed data from the Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health network. The study followed 186 late-transition and postmenopausal women age 40 to 62 who reported experiencing hot flashes.

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Researchers measured participants' sleep using wrist actigraphy and sleep diaries. Participants, separated into three groups, did 12 weeks of yoga, supervised aerobic exercise, or normal activity. The study participants reported an average of 7.3 to 8 hot flashes per day.

A previously published analysis of the same trial showed slight improvements in self-reported sleep quality and insomnia severity.

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The new study analysis showed that neither duration or form of exercise had a statistically significant effect on sleep duration or quality recorded by the actigraphy.

"Our primary findings were that the two study interventions had no significant effects on objective sleep outcomes in midlife women with hot flashes," Diana Taibi Buchanan, associate professor of Bio-Behavioral Nursing and Health Informatics at the University of Washington in Seattle and lead author of the study, said in a press release. "The main implication of this finding is that other behavior treatments with the potential for effectively improving sleep in this population should be examined."

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Researchers state that further study should examine other ways for improving the quality of sleep for perimenopausal and menopausal women like cognitive behavioral therapy.

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The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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