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Are Yoga And Aerobic Exercise Helping Women With Hot Flashes Sleep Better?

Update Date: Jan 26, 2017 08:50 AM EST

According to analyis of the previous study, yoga and aerobic exercise have been found that there was a small but statistically significant improvement in self-reported sleep quality and severity of insomnia experienced by midlife women.

However, these findings have been contradicted by a recent study who claims that yoga and aerobic exercise is not helping women with hot flashes sleep better.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle, sought to determine whether yoga and aerobic exercise have significant effects on objective sleep of late transition and postmenopausal women compared to the effects of the usual activity by the women. Furthermore, actigraphy measures were used to assess sleep quality objectively.

A randomized controlled trial was conducted by the researchers. A total of 186 midlife women participant in the study through the Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health (MsFLASH) network.

The women, between the ages of 42 years old and 62 years old, were randomly assigned into three groups. The first group was assigned to a 12-week yoga program while the second group was assigned to a 12-week aerobic exercise program. The third group followed their usual activity throughout the study. All the women participating in the study have reported to experience hot flashes during the night.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the results of the study showed that through objective measures using an actigraph, the 12-week yoga program and the 12-week aerobic exercise program have no significant effects on self-reported sleep quality or duration of sleep.

At the start of the study and after participating in their respective intervention groups, the researchers found that although the women had no problem falling asleep, all woman from all of the groups reported experiencing sleep disturbances. The analysis of the study showed that the women were waking up, on average, more than 50 minutes per night.

Even though sleep stability was seen in the yoga and aerobic exercise group, the researchers note that these activities still did not improve sleep quality in women suffering from hot flashes. But the implication of the study has the researchers suggesting that other kinds of interventions be developed or provided with women suffering from hot flashes to help them sleep better.

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