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Yoga Improves Sleep, Insomnia in Menopausal Women

Update Date: Sep 30, 2013 06:09 PM EDT

Yoga may help prevent insomnia in menopausal women, according to a new study.

New research reveals that menopausal women who took a 12-week yoga class experienced less insomnia. However, yoga did not help prevent hot flashes or night sweats, according to researchers.

"Many women suffer from insomnia during menopause, and it's good to know that yoga may help them," lead author Katherine Newton, PhD, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute, said in a news release.

"Hormone therapy is the only Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment for hot flashes and night sweats and fewer women are opting for hormone therapy these days," Newton added.

Newton and her team wanted to see whether more "natural" therapies like yoga, exercise and fish oils can help ease troubling menopausal symptoms.

The latest study involved 249 healthy, previously sedentary women. The women were assigned to do either yoga, moderate aerobic exercise or to take omega-3 fatty acid supplements or placebos.

The findings revealed that exercise and yoga improved sleep and insomnia and depression symptoms. However, omega-3 supplements did not improve hot flashes, night sweats, sleep or mood.

The findings are published in the journal Menopause

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