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In a study funded by NIH, researchers assigned 249 healthy, previously sedentary women to one of three groups: those who would practice yoga, those who would take up a moderate aerobic exercise program, and those who would not participate in either yoga or moderate exercise. In addition, all women took either an omega-3 fatty acid supplement or a placebo. The researchers looked at the effect each practice had on insomnia, hot flashes, and night sweats.

Katherine Newton, the lead author of the study, stated that the study was performed because “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.”

The results showed that exercise and yoga did not improve sleep quality and depression to a statistically significant extent, and the omega-3 supplement did not seem to improve any symptoms. However, there was a statistically significant reduction in insomnia in the women who took a 12-week, 90-minute yoga class and practiced yoga at home.

It was not clear from the two write-ups of the study that I read what kind of yoga these women practiced. I imagine this could play a role in the benefits received. Some types of yoga are much more rigorous than others. If you decide to try yoga to help your menopause-related symptoms, be sure to research the different types and choose one that is right for you.

What have you found to help you sleep? And do you have any remedies for other menopause symptoms? Please share in the comments.

Image of middle-aged woman in yoga pose

Image courtesy of Ambro, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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