Yoga has many health benefits as it relaxes and helps reduce stress, both of which impact on our hormones. Although previously it has been claimed to help with hot flashes and night sweats, a new study found it had no benefit there but could help with sleep issues.
This was the subject of a recent study by Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health and they found that taking a 12-week yoga class and practicing at home was linked to less insomnia.
“Many women suffer from insomnia during menopause, and it’s good to know that yoga may help them. 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.,” said lead author Katherine Newton, PhD, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute. Sadly she is right and hormone therapy means HRT and not bioidentical hormones which many women have found beneficial.
This study was looking to see whether three more “natural” approaches — yoga, exercise, or fish oil — might help ease these menopause symptoms but yoga was the only one they found effective.
The study assigned 249 healthy, previously sedentary women to do yoga, a moderate aerobic exercise program, or neither — and to take an omega-3 fatty acid supplement or a placebo.
Exercise seemed linked to slightly improved sleep and less insomnia and depression, and yoga also was linked to better sleep quality and less depression. The omega-3 supplement was not linked to any improvement in hot flashes, night sweats, sleep, or mood.