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Yoga nor aerobics helping menopausal women to sleep

A University of Washington study indicates that yoga and aerobic exercise interventions did not significantly reduce objectively measured sleep disturbances among midlife women who were experiencing hot flashes.

Secondary analyses of a randomised controlled trial show that neither 12 weeks of yoga nor 12 weeks of aerobic exercise had a statistically significant effect on objective measures of sleep duration or sleep quality recorded by actigraphy. Although the women had no difficulty falling asleep, disturbed sleep was common at baseline and remained after each intervention, with women in all groups waking during the night for an average of more than 50 minutes.

According to the authors, previously published analyses of the same trial had found that the yoga and aerobic exercise interventions were associated with small but statistically significant improvements in subjective, self-reported sleep quality and insomnia severity.

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

The authors analysed data from the Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health (MsFLASH) network. The study involved 186 late transition and post-menopausal women with hot flashes who were between 40 and 62 years of age. Study subjects had an average of 7.3 to 8 hot flashes per day. Participants were randomised to 12 weeks of yoga, supervised aerobic exercise, or usual activity.

Sleep measures were evaluated using wrist actigraphy, and bedtimes and rise times were determined primarily from the participants' sleep diaries. Mean sleep duration at baseline and after each intervention was less than the 7 or more hours of nightly sleep that is recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for optimal health in adults.

According to the authors, future research should explore other approaches for improving sleep quality in midlife women, such as cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia.

Abstract
Study objectives: To determine effects of yoga and aerobic exercise compared with usual activity on objective assessments of sleep in midlife women.
Methods: Secondary analyses of a randomized controlled trial in the Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health (MsFLASH) network conducted among 186 late transition and postmenopausal women aged 40-62 y with hot flashes. Women were randomized to 12 w of yoga, supervised aerobic exercise, or usual activity. The mean and coefficient of variation (CV) of change in actigraph sleep measures from each intervention group were compared to the usual activity group using linear regression models.
Results: Baseline values of the primary sleep measures for the entire sample were mean total sleep time (TST) = 407.5 ± 56.7 min; mean wake after sleep onset (WASO) = 54.6 ± 21.8 min; mean CV for WASO = 37.7 ± 18.7 and mean CV for number of long awakenings > 5 min = 81.5 ± 46.9. Changes in the actigraphic sleep outcomes from baseline to weeks 11-12 were small, and none differed between groups. In an exploratory analysis, women with baseline Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index higher than 8 had significantly reduced TST-CV following yoga compared with usual activity.
Conclusions: This study adds to the currently scant literature on objective sleep outcomes from yoga and aerobic exercise interventions for this population. Although small effects on self-reported sleep quality were previously reported, the interventions had no statistically significant effects on actigraph measures, except for potentially improved sleep stability with yoga in women with poor self-reported sleep quality.

Authors
Buchanan DT, Landis CA, Hohensee C, Guthrie KA, Otte JL, Paudel M, Anderson GL, Caan B, Freeman EW, Joffe H, LaCroix AZ, Newton KM, Reed SD, Ensrud KE

[link url="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170123162409.htm"]American Academy of Sleep Medicine material[/link]
[link url="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27707450"]Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine abstract[/link]

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