Women's Health

Yoga Helps Menopausal Women Sleep

A new study finds that regular yoga practice may help normalize sleep patterns in women going through menopause.

For exclusive access to all our stories, including sequences, teacher tips, video classes, and more, join Outside+ today.

Insomnia is one of the most common complaints of women in menopause, and new research has found that yoga could be an effective way to help women get more sleep during this time of their lives.

The study, which was published in the journal Menopause, found that women who attended yoga classes experienced less insomnia than the control group of women who did not practice yoga. “Many women suffer from insomnia during menopause, and it’s good to know that yoga may help them,” Katherine M. Newton, PhD., a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle told Huffington Post.

Researchers asked the women to attend weekly 90-minute yoga classes for 12 weeks as well as maintain a daily home practice. The yoga sessions included 11-13 poses, deep relaxation, and Yoga Nidra. A total of 249 healthy women with an average age of 57 participated in the study.

While the results were promising as an intervention for insomnia, yoga did not have a statistically significant benefit for hot flashes or night sweats, two other problems that plague menopausal women. There was also little difference in the perceived severity of night sweats and hot flashes or anxiety and depression. For more information, check out the study’s abstract here.

The study adds to research that proves yoga is beneficial for people who have trouble sleeping; another recent study showed yoga was also helpful for cancer survivors with sleep issues.