Many women suffer from insomnia during menopause, besides experiencing symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain and acne.

Researchers found that taking a 12-week yoga class and practicing at home was linked to less insomnia. However, it was not associated with fewer or less bothersome hot flashes or night sweats.

"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, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute in the US.

The study tried to see whether three more "natural" approaches - yoga, exercise, or fish oil - might help ease menopause symptoms.

The study assigned 249 healthy, previously sedentary women at multiple sites, including Group Health, to do yoga, a moderate aerobic exercise programme, 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 - but these effects were not statistically significant.

The omega-3 supplement was not linked to any improvement in hot flashes, night sweats, sleep, or mood.

The study was published in journal Menopause.


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