The practice of yoga has been proven to have positive effects on reducing insomnia. Studies have also shown its effects on reducing climacteric symptoms. To date, however, no studies that evaluate the effects of yoga on postmenopausal women with a diagnosis of insomnia in a randomized clinical trial have been conducted. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of yoga practice on the physical and mental health and climacteric symptoms of postmenopausal women with a diagnosis of insomnia.
Postmenopausal women not undergoing hormone therapy, who were 50 to 65 years old, who had an apnea-hypopnea index less than 15, and who had a diagnosis of insomnia were randomly assigned to one of three groups, as follows: control, passive stretching, and yoga. Questionnaires were administered before and 4 months after the intervention to evaluate quality of life, anxiety and depression symptoms, climacteric symptoms, insomnia severity, daytime sleepiness, and stress. The volunteers also underwent polysomnography. The study lasted 4 months.
There were 44 volunteers at the end of the study. When compared with the control group, the yoga group had significantly lower posttreatment scores for climacteric symptoms and insomnia severity and higher scores for quality of life and resistance phase of stress. The reduction in insomnia severity in the yoga group was significantly higher than that in the control and passive-stretching groups.
This study showed that a specific sequence of yoga might be effective in reducing insomnia and menopausal symptoms as well as improving quality of life in postmenopausal women with insomnia.