Hot flashes? Active days bring better nights

Getting a good night's sleep isn't always easy for women at menopause. Exercise may help, but women can have a tough time carving out leisure time for it. The good news from a study published online today in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society, is that higher levels of routine daily physical activity may be the more important key to a better night's sleep for many women who have hot flashes or night sweats.

Although exercise is known to improve sleep for people in general, studies in haven't been conclusive. That's why the researchers at the Pittsburgh site of the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) focused exclusively on women with or night sweats and also drew the distinction between leisure time and household activity. The 27 white and 25 in the study, who were 54 to 63 years old, kept diaries rating their sleep and wore sleep monitors. They also completed questionnaires about their physical activity, including routine household and chores requiring light, moderate, or vigorous effort as well as sports and exercise.

The results showed that the women who had higher levels of activity reported better sleep and fewer nighttime awakenings. The positive effects were mainly associated with household and caregiving activity rather than sports or exercise.

But there were significant racial and body mass differences: The advantages were mainly in women who were white and not obese. More study needs to be done to find out why African American and may not get the same sleep benefits, but it will likely be important to distinguish between leisure and non-leisure time activity to do so, said the authors.

The study will be published in the September 2013 print edition of Menopause.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hot flashes can come back after SSRI

Oct 24, 2012

Hot flashes and night sweats can return after women stop using escitalopram—an antidepressant—to treat these menopause symptoms, according to a study published online this month in Menopause, the journal of the North ...

Recommended for you

High-calorie and low-nutrient foods in kids' TV

10 hours ago

Fruits and vegetables are often displayed in the popular Swedish children's TV show Bolibompa, but there are also plenty of high-sugar foods. A new study from the University of Gothenburg explores how food is portrayed in ...

Chemical companies shore up supplement science

10 hours ago

As evidence mounts showing the potential health benefits of probiotics, antioxidants and other nutritional compounds, more and more people are taking supplements. And the chemical industry is getting in on the action. But ...

More Americans in their golden years are going hungry

10 hours ago

In a country as wealthy as the United States, it may come as a surprise that one in 12 seniors do not have access to adequate food due to lack of money or other financial resources. They are food insecure.

User comments