Does Yoga Help Hot Flashes and Night Sweats?

October 14, 2013 2 min read

Need Sleep?

Practicing yoga may not help those menopausal hot flashes, but it might help women sleep better according to recent research.  Need Sleep? Often health practitioners tell us that  hormone therapy is the most effective treatment for the hot flashes and night sweats that cause problems for women during menopause. But hormones have also  been associated with risks like blood clots and heart attack, so many women want alternatives.

Some small studies have suggested that yoga can reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes -- possibly by calming nervous system activity. Even though many of us love yoga, unfortunately that was not the case in this latest trial, which randomly assigned 249 women to either take gentle yoga classes for 12 weeks, or stick with their usual activities. By the study's end, women in the yoga group were having fewer hot flashes each day -- but so were those in the comparison group. On the other hand, the yoga practitioners did seem to be sleeping better.

For the time being, there seems to be little sound evidence that yoga is helpful for hot flashes , however it they did discover that  yoga was very helpful for insomnia. That is actually very significant  because sleep problems are one of the most common reasons that women seek some kind of treatment as they go through menopause. "If insomnia is bothering you, it seems that gentle yoga, practiced regularly, may be of benefit to women with sleep issues. The study was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and recently published online in the journal Menopause. So ladies  if you need help with menopause symptoms especially insomnia and are interested in starting yoga  it might be something to try . Even if it doesn't cool your  hot flashes  there could be other gains, like reduced stress, better sleep and the health benefits of physical exercise.