Effects of yoga and aerobic exercise on actigraphic sleep parameters in menopausal women with hot flashes

Diana Taibi Buchanan, Carol A. Landis, Chancellor Hohensee, Katherine A. Guthrie, Julie L. Otte, Misti Paude, Garnet L. Anderson, Bette Caan, Ellen W. Freeman, Hadine Joffe, Andrea Z. LaCroix, Katherine M. Newton, Susan D. Reed, Kristine E. Ensrud

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32 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: To determine effects of yoga and aerobic exercise compared with usual activity on objective assessments of sleep in midlife women. Methods: Secondary analyses of a randomized controlled trial in the Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health (MsFLASH) network conducted among 186 late transition and postmenopausal women aged 40-62 y with hot flashes. Women were randomized to 12 w of yoga, supervised aerobic exercise, or usual activity. The mean and coefficient of variation (CV) of change in actigraph sleep measures from each intervention group were compared to the usual activity group using linear regression models. Results: Baseline values of the primary sleep measures for the entire sample were mean total sleep time (TST) = 407.5 ± 56.7 min; mean wake after sleep onset (WASO) = 54.6 ± 21.8 min; mean CV for WASO = 37.7 ± 18.7 and mean CV for number of long awakenings > 5 min = 81.5 ± 46.9. Changes in the actigraphic sleep outcomes from baseline to weeks 11-12 were small, and none differed between groups. In an exploratory analysis, women with baseline Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index higher than 8 had significantly reduced TST-CV following yoga compared with usual activity. Conclusions: This study adds to the currently scant literature on objective sleep outcomes from yoga and aerobic exercise interventions for this population. Although small effects on self-reported sleep quality were previously reported, the interventions had no statistically significant effects on actigraph measures, except for potentially improved sleep stability with yoga in women with poor self-reported sleep quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health as a cooperative agreement issued by the National Institute on Aging, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Office of Research on Women's Health, and grants U01AG032656, U01AG032659, U01AG032669, U01AG032682, U01AG032699, and U01AG032700 from the National Institute on Aging. At Indiana University, the project was partly funded by the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, grant UL1RR02571 from the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Research Resources, and Clinical and Translational Sciences Award. Diana Taibi Buchanan, Carol A. Landis, Katherine A. Guthrie, Julie L. Otte, Garnet L. Anderson, and Andrea Z. LaCroix received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) during the conduction of the study. Ellen W. Freeman has received research support from Forest Laboratories Inc. Hadine Joffe has received grant support from Merck and Cephalon/Teva and is a consultant for Noven, Merck, and Mitsubishi Tanabe, and has done consulting for Sunovion.


  • Actigraphy
  • Exercise
  • Insomnia symptoms
  • Menopause
  • Variability
  • Vasomotor symptoms
  • Yoga


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