Although menopause is a natural transition that happens to all women, the symptoms that go along with it—including hot flashes, depression, low energy, and lack of sleep—are often an unpleasant side effect. Now, a new report published online in the journal Menopause may offer a surprisingly simple way to find relief.
Based on a small study overseen by the Meiji Yasuda Life Foundation of Health and Welfare in Japan, researchers believe just 10 minutes a day of light stretching exercises (such as yoga) may help ease menopausal symptoms as well as depression in middle-aged women.
For the study, 20 women were asked to do a series of stretches for about 10 minutes before going to sleep at night, while the other 20 women remained inactive. Both physical and emotional symptoms were evaluated using a series of survey questions, and after three weeks researchers analyzed the results.
Overall, the women who stretched before bed each night were better off than those who did not, with “significantly decreased” menopausal and depressive symptoms compared to the non-stretching group. Additional research still may be necessary to confirm the link between regular stretching and improved menopause symptoms, but the initial results are promising.