Postmenopausal? This Quick Practice Can Help You Sleep, Research Reveals
The menopausal transition can come with its fair share of challenges, from temperature regulation issues to mood swings, to occasional trouble sleeping. But according to a new study, there's one act of self-care that postmenopausal women can do to show themselves some TLC and improve their sleep. Here's what to know.
Studying the link between foot massages and sleep.
For this study, published in the journal Menopause, researchers wanted to dig deeper into the realm of reflexology and massage. Namely, they were curious if foot massages could improve mood and sleep quality, which often take a hit during menopause.
They worked with a group of 70 Turkish women going through menopause, half of whom received a foot massage every day for one week, and half of whom did not (the control group). The researchers then asked the women to answer questions about their sleep and mood. And based on the findings, it would appear that foot massages can give you a leg up on menopause.
What the research found.
The findings of this study indicate that foot massages during menopause can not only help you sleep longer but also improve your mood.
Specifically, the women who had been receiving foot massages slept up to an hour more than those in the control group, and the study authors say the differences in sleepiness and anxiousness between the two groups were statistically significant.
As Stephanie Faubion, M.D., MBA, women's health clinician at the Mayo Clinic and medical director at the North American Menopause Society, explains in a news release, "This small study in Turkish women shows how a simple, inexpensive intervention such as foot massage can improve bothersome issues in postmenopausal women."
You don't have to go anywhere to apply this research in your own life—you can easily give yourself a reflexology foot massage or enlist a partner to help. As holistic reflexologist Laura Norman, M.S., LMT, previously wrote for mbg, reflexology can make a wonderful addition to any existing bedtime ritual. Check out her full foot reflexology routine for sleep here.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, as well as a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.