Sleep disturbances and subsequent fatigue are some of the biggest issues for menopausal women, with previous research from 2016 finding that 76% of participants transitioning through menopause experienced fatigue. So for this study, researchers wanted to know which complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) techniques could help menopausal women get some shut eye.
They specifically wanted to look at two CAM methods: therapeutic touch and music. Therapeutic touch is described as a noninvasive intervention that directs and balances life energy within the patient, for reported benefits like accelerated natural healing and increased energy flow in the body.
Music, meanwhile, is believed in CAM to release endorphins, lower heart and respiratory rate, lower blood pressure, and reduce pain, anxiety, sadness, and stress.
But would they help menopausal women sleep? To find out, the researchers split over 100 menopausal women into three groups: one control group, one group who received therapeutic touch once a week for four weeks, and one group who listened to music for half an hour every night before bed.
Following the four weeks, both music and therapeutic touch were found to significantly improve sleep quality, as well as improve menopause symptoms and menopause-specific quality of life overall, compared to the control group.