Therapeutic touch and music improve sleep during menopause | Image Credit: © netrun78 - © netrun78 - stock.adobe.com.
Listening to music and receiving therapeutic touch may help women sleep better during menopause, according to a recent study published in Menopause, the journal of The Menopause Society.1
- Music and therapeutic touch may improve sleep quality for menopausal women, as suggested by a recent study in the journal Menopause.
- Sleep problems are common among menopausal women, including difficulty sleeping, hot flashes, night sweats, and more.
- Complementary and alternative medicine methods like therapeutic touch and music have gained popularity for managing menopause symptoms.
- Music has a history of promoting relaxation and releasing endorphins, which can help reduce anxiety, pain, and stress.
- The study found that both therapeutic touch and music had a positive impact on sleep quality, menopause symptoms, and overall quality of life in the participants, but further research with larger sample sizes is needed to confirm their effectiveness.
Approximately 40% to 60% of menopausal women report sleep problems, such as difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations, fatigue, irritability, and weight gain.
While hormone and nonhormone pharmacologic solutions are available, more women have used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to manage menopause symptoms in recent years. These include biofeedback, yoga, reflexology, relaxation techniques, hypnosis, acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal products, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and mindfulness-based stress reduction.
Two methods of CAM therapy which have seen significant growth in popularity include therapeutic touch and music. Therapeutic touch directs and balances life energy in patients, reportedly removing blockages and increasing the flow of energy.
Throughout history, music has been used to heal ailments, with pleasant music leading the brain to release endorphins from the pituitary gland. This leads to reduced heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and catecholamine levels. Additionally, music redirects patients from negative stimuli to pleasant vibrations, lowering anxiety, pain, sadness, and stress.
Investigators conducted a study to evaluate the impact of therapeutic touch and music on sleep quality, menopause symptoms, and overall quality of life in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Pretest, posttest, and control groups were formed, with a total of 108 menopausal women included in the analysis.2
A Participant Information Form, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the Menopause Rating Scale, and the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Scale were used to gather information. In the therapeutic touch group, participants received the intervention once a week for 4 weeks. In the music group, participants listened to music for 30 minutes before bedtime every day for 4 weeks.
Significant differences in posttest scores were found in both intervention groups compared to the control group when adjusting the effect of pretest scores. Improved variables included sleep disturbances, sleep latency, and subjective sleep quality. Significant differences in the Menopause Rating Scale and Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Scale were also observed.
“This small study highlights some potential benefit of music and therapeutic touch for menopause symptoms,” said Stephanie Faubion, MD, MBA, medical director for The Menopause Society.1 “Although these therapies may be cost-effective and safe, additional study in larger numbers of women is needed to confirm their efficacy for menopause symptom management.”
- Combination of therapeutic touch and music key to a better night’s sleep during menopause. The Menopause Society. October 25, 2023. Accessed October 25, 2023.
- KeskinTöre F, Yağmur Y. The effects of therapeutic touch and music on sleep quality, menopausal symptoms, and quality of life in menopausal women. Menopause. 2023. doi:10.1097/GME.0000000000002269