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Self-Hypnosis for Sleep Disturbances in Menopausal Women

Otte JL1Carpenter JS1Roberts L2Elkins GR2.

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2020 Mar;29(3):461-463. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2020.8327.



Poor sleep is one of the most frequent health concerns among menopausal women. All stages of sleep can be impacted by the menopause transition. Negative outcomes of poor sleep are multidimensional and include poor physical, psychological, cognition, and social outcomes. Hypnosis is a nonpharmacological treatment for poor sleep and hot flashes in menopausal women. The goal of hypnosis is to educate and train subjects to perform self-hypnosis to alleviate the underlying symptom. The use of hypnosis as a treatment for poor sleep has shown benefits for both acute and chronic insomnia. Initial findings from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) Hypnosis Intervention for Sleep in Menopause: Examination of Optimal Dose and Method of Delivery randomized control trial of 90 women were presented. Results showed that program and treatment satisfaction were high in all groups, adherence to daily practice met or exceeded adherence benchmarks. There were significant reduction of poor sleep quality in all groups with a significant increase in minutes slept in all groups. The majority of women also showed clinical improvements of duration. There were clinically meaningful improvements in reducing the perception of poor sleep quality in 50%-77% of women across time. Overall, the use of self-hypnosis as a treatment program for sleep problems related to menopause was acceptable for women. Data further support that hypnosis is a promising technique to improve sleep in menopausal women with sleep and hot flashes. Further research is ongoing on self-hypnosis delivery and implementation into wider populations of women using clear definition and control groups.