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STUDY OBJECTIVES: To determine effects of yoga and aerobic exercise compared with usual activity on objective assessments of sleep in midlife women. METHODS: Secondary analyses of a randomized controlled trial in the Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health (MsFLASH) network conducted among 186 late transition and postmenopausal women aged 40-62 y with hot flashes. Women were randomized to 12 w of yoga, supervised aerobic exercise, or usual activity. The mean and coefficient of variation (CV) of change in actigraph sleep measures from each intervention group were compared to the usual activity group using linear regression models. RESULTS: Baseline values of the primary sleep measures for the entire sample were mean total sleep time (TST) = 407.5 +/- 56.7 min; mean wake after sleep onset (WASO) = 54.6 +/- 21.8 min; mean CV for WASO = 37.7 +/- 18.7 and mean CV for number of long awakenings > 5 min = 81.5 +/- 46.9. Changes in the actigraphic sleep outcomes from baseline to weeks 11-12 were small, and none differed between groups. In an exploratory analysis, women with baseline Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index higher than 8 had significantly reduced TST-CV following yoga compared with usual activity. CONCLUSIONS: This study adds to the currently scant literature on objective sleep outcomes from yoga and aerobic exercise interventions for this population. Although small effects on self-reported sleep quality were previously reported, the interventions had no statistically significant effects on actigraph measures, except for potentially improved sleep stability with yoga in women with poor self-reported sleep quality.

OBJECTIVE: To describe self-reported menopausal symptom priorities and their association with demographics and other symptoms among participants in an intervention trial for vasomotor symptoms (VMS). METHODS: Cross-sectional study embedded in the MsFLASH 02 trial, a three-by-two factorial design of yoga vs. exercise vs. usual activity and omega-3-fatty acid vs. placebo. At baseline, women (n = 354) completed hot flush diaries, a card sort task to prioritize symptoms they would most like to alleviate, and standardized questionnaires. RESULTS: The most common symptom priorities were: VMS (n = 322), sleep (n = 191), concentration (n = 140), and fatigue (n = 116). In multivariate models, women who chose VMS as their top priority symptom (n = 210) reported significantly greater VMS severity (p = 0.004) and never smoking (p = 0.012), and women who chose sleep as their top priority symptom (n = 100) were more educated (p </= 0.001) and had worse sleep quality (p < 0.001). ROC curves identified sleep scale scores that were highly predictive of ranking sleep as a top priority symptom. CONCLUSIONS: Among women entering an intervention trial for VMS and with relatively low prevalence of depression and anxiety, VMS was the priority symptom for treatment. A card sort may be a valid tool for quickly assessing symptom priorities in clinical practice and research.