Nutritional interventions in treating menopause-related sleep disturbances: a systematic review

Dominik Polasek, Nayantara Santhi, Pam Alfonso-Miller, Ian Walshe, Crystal Haskell-Ramsay, Greg Elder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Abstract

Context
Sleep disturbances are a core symptom of menopause, which refers to the permanent cessation of menstrual periods. Nutritional interventions may alleviate menopause-related sleep disturbances, as studies have shown that certain interventions (eg, tart cherry juice, or tryptophan-rich foods) can improve relevant aspects of sleep.

Objective
The aim of this systematic review was to examine the effect of nutritional interventions for menopause-related sleep disturbances, in order to inform the subsequent development of specific interventional trials and assess their potential as a treatment for menopause-related sleep disturbances.

Data Sources
Published studies in English were located by searching PubMed and PsycArticles databases (until September 15, 2022).

Data Extraction
Following full-text review, a final total of 59 articles were included. The search protocol was performed in accordance with PRISMA guidelines.

Data Analysis
A total of 37 studies reported that a nutritional intervention improved some aspect of sleep, and 22 studies observed no benefit. Most (n = 24) studies recruited postmenopausal women, 18 recruited menopausal women, 3 recruited perimenopausal women, and 14 recruited women from multiple groups. The majority of the studies were of low methodological quality. Due to the heterogeneity of the studies, a narrative synthesis without meta-analysis is reported.

Conclusion
Despite the large heterogeneity in the studies and choice of intervention, the majority of the identified studies reported that a nutritional intervention did benefit sleep, and that it is mainly subjective sleep that is improved. More high-quality, adequately powered, randomized controlled trials of the identified nutritional interventions are necessary.

Systematic Review Registration
PROSPERO registration no. CRD42021262367.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbernuad113
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalNutrition Reviews
Early online date11 Sept 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Sept 2023

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