Natural insomnia cure for menopause works better than placebo

Menopause News February 1st 2011

Isoflavones may be an insomnia cure for postmenopausal women

A study published this month in the international medical journal "Menopause" found that isoflavones (derived from soya) worked better than placebo in improving sleep quality in postmenopausal women with sleep problems (1).

Menopause and insomnia are thought to be linked and sleepless nights are one of the most frequent complaints of women in their middle years. But the authors of this study report that surprisingly little research has been done using objective measures of sleep quality - such as polysonography.

In this study women complaining of insomnia were randomised to receive either an isoflavone pill (containing 80mg of isoflavone and 60.8mg of genistein) or a placebo. The women taking isoflavones experienced more improvement in their sleep efficiency compared with those taking placebo - suggesting that this soya pill may be a good option for menopause and insomnia. This study combined both objective and subjective measurements of sleep.

There were only 19 women in each of the study arms, so it is difficult to draw firm conclusions. But the findings are promising and merit investigation in a larger study, to see if soya can really provide an effective treatment for insomnia.

And we need more research that assesses sleep patterns objectively in midlife and older women. With new measuring techniques these kinds of studies can now be done much more easily in women at home (2) - no need to go to a sleep laboratory which would surely guarantee a sleepless night!

A natural insomnia cure would be a huge boon for sleepless women - we need more research on this!


1) Hachul H. el al. Isoflavones decrease insomnia in postmenopause. Menopause 2011;18:178-84.

2) Sánchez-Ortuño et al. Home Is Where Sleep Is: An Ecological Approach to Test the Validity of Actigraphy for the Assessment of Insomnia. J Clin Sleep Med 2010;6:21-29.

Published February 1st 2011.

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