Researchers at the Pittsburgh site of the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) focused on women with hot flashes or night sweats and also drew the distinction between leisure time and household activity.
The 27 white and 25 African American women in the study, who were 54 to 63 years old, kept diaries rating their sleep and wore sleep monitors.
They also completed questionnaires about their physical activity, including routine household and care giving chores requiring light, moderate, or vigorous effort as well as sports and exercise.
The results showed that the women who had higher levels of activity reported better sleep and fewer nighttime awakenings.
The positive effects were mainly associated with household and care giving activity rather than sports or exercise.
The study was published online in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society.