Poor sleep may worsen
high-altitude sickness symptoms
Though there is opposing evidence on a link between periodic breathing and AMS, symptoms are often worse in the morning due to decreases in oxygen saturation levels during sleep1. Drops in oxygen levels caused by periodic breathing may further put you at risk of experiencing symptoms.
Poor sleep at altitude can easily be attributed to a great number of factors from travel anxiety or excitement to sleeping in a different bed, or a new environment in general. However many people do not realize that troubled sleep may be caused by altitude-induced periodic breathing, which is a disruption of the typical breathing pattern.
Based on a recent pilot study, use of the Altimate™ high-altitude sleep mask was shown to improve periodic breathing and reduce high altitude headache, the most common symptom of AMS3.
Poor sleep is common at high altitude2
1Burgess KR, Johnson P, Edwards N, et al. Acute mounain sickness is associated with sleep desaturation at high altitude. Respirology 2004;9:485-92.
2Sanchez O and Attarian HP. Central Sleep Apnea Due to High-Altitude Periodic Breathing. Medlink 1999.
3Patrician A, et al. (2019). The Effect of an Expiratory Resistance Mask with Dead Space on Sleep, Acute Mountain Sickness, Cognition, and Ventilatory Acclimatization in Normobaric Hypoxia. High Alt Med Biol EPub ahead of print.