Do you have trouble sleeping at altitude? If you do you are not alone. According to altitude physiology experts most people have difficulty sleeping in our thin mountain air. The reason is simple - oxygen levels in most Colorado ski areas are about 30% lower than at sea level. And that lack of oxygen triggers an unstable breathing pattern during sleep as the body struggles to restore normal oxygen levels. These breathing patterns – deep breaths followed by 5-15 second pauses in breathing occur even in healthy people at altitudes above 6,000 feet and disrupt sleep even for people who sleep well at sea level. Altitude-induced insomnia is different than altitude sickness and may not improve even with long term acclimatization. Unfortunately this can be a long term problem that makes mountain living miserable.
The answer might be simple: oxygenation. A series of studies show that altitude related insomnia responds well to oxygen. Adding oxygen to your bedroom can create the same oxygen levels found at sea level and eliminate the cause of high altitude insomnia. Sophisticated room oxygenation systems are now available for high altitude homeowners from a company in Colorado that has been in the altitude simulation business for 20 years. Altitude Control Technologies provides altitude simulation systems to thousands of customers including Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic, Naval Air Systems Command, the FAA, and the Smithsonian. Their newest product creates an oxygen level similar to sea level even in Colorado’s mountains.
The company is advised by a renowned group of science advisors comprised of leaders in the field of altitude physiology from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the University of California School of Medicine, the Institute for Altitude Medicine, and William and Mary’s Altitude Research Center.
The oxygenation system consists of a molecular sieve that extracts oxygen from the air, concentrates it and delivers it to your bedroom. Sensors in the bedroom measure oxygen, barometric pressure and air quality. A high tech controller regulates proper oxygen levels, fresh air ventilation, fire safety (the system meets National Fire Protection Association standards for safe oxygen levels), and provides automatic operation. The system restores normal oxygen levels and simulates a lower altitude in your bedroom that is the equivalent of descending about 7,000 feet. It can make all the difference when it comes to sleeping. There is no noisy mechanical equipment in the bedroom and there are no uncomfortable breathing masks or tangled plastic tubes to tie you down. The entire room is oxygenated giving you freedom of movement and a comfortable quiet sleeping environment. The system meets CDC standards for safe oxygen and OSHA standards for air quality. The system is usually installed in about two days.