Room oxygen enrichment improves sleep and subsequent day-time performance at high altitude
Andrew M. Luks, Harm van Melick, Rodolfo R. Batarse, Frank L. Powell, Igor Grant and John B. West Respiration Physiology Volume 113, Issue 3, 1 September 1998, Pages 247-258 Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0623, USA Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0680, USA White Mountain Research Station, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0689, USA
Accepted 17 August 1998.
We carried out a randomized, double-blind trial at 3800 m altitude to test whether a small degree of room oxygen enrichment at night improves sleep quality, and performance and well-being the following day. Eighteen sea-level residents drove from sea level to 3800 m in one day, and then slept one night in ambient air, and another night in 24% oxygen, the order being randomized.
With oxygen enrichment the subjects had fewer apneas (P<0.01) and spent less time in periodic breathing with apneas (P<0.01) than when they slept in ambient air. Subjective assessments of sleep quality were also significantly improved. There was a lower acute mountain sickness score during the morning after oxygen-enriched sleep (P<0.01) and a greater increase in arterial oxygen saturation from evening to morning (P<0.05). The larger increases in arterial oxygen saturation from evening to morning suggest that the control of breathing may have been altered.