What Is Altitude Sickness and What To Do About It

Altitude sickness can make you feel bad during your time in the mountains. Most people will never reach peak oxygen saturation at high altitude. When the oxygen saturation in your blood drops, your muscles can’t work as hard causing fatigue. The blood vessels of your brain dilate, causing headache. Your body needs to work harder to extract the oxygen you need so you breathe faster. These impacts are compounded at night when the body’s oxygen saturation levels normally dip. Even healthy people experience unstable breathing patterns – deep breaths followed by five to fifteen second pauses – during sleep above 6,000 feet. It can take 12 to 24 hours for the symptoms of altitude sickness to begin. Many people take days or weeks to acclimatize, and even then, suffer from poor sleep at altitude.

The best cure for altitude sickness is to descend to lower altitude where more oxygen is present in the air. Oxygenating your bedroom with a system from Altitude Control Technologies simulates this descent, as if each night you return to near sea level to sleep, waking refreshed and ready to enjoy your mountain home. Six to eight hours of oxygen at night is enough to restore the body’s oxygen saturation to normal levels and interrupt the cycle of hypoxia (low oxygen) that causes mountain sickness.