When you travel to areas with high elevation, it’s common to experience difficulty sleeping. Studies show that because there is less oxygen in the air at high altitudes, your body undergoes a series of adjustments known as acclimatization that can impact your ability to sleep. While these symptoms can have potential effects on many individuals, those who already suffer from sleep apnea may find them more difficult to adjust to.
If you do suffer from sleep apnea and are preparing to make a trip to higher elevations, you can address these potential problems head on by speaking with our sleep center team. We will make recommendations for how you can still get a restful and restorative night of sleep, potentially including:
- Packing and using your CPAP machine when traveling to locations that may worsen your symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and do not use CPAP, ask our team if the temporary use of CPAP or other interventions would be helpful during your trip.
- Drinking sufficient amounts of water throughout your visit. According to the Institute for Altitude Medicine, your body loses water through respiration at high altitude twice as fast as it does at sea level, and dehydration can interrupt your sleep patterns. Plan to consume much more water than you typically would in order to stay healthy.
- Selecting a sleeping altitude that is as low as possible, such as hotel rooms and/or bedrooms located on the ground floor, or even lower in elevation if possible.
- Considering medication if you have a history of severe altitude sickness.
Traveling to high-elevation destinations presents unique sleeping challenges to all of us, especially those diagnosed with sleep apnea. But, with proper advance planning, you can easily enjoy a restful and relaxing trip. Contact our Glen Burnie sleep apnea treatment office today for more helpful advice or to schedule a sleep apnea treatment consultation.