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Altitude Sleeplessness - Page 2

post #31 of 56
I'm not personally against all pharmaceuticals. I just don't believe in taking potentially harmful drugs that are pushed on the massives for non life threatening issues and especially for minor annoying issue like trying to sleep on vacation.

I now go to an Integrative Medicine doctor. She won't prescribe unless absolutely necessary and only after trying life style changes.

I arrived here after having major health issues as a result of taking a "safe" medication my old doctor had me on for 5 years (actually it was a few different meds) to control minor hbp. I wasn't even able to ski for a season because of it. I have lived it.

I now control my genetic HBP through diet, vitamins/ herbs and excercise. My diet is low sodium, low fat, low carbs, low sugar and I haven't had caffeine in 2 years. I still drink a glass ir 2 of beer or wine 4/5 days a week and I cheat on my diet about 2 meals a week. When I deviate from my program longer, my BP rises.
Edited by MattL - 11/12/15 at 7:59am
post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post

I'm not personally against all pharmaceuticals. I just don't believe in taking potentially harmful drugs that are pushed on the massives for non life threatening issues and especially for minor annoying issue like trying to sleep on vacation.

I now go to an Integrative Medicine doctor. She won't prescribe unless absolutely necessary and only after trying life style changes.

I arrived here after having major health issues as a result of taking a "safe" medication my old doctor had me on for 5 years (actually it was a few different meds) to control minor hbp. I wasn't even able to ski for a season because of it. I have lived it.

I now control my genetic HBP through diet, vitamins/ herbs and excercise. My diet is low sodium, low fat, low carbs, low sugar and I haven't had caffeine in 2 years. I still drink a glass ir 2 of beer or wine 4/5 days a week and I cheat on my diet about 2 meals a week. When I deviate from my program, my BP rises.


100% agree. Always try the conservative approaches first.  I am an osteopath and that was definitely embedded in us during our schooling. My rant really wasn't directed towards you and lets not even get started on how we are treating kids with attention problems!

post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_SSS View Post
 

Well you may have some truly unusual physical condition.  Or maybe the below.

 

 

Well, no. Diamox inhibition of thyroid has been known and understood as a primary effect since the 50's. It suppresses thyroid on everyone. Below are just a handful of the overwhelming proof of this fact:

 

http://jap.physiology.org/content/13/3/491

http://press.endocrine.org/doi/abs/10.1210/endo-110-1-121

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6133903

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4017632/

post #34 of 56

agreen and afterburn that is why I started my post with:

 

Well you may have some truly unusual physical condition

 

Was addressing normally healthy people but statement was over emphasized.  Should have left out "truly".

post #35 of 56

Got it.  Its not at all unusual though. About 25% of the population (IIRC) has a genetic predisposition toward it. I don't go to the extreme of HACE/HAPE cited earlier (so far as I know). But I can experience extreme sleeplessness and acute (migraine) headaches, and shortness of breath. That all SUCKS when you want to do nothing more than get out there and slide on snow (which generally requires a further altitude gain). 

post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post

I'm not personally against all pharmaceuticals. I just don't believe in taking potentially harmful drugs that are pushed on the massives for non life threatening issues and especially for minor annoying issue like trying to sleep on vacation.

I now go to an Integrative Medicine doctor. She won't prescribe unless absolutely necessary and only after trying life style changes.

I arrived here after having major health issues as a result of taking a "safe" medication my old doctor had me on for 5 years (actually it was a few different meds) to control minor hbp. I wasn't even able to ski for a season because of it. I have lived it.

I now control my genetic HBP through diet, vitamins/ herbs and excercise. My diet is low sodium, low fat, low carbs, low sugar and I haven't had caffeine in 2 years. I still drink a glass ir 2 of beer or wine 4/5 days a week and I cheat on my diet about 2 meals a week. When I deviate from my program longer, my BP rises.

While I won't choose sides in this debate, if that's what it is I'm not sure there's much true disagreement, I also have adopted MattL's approach. I was fortunate to not have any health issues but I have physicians in my family including an oncologist. They focus professionally on treating but personally on prevention and are frustrated the AMA etc is focused on the former but not the latter and feel pharmaceutical money is reality and a major determinant.

So my family eats low fat, low or no sugar, low carbs and unprocessed almost always. Most of us exercise like mad and are almost always 5 lbs. from target weight. So far we've all escaped so called genetic maladies some of which run through prior generations in our family. My family may not represent a lot of data but we like the hand we're playing.
post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv2 ski View Post


Yep, a glass of red wine and one of my wife's muffins and I am out.

After I hit the muffin, I'm out!
post #38 of 56

Maybe your just excited to be on a ski trip.

 

A big meal with red wine, and some 10 year old Taylor Fladgate tawny port, should make you sleepy.

post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Maybe your just excited to be on a ski trip.

 

A big meal with red wine, and some 10 year old Taylor Fladgate tawny port, should make you sleepy.

 

Those get me sleeping maybe 4 hours tops, then it's awake and thirsty.

post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post


After I hit the muffin, I'm out!


Wait, what???  Are we talkin about the same muffin?

post #41 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv2 ski View Post
 
 

e talkin about the same muffin?

 

Eeeeeeew

post #42 of 56
Thread Starter 
I think we're a bit off topic. Thanks to everyone for the feedback. Much appreciated.
post #43 of 56

LOL

post #44 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

Try bigger, firmer pillows than you use at home.   
 

 

This seems like an odd one, but in my experience, very much true.

 

I live in Denver and I have family at about 9000 ft in the mountains. I'm definitely altitude adjusted, but I'm still a much pickier sleeper up there. Even in a nice bed with standard pillows, I always seem to wake in the middle of the night with a neck ache, back ache, arm asleep, too hot...always something that keeps me tossing and turning.

 

So I put a lot of effort into building myself a nice supportive cocoon for sleeping. It really helps. Also try cracking a window, even if it's cold out. A cool room with fresh air is key for me. 

post #45 of 56
Heavy blankets help too. The light pressure has a coddling effect.
post #46 of 56

As far as Diamox and the thyroid--when patients whose thyroid has been removed undergo other surgery they are often unable to take their thyroid hormone replacement by mouth for several days. This causes no problems because it takes about 2 weeks to develop symptoms even with no natural thyroid whatsoever. The small amount of reduction in thyroid function due to a few days of taking Diamox is of no clinical significance. If one feels cold while on Diamox another explanation should be sought.

 

 

OP--if you haven't fled in terror--another thing to consider is humidity. People who aren't used to dry mountain air may be kept awake by coughing, dry membranes with a stuffy nose, etc. (Often people blame coughing on post nasal drip and take decongestants like Sudafed when in fact the coughing is due to dryness and the decongestant makes it worse.) I haven't looked into it but perhaps there is a room humidifier small enough to take in your luggage.

post #47 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post

Heavy blankets help too. The light pressure has a coddling effect.

 

First the muffin then the coddling. Sounds good.:)

post #48 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

Eeeeeeew

 

Sez the guy with 'munch' in his moniker.   

 

post #49 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by agreen View Post

First the muffin then the coddling. Sounds good.smile.gif

So we've aligned on coddling the muffin after some weed. That's pretty solid.
post #50 of 56
Yup, just don't forget...

The crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe.
post #51 of 56
Thread Starter 
As a follow-up question... Does anyone know whether elevation masks used for training athletes are effective in regularizing breathing at mountain altitudes and therefore help reduce sleeplessness?
post #52 of 56

They do exactly the same thing at altitude as at sea level - make it harder to breathe. 

 

 

EDIT:  And no, training with one at sea level isn't going to help you breathe without it at altitude - because 'elevation' masks don't reduce pressure, they just provide resistance to the airflow. 

post #53 of 56
Thread Starter 
But the idea is that using a mask at sea level will build one's capacity to more easily breath at higher elevations because less effort is required, no?
post #54 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelF View Post

Hi All,
I would like to revisit the subject of any method (based on recent research or experience that has proven to be effective of dealing with the inability to sleep at "high altitude", and in this case not so high... say, about 6,500 ft. I have read alot about aclimitization and all the reasonable "dos and don'ts" when traveling from the East to the mountains of Western states, as in my situation, to ski...hydration, slow ascent, patience of waiting a few days for the body to adjust, no alcohol, skiing at lower-altitude resorts such as PCMR and Steamboat, even using Diamox, but nothing seems to work. My son suffers from this malady (he's a very fit, 6' 1" , 170 lb., 21 year old). Does anyone have any up to date suggestions, anecdotes, or professional thoughts or data on the matter of overcoming sleeplessness at "high altitude"? Two or three (or more) days of no sleep can completely destroy a week of skiing in the West which we do (but struggle mightily with) each year. Many thanks for any new thoughts or research of how you deal or have dealt with this problem!


You guys are just too excited about skiing to sleep.  That's my take without reading any other post than yours above.  When I did not get to ski as much as I do now, or live at 4,500 ft. that happened all the time.  Main thing is don't worry about it.  Worrying about it will only make it worse!   You can survive a few days without much sleep no problem!  Even if you don't sleep, just lie down in the dark and rest.  If you don't sleep, don't worry.  Drugs just mess you up even worse!  Gonna' make you all groggy etc.  Good luck.  

post #55 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelF View Post

But the idea is that using a mask at sea level will build one's capacity to more easily breath at higher elevations because less effort is required, no?


Depends what item you're buying.  If you're just buying a mask that restricts airflow, or an actual altitude simulator that reduces oxygen content but not pressure.

post #56 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelF View Post

But the idea is that using a mask at sea level will build one's capacity to more easily breath at higher elevations because less effort is required, no?


No. You don't breath the same way under conditions of low barometric pressure and inhalation resistance. Nor do the lungs or heart physiologically respond in the same ways. 

 

As far as the original question, no magic solution. 2000 m is a pretty mild challenge, so best approach is to show up in evening, take it easy first 24 hours. Any garden variety diuretic may help a bit. Acetazolamide is a diuretic, but also gets you to dump bicarbonate, so your ventilatory rate speeds up a touch. It'll slightly reduce some acute symptoms. (Viagra works better, BTW, since it's a NO promoter.) But Diamox won't speed up recalibration of your breathing, which takes 36 hours or so no matter. None of this stuff reduces risk of actual AMS, but not talking AMS at 2000 m. 

 

Haven't run across idea that quarter of population has genetic predisposition to AMS-like symptoms at moderate altitudes; implies simple Mendelian recessive. AFAIK, there are multiple alleles (variants of a gene) across multiple loci (places on a chromosome where genes live) that have been identified in adaptation to hypoxia, and no population does it quite the same way. May be that if you have a predisposition to migraine, for instance, change in barometric pressure will trigger it; don't know much about that end.

 

Not a big fan of various sedatives, normally the last thing you want is to further compromise ventilatory rate. Same problem with alcohol, plus it creates vasodilation, local congestion in upper airways. 

 

Pillows may help for the same reason folks with COPD like them. In hypoxia you recruit the muscles of the upper chest and neck to help breathe, being partly upright helps by altering pressure dynamics. 

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