When traveling to areas with higher altitudes, the air becomes thinner, and less oxygen is available to breathe. Those who aren’t prepared for this change can suffer from altitude sickness, ranging from mild to more severe symptoms. In fact, altitude sickness may occur in up to half the people who ascend to altitudes over 8,000 feet.
One of the best ways to combat altitude sickness is to use a portable oxygen concentrator (POC). A POC device helps provide additional oxygen when the air is too thin. By using a POC, you can reduce the effects of altitude sickness and stay healthy while enjoying your travels.
But what happens when you use a portable oxygen concentrator while you sleep? Here’s everything you need to know:
How Does Altitude Sickness Affect Your Sleep?
Altitude sickness can have a serious impact on your sleep quality in a variety of ways. While the exact symptoms may vary from person to person, some common ways in which altitude sickness affects sleep include:
- Difficulty Falling Asleep
Altitude sickness can cause difficulty falling asleep due to increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, and other symptoms. This can result in tossing and turning throughout the night, making it difficult to get much-needed rest.
- Decreased Sleep Quality
Altitude sickness can also cause decreased sleep quality, as it can reduce the amount of REM sleep your body is able to achieve. Poor sleep can lead to poor concentration and difficulty focusing during the day, hindering productivity while away from home.
- Trouble Staying Asleep
Even if you manage to fall asleep, altitude sickness can cause trouble staying asleep. Symptoms such as headaches and nausea can lead to frequent waking throughout the night, further reducing sleep quality and causing daytime fatigue.
Signs that You Need a Portable Oxygen Concentrator While Sleeping
Not everyone needs a POC while sleeping, but certain signs may indicate you should consider using one. These signs include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing while sleeping.
- Feeling dizzy, tired, or fatigued during the day.
- Unexplained anxiety or restlessness.
- Moments of confusion or disorientation.
- Waking up in the middle of the night with a headache.
If you experience any of these symptoms while traveling to higher altitudes, a portable oxygen concentrator may be necessary to ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
How Does a Portable Oxygen Concentrator Work?
A portable oxygen concentrator takes in the surrounding air and filters out nitrogen and other gases. This leaves pure oxygen, which is then delivered to your lungs through a nasal cannula. This process helps ensure you receive enough oxygen while sleeping, thus reducing the effects of altitude sickness.
Most high-altitude areas will have a POC available for rent or purchase, and you can also find them online. A rental may be the best option for those who will only be using the device for a short period.
Benefits Of Using a Portable Oxygen Concentrator While Sleeping
Using a portable oxygen concentrator while sleeping can provide numerous benefits. Some of the most notable include:
The most notable benefit of using a portable oxygen concentrator while sleeping is improved quality of sleep. When your body is not getting enough oxygen, it can’t reach the deep stages of sleep that are necessary for restful slumber. With a POC providing additional oxygen overnight, you can get the quality rest that your body needs.
People who experience altitude sickness often report feeling irritable or anxious. By using a POC while sleeping, you can get the oxygen your body needs to feel calm and relaxed. This can result in improved moods throughout the day, allowing you to make the most of your travels.
Increased Energy Levels
Lack of oxygen can also cause fatigue and decreased energy levels. Using a POC overnight gives you the oxygen your body needs to stay energized during the day. This will allow you to explore more without feeling worn out or exhausted so quickly.
Lessens Shortness of Breath
Using a POC while sleeping also helps to reduce shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. As the device provides your body with additional oxygen, it can help make breathing easier and reduce symptoms associated with altitude sickness.
How to Use a Portable Oxygen Concentrator While Sleeping
Using a portable oxygen concentrator while sleeping is relatively simple. First, you will need to ensure the POC is properly set up and ready to use. Once that’s taken care of, you can begin using it overnight by following these steps:
1. Adjust the Settings as Needed
Once you’ve enabled sleep mode, you can adjust the settings to ensure that your POC is providing you with the oxygen levels needed for a good night’s sleep. Depending on your device, this may be done manually or automatically.
2. Ensure Your Nasal Cannula Fits Comfortably
Using a nasal cannula is necessary for getting the most out of your POC while sleeping. This device should fit comfortably and securely to ensure you are getting the oxygen delivery you need.
FAQs about Using a Portable Oxygen Concentrator While Sleeping
Now that you know the basics of using a portable oxygen concentrator overnight, you may still have some questions about the process. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions we get about using a POC for sleep:
As you can see, using a portable oxygen concentrator while sleeping at higher altitudes can provide numerous benefits. Not only does it help reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness, but it can also improve your sleep quality and energy levels. So, if you plan to travel to higher altitudes or are already experiencing altitude-related illnesses, a POC may be the perfect solution for getting a restful night’s sleep.
In need of a POC for your travels? Alpine Oxygen has you covered. Our rental portable oxygen concentrators provide supplemental oxygen for those traveling through the high altitudes of Colorado. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, we have the perfect POC to keep you comfortable and well-rested.
To learn more, contact us today! We look forward to helping you make the most of your travels.