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Sleeping Better at High Altitude: A How-To

November 26, 2019


 How to sleep well at high altitude

The festive season is here - are you getting ready to make your way to a getaway destination? If so, you may want to factor in the altitude of your holiday spot if you want to ensure that you enjoy sufficient rest while you unwind. How so? Well, the higher up you go, the less oxygen there is, and this can impact on your ability to fall and remain asleep. 

In South Africa, our highest town, Dullstroom (also known as Emnothweni) is 2 100m above sea level. Back in the 1880s, when the Dutch settlers made their way to this area of the Mpumalanga province, they referred to it as the 'place of eternal mist', and no wonder - high altitudes like these make for pretty epic surroundings. This is one of the reasons why cities like La Paz in Bolivia and Cusco in Peru also hold spots of honour on the bucket lists of seasoned travellers from around the globe. 

So what should you do if you’re headed somewhere high up over the holidays and still want to get a good night’s rest? Here are a few top tips: 

  • Stay well hydrated. Start with the basics. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids while you make your ascent to your destination. Filtered water is best, but you can also fill up on non-caffeinated herbal teas. Ideally, you want to steer clear of coffee, caffeinated drinks and alcohol that will only serve to disrupt your sleep cycle even more. 

  • Eat plenty of carbohydrates. Oh, happy day, when last did you read that somewhere? When your body is not used to a certain altitude, it can have a hard time digesting your food properly. As such, it helps to eat carbohydrates that can be converted into energy fairly quickly and without too much strain on your digestive system. 

  • Take some oral melatonin. Taking oral melatonin has the potential to shorten the time it takes to fall asleep when you find yourself at a higher altitude than your body is used to. 

There you go - a few tips to help you sleep better when you make your way to destinations that are located at a higher altitude than what you are used to. Keep an eye on the blog in the coming weeks and months for more expert insight into the science of sleep. In the meantime, come visit us in-store so we can show you our amazing Comfort Solutions Lab® - an innovative system that uses pressure-point technology to map your body and provide data that allows our technicians to make tailored mattress recommendations based on your unique comfort requirements. 


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