Pedlar, C. R., Godfrey, R., & Whyte, G. P. (2009). The effect of sleeping in a normobaric hypoxic tent for one week upon sleep quality. ACSM 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. Presentation number 2125.

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This study examined the chronic effects of eight nights of sleeping in a normobaric hypoxic tent (10 hours per night) in Great Britain International athletes (N = 12) from rowing, running, and kayaking). The Leeds Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire combined with Wristwatch Actigraphy was used to examine subjective and objective markers of sleep quality and compare them to those of baseline sleep.

The responses were quite varied with some individuals experiencing negative effects. As a group, there were no significant differences in sleep quality between baseline and night-1 sleep for any measurement. Sleep latency was significantly shorter on night 8 in the tent compared to night 1. Behavioral aspects of sleep, such as sleep fragmentation, continued to be negatively affected in some individuals despite chronic exposure to normobaric hypoxia over the duration of the study.

Implication. Sleep quality in a hypoxic tent is altered in some individuals, and is not universally improved following eight nights of 10 hours per day exposure. The disruption may have significant consequences for recovery from training in some individuals.

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