Research Article
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Published Online: 30 September 2011

High Altitude Sleep Disturbances Monitored by Actigraphy and Polysomnography

Publication: High Altitude Medicine & Biology
Volume 12, Issue Number 3

Abstract

Nussbaumer-Ochsner, Nicole Schuepfer, ChristophSiebenmann, Marco Maggiorini, and Konrad E. Bloch.High altitude sleep disturbances monitored by actigraphy and polysomnography. High. Alt. Med. Biol. 12:229–236.—Aims: Data on sleep at altitude are scant due to the limited availability of polysomnography. Therefore, we investigated whether actigraphy might serve as a simple tool for monitoring sleep during altitude field studies. Methods: Fourteen mountaineers participating in studies on dexamethasone prophylaxis of high altitude pulmonary edema were monitored by actigraphy and polysomnography during 1 night at Zurich (490 m) and 4 nights at the Regina Margherita hut (4559 m). Total sleep time (TST) estimated by actigraphy was compared to polysomnography and subjective sleep quality. Results: In 64 comparisons, mean differences±2SD (bias±limits of agreement) between actigraphy and polysomnography were 5±35 min for TST and 1±7% for sleep efficiency. Correlations between subjective and polysomnographic estimates of sleep efficiency and sleep latency were nonsignificant. Medians of nocturnal oxygen saturation were 96% at 490 m and 74%–81% during nights 1 to 4 at 4459 m (p<0.05 vs. 490 m). Medians of polysomnographic TST were similar at 490 m (451 min) and 4559 m (377–456 min during nights 1 to 4, p=NS) but the proportions of slow wave and REM sleep were reduced and arousals were more common (p<0.05 all instances). Conclusion: Actigraphy accurately estimates sleep efficiency and duration. Due to its portability and simple use and the potential application over several weeks, it is a convenient tool for investigating altitude effects on sleep during field studies.

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cover image High Altitude Medicine & Biology
High Altitude Medicine & Biology
Volume 12Issue Number 3Fall 2011
Pages: 229 - 236
PubMed: 21962066

History

Published in print: Fall 2011
Published online: 30 September 2011
Accepted: 21 April 2011
Received: 26 October 2010

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Yvonne Nussbaumer-Ochsner
Pulmonary Division and Sleep Disorders Center, University Hospital of Zurich, and Center for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
Nicole Schuepfer
Pulmonary Division and Sleep Disorders Center, University Hospital of Zurich, and Center for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
Institute of Human Movement Sciences and Sports, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland.
Christoph Siebenmann
Institute of Human Movement Sciences and Sports, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland.
Marco Maggiorini
Medical Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital of Zurich, and Center for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
Konrad E. Bloch
Pulmonary Division and Sleep Disorders Center, University Hospital of Zurich, and Center for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Notes

Address correspondence to:Konrad E. Bloch, MDPulmonary Division and Sleep Disorders CenterUniversity Hospital of ZurichRaemistrasse 100CH-8091 ZurichSwitzerland
E-mail: [email protected]
This project was funded by the Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology, University of Zurich (ZHIP), Lung Ligue of Zurich, Switzerland.

Author Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

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