Sometimes, there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done, including exercise. When exercise is also not part of a daily regime, it can easily go amiss. However, there are some factors in your daily routine that are usually not missed – such as sleep. If sleep occurs daily, then it is likely this period of time can be optimised to gain some kind of health benefit.
Mainly with clients outside of London, we provide hypoxic training systems to rent (at least one month at a time). This could be for acclimatising prior to a trip such as Kilimanjaro, Elbrus or Everest Base Camp, where the main adaption relates to improving oxygen efficiency through Intermittent Hypoxic Exposure. Alternatively, clients preparing for a sporting competition (typically at altitude) are usually more interested in changes to red blood cells and subsequent erythropoietin production. However, did you know that sleeping in a hypoxic environment also improves your health?
A recent study carried out in the US gave a group of individuals with Type II Diabetes a hypoxic training system and a tent to put over the bed at home for 14 nights. Before and after the period of hypoxic sleeping, glucose tolerance was tested in all individuals. The results showed that compared to before, glucose tolerance improved significantly after sleeping in a hypoxic tent for 14 nights. Given the current soaring rates of pre-Diabetic and Diabetic individuals, this is a really positively impacting finding!
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to exercise. The are many benefits during and after completing exercise (more so in hypoxia…), which cannot be replaced with other strategies. However, this post and study mentioned highlights the health benefits of sleeping high – showing that it’s not just beneficial for mountaineers and athletes!
Marlatt et al. (2019). International Journal of Obesity. DOI: 10.1038/s41366-019-0422-0.