Sleeping at Altitude

Live High, Train Low

Sleeping at Altitude, or “Live High, Train Low” is the most widely accepted and common technique used in altitude training. First introduced by Benjamin Levine and James Stray-Gundersen in 1997, sleeping at altitude involves prolonged exposure to hypoxia (low-oxygen air) at night with physical training sessions performed at sea-level during the day. The result is that athletes are able to create the performance-enhancing hematological (blood) adaptations inherent in altitude training, while also being able to maximize high-intensity training sessions, thus enhancing muscle and skeletal adaptations that lead to improved speed. In more simple terms, it allows athletes to improve both speed and endurance simultaneously.

This method avoids inherent problems associated with permanent residence at altitudes such as limited training load in the oxygen-deficient air, muscle loss, immune system suppression, advanced dehydration and excessive fatigue. Through the use of Hypoxico’s altitude tent system, individuals can safely and effectively take advantage of the scientific maxim “live high, train low” and achieve the benefits associated with exposure to hypoxia.

Read Levine and Gundersen’s study here.



Myths of Sleeping in Altitude Tents

  1. It compromises recovery from hard training sessions.
    • This is simply not true. On the contrary, the scientific evidence indicates that exposure to hypoxia actually improves recovery. This is through the mechanism of improving the body’s ability to buffer and metabolize lactate. Hypoxia also acts as an antioxidant which has many benefits including delaying the aging process and decreasing oxidative stress – the source of many health complications in humans.
  2. It’s not comfortable.
    • Of course, sleeping with a tent around your bed is a little unusual. As a result, it usually does take a bit of time to adjust. Luckily, we offer a versatile range of altitude tent options to fit any life circumstance and bedroom configuration. Once acclimatized, it’s very common for users to report that their sleep quality and comfort is actually significantly improved.
  3. You need to be inside for 12-14 hours for maximum adaptation.
    • Though it is generally true that more exposure is better, very few athletes have 12-14hrs per day to devote to being inside their tent. Most of our clients get the standard 7-9hrs of sleep per night and experience significant and measurable athletic improvement.

Non-athletic Benefits of Sleeping in Altitude Tents

Believe it or not, we have a lot of customers who have no athletic ambitions and who rarely exercise. These users are more interested in the general health benefits of hypoxia. Many use it specifically for weight loss and improved body composition, while others use it to delay the aging process. It has also been shown to improve specific health problems like asthma and cardiovascular disease. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to be a professional or recreational athlete to experience significant health improvements from altitude training!