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Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2015 Apr;86(4):392-6. doi: 10.3357/AMHP.4159.2015.

Altitude and seasonality impact on sleep in Antarctica.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study investigates the effects of seasonality and altitude on sleep in extreme Antarctic conditions.

METHODS:

During summer and winter periods, 24 h of actimetric recordings were obtained at two different research stations, Dumont d'Urville (sea level altitude) and Concordia (corrected altitude 12,467 ft or 3800 m).

RESULTS:

During daytime, there were no altitude- or season-related differences in time spent at work, energy expenditure, or number of walking steps. During the nighttime however, total sleep time was longer (m = 427.4; SD = 42.4), sleep efficiency higher (m = 90; SD = 4.8), and wake after sleep onset shorter (m = 42.2; SD = 28.7) at sea level. Additionally, sleep fragmentation episodes and energy expenditure were higher during summer than winter periods.

DISCUSSION:

Our results show that dramatic variations in light exposure are not the only main factor affecting sleep quality in Antarctica, as altitude also markedly impacted sleep in these conditions. The effect of altitude-induced hypoxia should be taken into account in future investigations of sleep in extreme environments.

PMID:
25945557
DOI:
10.3357/AMHP.4159.2015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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