International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 62, Issue 5, pp 909–912 | Cite as

Barometric pressure change and heart rate response during sleeping at ~ 3000 m altitude

  • Masahiro Horiuchi
  • Junko Endo
  • Yoko Handa
  • Hiroshi Nose
Short Communication


We investigated effects of change in barometric pressure (P B) with climate change on heart rate (HR) during sleep at 3000 m altitude. Nineteen healthy adults (15 males and four females; mean age 32 years) participated in this study. We measured P B (barometry) and HR (electrocardiography) every minute during their overnight stay in a mountain lodge at ~ 3000 m. We also measured resting arterial oxygen saturation (SpO2) and evaluated symptoms of acute mountain sickness (AMS) by using the Lake Louise Questionnaire at 2305 and 3000 m, respectively. P B gradually decreased during the night at the speed of approximately − 0.5 hPa/h. We found that HR during sleep decreased linearly as P B decreased in all subjects, with significance (r = 0.492–0.893; all, P < 0.001). Moreover, cross correlation analysis revealed that HR started to decrease after ~ 15 min following the decrease in P B, on average. SpO2 was 93.8 ± 1.7% at 2305 m before climbing, then decreased significantly to 90.2 ± 2.2% at the lodge before going to bed, and further decreased to 87.5 ± 2.7% after waking (all, P < 0.05). Four of the 19 subjects showed a symptom of AMS after waking (21%). Further, the decrease in HR in response to a given decrease in P B (ΔHR/ΔPB) was negatively related with a decrease in SpO2 from before going to bed to after waking at 3000 m (r = − 0.579, P = 0.009) and with total AMS scores after waking (r = 0.489, P = 0.033).


Acute mountain sickness Arterial O2 saturation Time delay Cardiovascular responses Hypoxemia 



We thank all participants for their time and effort. We also thank Dr. Tadashi Uno, Dr. Tatsuya Hasegawa, Miss Sakura Nakano, and Mrs. Mayuka Furihata for their technical assistance.

Funding information

This study was supported in part by funding from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (No. 26440268 to M.H.).


  1. Allen GV, Pronych SP (1997) Trigeminal autonomic pathways involved in nociception-induced reflex cardiovascular responses. Brain Res 754(1–2):269–278. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allison CE, De Lange JJ, Koole FD, Zuurmond WW, Ros HH, van Schagen NT (2000) A comparison of the incidence of the oculocardiac and oculorespiratory reflexes during sevoflurane or halothane anesthesia for strabismus surgery in children. Anesth Analg 90(2):306–310Google Scholar
  3. Buchholz B, Kelly J, Bernatene EA, Méndez Diodati N, Gelpi RJ (2017) Antagonistic and synergistic activation of cardiovascular vagal and sympathetic motor outflows in trigeminal reflexes. Front Neurol 8:52. eCollection 2017. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cole RJ, Kripke DF, Gruen W, Mullaney DJ, Gillin JC (1992) Automatic sleep/wake identification from wrist activity. Sleep 15(5):461–469. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dong WK, Chudler EH, Kawakami Y (1990) Tooth pulp-evoked potentials in the trigeminal brainstem nuclear complex. Brain Res 529(1–2):131–142. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dutschmann M, Herbert H (1996) The Kölliker-fuse nucleus mediates the trigeminally induced apnoea in the rat. Neuroreport 7(8):1432–1436. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Foster GE, Sheel AW (2005) The human diving response, its function, and its control. Scand J Med Sci Sports 15(1):3–12. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Insalaco G, Romano S, Salvaggio A, Braghiroli A, Lanfranchi P, Patruno V, Marrone O, Bonsignore MR, Donner CF, Bonsignore G (2000) Blood pressure and heart rate during periodic breathing while asleep at high altitude. J Appl Physiol 89(3):947–955CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Insalaco G, Romano S, Salvaggio A, Pomidori L, Mandolesi G, Cogo A (2012) Periodic breathing, arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation, and heart rate during sleep at high altitude. High Alt Med Biol 13(4):258–262. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. James JE, De Burgh Daly M (1972) Reflex respiratory and cardiovascular effects of stimulation of receptors in the nose of the dog. J Physiol 220(3):673–696. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Naeije R (2010) Physiological adaptation of the cardiovascular system to high altitude. Prog Ccardiovasc Dis 52(6):456–466. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Nespoulet H, Wuyam B, Tamisier R, Saunier C, Monneret D, Remy J, Chabre O, Pepin JL, Levy P (2012) Altitude illness is related to low hypoxic chemoresponse and low oxygenation during sleep. Eur Respir J 40(3):673–680. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Nussbaumer-Ochsner Y, Schuepfer N, Ursprung J, Siebenmann C, Maggiorini M, Bloch KE (2012) Sleep and breathing in high altitude pulmonary edema susceptible subjects at 4,559 meters. Sleep 35(10):1413–1421. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ogata H, Arimitsu T, Matsuura R, Yunoki T, Horiuchi M, Yano T (2007) Relationship between oxygenation in inactive biceps brachii muscle and hyperventilation during leg cycling. Physiol Res 56(1):57–65Google Scholar
  15. Roach RC, Bartsch P, Hacket PH, Oelz O (1993) The Lake Louise acute mountain sickness scoring system. In: Sutton JR, Coates J, Houston CS (eds) Hypoxia and molecular medicine. Queen City printers, Burlington, pp 272–274Google Scholar
  16. Rowell LI (1993) Human Cardiovascular Control. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  17. Schaller B, Probst R, Strebel S, Gratzl O (1999) Trigeminocardiac reflex during surgery in the cerebellopontine angle. J Neurosurg 90(2):215–220. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Shimizu M, Miyagawa K, Iwashita S, Noda T, Hamada K, Genno H, Nose H (2012) Energy expenditure during 2-day trail walking in the mountains (2,857 m) and the effects of amino acid supplementation in older men and women. Eur J Appl Physiol 112(3):1077–1086. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Yamazaki T, Gen-No H, Kamijo Y, Okazaki K, Masuki S, Nose H (2009) A new device to estimate VO2 during incline walking by accelerometry and barometry. Med Sci Sports Exerc 41(12):2213–2219. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ISB 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Human Environmental ScienceMt Fuji Research InstituteFujiyoshidaJapan
  2. 2.Department of MedicineShinshu UniversityMatsumotoJapan

Personalised recommendations