7 Tips for Altitude Sickness Prevention

Altitude Sickness Prevention

High Altitude areas in Tibet
Elevation of 5200 meters at the Everest Base Camp in Tibet

Tibet is located on the highest plateau on the planet. Most of the areas that you will visit in Tibet are much higher than most of the people are accustomed to. With the gain in altitude, oxygen level drops. Most of the people will feel it within the first day of being at high altitude, as they can develop some of the symptoms of the altitude sickness.

However, we have mechanisms to cope with the altitude sickness. Most importantly, your body will need some time to acclimatize to such altitude. The good news is, that it happens naturally within a few days. And you can help to speed up the process, following these seven tips

1. Gain altitude slowly

It is recommended to ascent about 300 meters/1000 ft daily and take a one day break for each 1 km/ 3,000 ft gain. Gaining altitude at a steady pace is also important. That’s why it is better to walk or trek to a higher altitude, rather than flying or taking a car.

2. Go higher during the daytime, and descent for the night

It is always best to go to higher altitudes during the daytime and then descent for the night and sleep at a lower elevation. It will improve the quality of your sleep. At the same time, you will get enough time to adjust to the high elevation.

3. Stay hydrated

Your body is better prepared to cope with lower oxygen level in the air if you are hydrated. Drink plenty of water and other fluids (such as juices, soups, etc.) Try to avoid coffee and black or green tea, as caffeine in them can cause dehydration.

Vegetable Market in Lhasa
Vegetable Market in Lhasa

4. Eat more carbohydrates: chose the ones on a healthier side and unprocessed

Diet rich in carbohydrates helps with acclimatization as well. The recommended amount of carbs is 70% of your food during the time at high altitude. Chose from vegetables, whole grains, beans, potatoes, and fruit.

5. Get plenty of rest and sleep

The inadequate amount of rest and sleep may result in exertion which will make you more susceptible to altitude sickness.
It is essential to get enough rest while at high altitude. Take a break every time you feel you are tired. Don’t walk too fast. Just enjoy the scenery around you, and give your body time to acclimatize naturally.
It is also essential to get plenty of time to sleep. For some people, sleeping at high altitude can be difficult. In that case, try to sleep in a seated position. It can help to breathe deeper and avoid a headache.  

6. Exercise lightly in the first 2-3 days

Moderate activity can help to acclimatize, while excessive physical activity may worsen the symptoms. That’s why it is recommended to walk during the first few days, avoid running and jumping. If you are trekking, try to stay in some camping area for a day or two and only go on short hikes, while returning to the camp to properly rest.

7. Avoid alcohol and depressant/calming drugs, including sleeping pills

Consumption of alcohol may cause dehydration, and it prevents your body from acclimatizing. Even if you have trouble sleeping at high altitude, it is best to avoid sleeping pills. They can cause respiratory dysfunction, leading to altitude sickness.

Hope, with these simple tips, you will enjoy your tour in Tibet!


Tibet reopened for all travelers in 2023


TIBET TRAVEL UPDATE FOR FOREIGN VISITORS – MARCH 2023 Tibetan tourism bureau announced that starting from April 1, 2023, we can apply for Tibet Travel Permits and all visitors from all countries can finally visit Tibet. TIBET TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS All foreigners visiting Tibet need Tibet Travel Permit. To apply for it we need clear photos…
Meditation Places in Tibet

The Best Meditation Places in Tibet

In this article, we explore the best meditation places in Tibet. Tibetan Buddhist monks have been practicing meditation for centuries. Meditation is an essential part of studying Tibetan Buddhism. At the same time, it is also beneficial for anyone. No wonder meditation is becoming increasingly more popular as people experience it’s positive effects on everyday…
Stupas of The Dira Puk Monastery by the Kailash Mountain in Tibet

Prepare to Visit Mount Kailash – Complete Guide

PREPARE FOR MOUNT KAILASH TOUR In this article we will cover everything you need to know to prepare for Mount Kailash trek, known as kora in Buddhism and yatra/parikrama in Hinduism. You will find information about required documents, when is the best time to visit, how to travel to Mount Kailash from Tibet, Nepal and…
Northern ascent to Mount Everest in Tibet

Mount Everest is Closed for Spring 2020 Climbing Season

UPDATE: Nepal will reopen Himalayan Mountains including Everest for Fall season in 2020. On July 30th Nepal started issuing climbing permits. Tibetan side remains closed for all foreign climbers. In 2021 only domestic tourists were visiting Everest from Tibetan side. We post all updates in travel regulations on Tibet side in the following article: With…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *