Effects of Melatonin on Sleep at High Altitude

The oxygen content of the air decreases as altitude above sea level increases, and this can cause sleep disturbances and other effects. Our research team is studying how the supplement melatonin affects sleep, control of breathing, and brain function in a simulated high-altitude environment performed in a low-oxygen tent. We are seeking "lowlander" volunteers who have no known sleep disorders. 

Principal and Co-Investigators:

Atul Malhotra, MD and Naomi Deacon, PhD

Maximum compensation for completing entire study (3 visits of about 13 hours, total 39 hours):



  • Age 18-65 years
  • No known sleep disorders
  • Not born or lived at high altitude (>6000 ft)
  • No diabetes, heart, or lung disease
  • Non-smoker for at least a year
  • What you may be asked to do during this study:

  • Three overnight sleep studies at our UCSD Hillcrest sleep laboratory, two of which will be in a low-oxygen tent to mimic high altitude
  • Take Melatonin or placebo pills
  • Complete study questionnaires and tests of concentration and learning
  • Three blood samples
  • Breathing tests with high carbon dioxide and low oxygen 
  • If you have questions about this study, please contact us at sleepresearch@ucsd.edu, or (858)246-2154. Alternatively, you may fill out our volunteer survey form so our research staff members can reach out to you.    

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