The first day in Tibet, our guide instructed us to take it easy - no sightseeing or walking around too much. We needed to rest & acclimate to being at 12,000 feet. We took his advice & settled for a nice quiet dinner & a welcome Lhasa beer.
We were bushed from traveling, so we decided to call it an early night. Crawled into bed, lights out, deep contented sigh...
Turn to the right. Try the left. Uf! On my back, on my stomach. Back to the right side. Not sleeping. Close my eyes really tight. Think of Tibetan sheep jumping over Tibetan fences. Nothing. Not one wink the whole night.
The next day our guide asked us if we slept well. No, we moaned. Did you have beer? Yes, we muttered. You shouldn't have beer, he chided. Good to know. The next night we avoided the beer & were able to sleep much better.
It was the third day that really affected me, though. We had been out in the sun for two days, without a thick atmosphere or layer of pollution to protect us from the sun's rays. By the end of the day, I felt weak, lightheaded & a little nauseous. I spent the afternoon in bed with a slight fever, & that evening I skipped dinner altogether.
It took a few more days after that before I felt normal again. By the end of the week, I didn't notice the altitude at all. I started to wonder if going back down would have an affect on us, since we were now used to being so high up. But it turns out that altitude sickness only works one way. Thank goodness.