As a fairly obsessive person, I’m quite fascinated by HRV, from the standpoint that there are so many things both extrinsically and intrinsically that can play a role in the results. And through it, I also really like to see examples of what is possible from a behavioral standpoint.
Because of that, I thought I’d share some current success stories of clients who have put in the work and experienced tremendous improvements in their readouts. I’m sharing this as a reminder that we all have a HUGE say in our health & often a related improvement on sleep as a result.
Male, 30s, UK: Weekly HRV averages from April until now went from 29 to 88 with Early-Time Restricted Eating, sunlight, cold therapy, calendar-management, and CBD.
Male, 70s, LA: Weekly HRV were in the low 20s and now are averaging in the low 50s after adding a continuous glucose monitor (Nutriosense.io), reducing sugar/nighttime eating, and nixing naps.
Female, 50s, NYC: Monthly HRV averaged in the 30s to high 50s with consistency in sleep scheduling and light environment along with an overhaul in gut healing & blood sugar balancing protocols from my friend Nikki at NAO Wellness.
Female, 40s, Austin: HRV weekly average improved from 50s to 80s with low sugar, low stress, high sunlight lifestyle.
Female, 30s, Montana: HRV weekly average went from low 40s to low 70s with stress-reduction, mouth-taping, Heartmath, Muse, and Chilipad (sleepisaskill15 – 15% off OOLER & sleepisaskill25 – 25% off chiliPAD).
🕵️♀️Resource: Product, Vagus Toning System, Neuvana This was a “Best of CES 2020” winner, and I just recently began testing it, and so far, I’ve noticed an improvement in my HRV. However, I’m also in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, so I will continue to test to see what the results are - but so far, I’m intrigued.
🕵️♀️Resource: Podcast, Ben Greenfield, A Deep Dive Into HRV: The Myths & Truths of Heart Rate Variability Testing: This podcast takes a fascinating angle looking at HRV through the lens of an experimental psychologist turned HRV researcher. An interesting example is that people with significant anxiety tend to exhibit notably low HRV. And why things like Benadryl tend to lower your HRV. I also think this Ben Greenfield podcast is thought-provoking: What Is Heart Rate Variability And How To Use It To Optimize Your Life. Example: from a psychophysiological perspective, could things like botox in your face lower your ability to experience emotions unobtrusively and thus have deleterious effects on your HRV?
🕵️♀️Resource: Podcast (with yours truly), EliteHRV, Sleep Is A Skill with Mollie McGlocklin Learn exactly why sleep is a skill and what that has to do with HRV. Not a biased recommendation at all. 🤣
🕵️♀️Resource: Book, Robert Sapolsky, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers This book is the OG guide to understanding modern-day stress and how it can affect our bodies and, by extension, our HRV.
🕵️♀️Resource: Podcast, Human OS, Heart Rate Variability (HRV) - A Conversation with Expert Phyllis Stein Circadian, and ultradian rhythms in heart rate and HRV. Discussions on meditation for sleep and why this practice could help us to improve HRV.
🕵️♀️Resource: Institution, Cardiovascular Division Heart Rate Variability Laboratory: Here are just SOME of the factors that can impact your HRV: Age, Gender, Race, Pregnancy, Clinical and demographic factors post-MI, Pet ownership, CABG, Diabetes, Insulin resistance, Fish oil consumption, Inflammatory markers, Markers of coagulation, Treatment of depression in cardiac patients, Sickle cell anemia, Valvular disease.
👆These are just a few of the reasons why HRV is such a fun puzzle. Whether or not you own a pet or take fish oil can affect your levels.
Here are some of the sleep-specific elements that could impact your sleep: Sleep-disordered breathing, Holter-based screening for sleep-disordered breathing, Continuous ECG-based detection of periodic breathing, Measurement of cyclic variation of heart rate parameters, Relationship of cyclic variation of heart rate parameters and sleep-disordered breathing in older adults, Relationship of cyclic variation of heart rate parameters and mortality in older adults, Relationship of periodic breathing heart rate patterns and sudden cardiac death, Relationship of periodic breathing heart rate patterns and atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery, Relationship of cyclic variation of heart rate and sleep-disordered breathing in depressed and non-depressed cardiac patients.
*Bonus: Here are some intriguing HRV Presentations from The Heart Rate Variability Laboratory.