068: Dr. Jay Wiles, Clinical Psychologist and Founder of Hanu Health, Demystifies Heart Rate Variability and Gives Insider Tips on Upleveling Your HRV Scores

Heart Rate Variability is a popular topic in the discussion of sleep optimization and in this episode, Dr. Jay Wiles, a clinical health psychologist and the founder of Hanu Health, explains exactly what HRV is and why it’s important. He also busts some myths regarding this important metric and how it relates to sleep. Can your HRV baseline change? Do alcohol and THC affect your HRV score? Is it helpful to compare your HRV data to other people? All of these questions and more are answered in this edition of the Sleep is a Skill podcast.


Dr. Jay T. Wiles is a clinical health psychologist, currently working as the Health Behavior Coordinator at WJB Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, SC and the Greenville Outpatient VA Clinic. He has specialized training in health behavior coaching, health assessment, nutritional interventions for mental and physical health, Motivational Interviewing, applied psychophysiology, and consultation. Dr. Wiles works as a consultant for companies/organizations, practitioners, and individual patients on nutritional psychology, health behavior change, applied psychophysiology, and health promotion/disease prevention via complementary and integrative practices. Dr. Wiles is passionate about education and consultation with patients and organizations in an effort to increase health outcomes through focusing on prevention and well-being, as opposed to disease and symptom mitigation.

In this episode, we discuss:

🫀Dr. Jay Wiles discusses his professional background and how he became an expert on Heart Rate Variability.

🫀What does Heart Rate Variability (HRV) actually mean and why is it important?

🫀How HRV is related to sleep and the devices that help you keep track of it.

🫀The activities and situations that can affect your HRV and why variability is vital for general health and sleep optimization.

🫀HRV is a proxy that allows people to examine the human stress response and changes in the autonomic nervous system which are important for sleep.

🫀A discussion on “high” vs “low” HRV scores and whether there’s any validity to normative metrics.

🫀How to make sense of your own HRV data to assess your personal healthy HRV and sleep metrics.

🫀Understanding what it means when your HRV score drops or increases and how to make HRV data practical for your sleep and health.

​​🫀The reasons for working to improve your HRV and the things you can do to achieve an increase.

🫀How a higher HRV score can positively affect your health, wellbeing, and sleep.

🫀A discussion on how things like alcohol and THC can affect your HRV score.

🫀Is it really possible to shift your HRV baseline?

🫀The work Dr. Wiles is doing with Hanu Health on breathwork and improving HRV.

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