WHOOP for metrics with a meaning

As somebody who has struggled with sleep my entire life, I want to share with you the device that has transformed my relationship with recovery. The amount of sleep you receive each night plays a foundational role in so many facets of your life. Everything from brain function and mood to metabolism and weight is dependent on a good night’s rest. With so many obligations in both the day and night, how is it possible to attain an optimal level of sleep, and how do you know if you’re achieving your personal needs? 

WHOOP is a device, worn on a waterproof strap worn on your wrist, that connects with an application to show daily analytics

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the average adult, ages 18-64 years old, needs about 7 hours of sleep. This number is a basic recommendation and does not consider existing health conditions or energy expenditure of the previous day. The Whoop goes beyond this basic metric and creates personal advice for every individual. Height, weight, age, sex, and daily strain are all taken into account when calculating the user’s daily sleep need.

The support, knowledge and style of the WHOOP is available in 18-, 12-, and single month memberships, all of which are offered at rates competitive to the Fitbit and Apple Watch

The application is divided into four user-friendly categories. The overview shows the amount of the previous night’s rest, the charge on the device, and the daily strain. Your daily activities, including sleep, are also shown below the recovery and strain rings. Your most recent night’s sleep is displayed, and once clicked on, a vast amount of data becomes available at your fingertips. 

Quality is just as important as quantity, and this section of the report provides in-depth metrics for both categories. Time in bed, disturbances, sleep efficiency, and respiratory rate are compared to the previous 30 days to provide accurate feedback. Next, the stages of sleep are broken down into total sleep, time awake, light sleep, REM sleep, and deep sleep. Next to these are numbers that can be clicked on and are displayed above by a heart rate graph. Additionally, a pie chart is included in this section to further break down your sleep into the four categories mentioned, not including total night’s sleep. 

Speaking of activity, the Strain category includes your daily strain along with a short description expanding upon your number. This number is calculated on a scale from 0-21 based on your maximum heart rate, average heart rate, and calories burned.

The next category is your recovery. WHOOP offers its metrics both in a bar graph and in writing. The bar graph is composed of three different colors, all representing different levels of recovery. Red equals 0-33% recovery, yellow shows 34-66% recovery, and green indicates optimal recovery at 67-100%. At the bottom of this bar chart, a seven-day average of your recovery, HRV, RHR, and respiratory rate is calculated. 

Personally, these in-depth metrics regarding my sleep fundamentally changed the way I view my own recovery. I am a restless sleeper, and before using this device I would think that a night of tossing and turning meant 0 sleep gained. My mindset was completely changed, when after having a “horrible night sleep,” I checked my app, which reflected an 80% recovery. This eased my anxiety and allowed me to take on strenuous activity with confidence. 

This data can also be an indicator of current health issues. If your respiratory rate skyrockets one night and your HRV gets into the 10s or 20s, it can be a sign you are asymptomatic with COVID-19. The recovery percentage allows the user to train according to their previous daily strain, not overwork themselves, and be well-informed about their current respiratory health. 

The final category, sleep performance, is what makes the WHOOP so unique. Unlike any other sleep tracker, this device breaks down your rest into five different categories to provide maximum information and feedback. In the app, sleep performance is first broken down into a percentage. This is calculated by dividing the hours of sleep gained by the hours you need based on your previous strain. The percentage is used to dictate your energy expenditure for the day. 

WHOOP offers feedback about your current performance ability and how much strain you should put in without going too hard. Both categories are expanded upon once clicked on. Hours of sleep bring you back to a breakdown of your previous night’s rest, whereas sleep needed offers more theoretical data. 

This category is broken down into your baseline, the amount of sleep necessary before adding daily strain, and sleep debt. The next bracket, recent strain, means the more energy you expend, the more rest your body needs to aid recovery. Sleep debt is then calculated by using the difference between the amount of sleep needed and the amount of sleep you get. Finally, recent naps take up the final bracket, showing the minutes spent napping subtracted from the next night’s sleep need. After clicking out of the sleep needed category and swiping down, a seven-day average breakdown of your sleep is displayed. This includes sleep performance, hours vs. need, and time in bed. 

WHOOP is a fantastic tool that provides tangible data on your body’s current ability to recover and perform. There are a variety of straps in many colors and styles, and charging is made easy with an on-the-go snap-on gadget. I have a black strap, and I love it because it matches all outfits and hides the portable charging device. Become in-tune with your body by viewing your sleep trends, meeting your personal sleep and strain coach, knowing your body’s readiness, and tracking your weekly activity, all with one contemporary strap and its extremely user friendly app.

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