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Understand your Health with Heart Rate Variability

May 07, 2020 -
Posted by Editorial Team
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Heart Rate Variability is one of the most important metrics of overall health --and you can now track it with the Pod Pro. If you have questions about what Heart Rate Variability actually is and why it is important to track it, take a deeper look.

What is Heart Rate Variability?

Heart Rate Variability, or HRV, measures the variation in time between each heartbeat. It is controlled by the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which is divided into two large components, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic nervous system refers to the fight or flight mechanism, and the parasympathetic nervous system refers to relaxation response. If you have persistent instigators in your life that cause increased stress and poor sleep, the fight or flight response can shift into overdrive. Naturally, HRV should increase during relaxing activities and decrease during stress. As your activities and environments change throughout the day, your HRV should change naturally. 

What can I interpret from Heart Rate Variability?  

HRV tracking allows you to identify when the autonomic nervous system is out of balance. It can indicate your overall heart health and recovery ability, as well as illustrate when you’re getting sick. 

Since HRV monitors the variations between your heartbeats, the more irregular the variations, the better you are responding to both physical and emotional stress on the body. Low HRV may be a sign of illness, whereas high HRV can indicate good health and the ability to recover. 

How should I use my Heart Rate Variability tracking?

Everyone’s HRV is different. You should never measure your metrics against another person’s benchmarks. Set a benchmark and record your HRV over time to identify when there are outliers in your HRV. Taking frequent readings every night while you are sleeping is the best way to identify these outliers and catch your body when it is fatigued and more susceptible to illness and injury.

When you start to understand HRV, you can also use it to plan your workouts and recovery days. As you monitor your number and trends, your HRV can help determine the intensity of your workout for the day and alert you if you are overtraining or not recovering enough.

How does the Pod measure Heart Rate Variability? 

The Pod leverages DualSense™ technology to measure biofeedback without having to wear any tracker to bed. Backed by clinical research studies from Mount Sinai, a comparative analysis shows Eight Sleep’s HRV tracking is within 1 heartbeat per minute compared to medical-grade ECG reports.

The new HRV tracking capability paired with other biometric tracking makes the Pod the ultimate mattress to help you monitor your health while sleeping and understand your biometrics to increase health. Get the Pod Pro today for the ultimate health monitoring while you sleep.

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