When To Take HRV Readings Throughout The Day
For most situations, the Morning Readiness HRV reading is one of the most effective tools to analyze Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and your baseline condition of health, recovery, and readiness to perform. Please see this article for more information: Why HRV Morning Readiness?
That said, there are a number of reasons why you might want to take readings at other times throughout the day or night. Here are a few examples:
Measuring before exercise may be able to help you understand how your pre-workout state affects your workout. There are many variables to account for such as time of day, activities or food situation prior to the reading. This is not a replacement for the Morning Readiness assessment, but it can help give additional insight into what acute factors contribute to a successful workout.
For HRV Biofeedback
Guided breathing, meditation, mindfulness, and other practices are powerful tools for reducing stress, balancing the nervous system, body and mind. Using Heart Rate Variability as a guide, you can see the measurable impact of these practices in realtime. As you measure your Morning Readiness readings over time, you can see if these practices also have a lasting effect.
Sleep is one of the most important periods of recovery. Measuring HRV before bed may help you understand how acute stresses impact your sleep quality. It may also help you quantify pre-bed rituals, such as breathing/meditation, stress reduction techniques, or sleep inducing techniques.
To Measure Stress
Our perception of stress has a strong impact on whether it is "positive" or "negative" and can even alter our physiological response to stress. That said, if you think that a certain activity may be adding unnecessary or unwanted stress to your situation, then you may use Heart Rate Variability to objectively see what impact that stress is having on your body. Combined with the biofeedback tactics mentioned above, quantifying stress with HRV may help you improve how you handle certain situations.