Why HRV Morning Readiness?
Heart Rate Variability can be affected by changes in circadian rhythm, hormonal shifts, and acute stressors throughout the day. Also, whatever you were doing before taking a reading has a very strong impact on the reading results.
In order to reduce this “noise” and gain a clearer picture of Autonomic Nervous System activity (read: your stress and recovery status!), we recommend taking HRV readings first thing in the morning after waking up – within 30 minutes of waking is best.
When you have just woken, you haven’t had the chance to experience the stresses of work, school, or the day. Your circadian rhythm and hormonal patterns should be in a relatively similar state as they were the previous day.
We also recommend that you breath naturally for the Morning Readiness reading and take the reading in the same body position each time (always supine or always sitting, for example).
By calculating your HRV baseline first thing each morning, you can eliminate many other variables and highlight the patterns that matter most for decision making. You cut through the “noise” and get insights about how recovered you are and how ready you are to tackle the day’s challenges.
Example morning routine:
- Use the toilet
- Moisten your chest strap with water or gel and put it on
- Sip some water
- Sit or lie down
- Relax and prepare for your reading
- Take HRV reading
- Tag sleep, exercise and other contextual data
You can start the coffee machine before your reading, get dressed, or any other routine, uneventful tasks. The key is to try to do the same thing each morning, but minor differences in mundane tasks are likely negligible. If at all possible, do not exercise before your Morning Readiness reading.
Don’t sweat it! Your body’s cumulative stress load and recovery status will register more powerfully than small changes in your morning routine. Aim for consistency, but as long as you aren’t lying down one day, sitting the next, and doing jumping jacks the third day, your routine can be a bit flexible.
Compare your HRV score to our community averages here (link).