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Behavior Impact

What Impact Do Seasonal Allergies Have on Your Sleep, Recovery, HRV & Respiratory Rate?

April 29, 2022

We explore how often WHOOP members track seasonal allergies, which demographics do it the most, plus the effect on sleep, resting heart rate, HRV, and respiratory rate.

By Mark Van Deusen

“Experiencing seasonal allergies” is one of the many things you can log and monitor in the WHOOP Journal in order to get a better understanding of what affects your physiological data. Based on journal responses from our members, we found seasonal allergies to have very little negative impact on sleep, recovery, and other key metrics.

 

WHOOP Members Tracking Seasonal Allergies

For this analysis we examined the anonymous data from members who track “experiencing seasonal allergies” on a consistent basis (at least 10 times in a 90-day period, answering either “yes” or “no”).

In total, about 5% of all WHOOP members track seasonal allergies, with females (8%) being almost twice as likely to do it as males (4.1%). The most common age group is 40-49 year olds, with 6.1% of all members in that bracket doing so.

 

How Seasonal Allergies Affect Sleep, HRV & Respiratory Rate

Good news! For the most part, seasonal allergies have almost no adverse effects on our members’ sleep and recovery data.

Average sleep performance (the amount of sleep you get compared to what you need) and sleep efficiency (time in bed spent actually asleep) are unchanged when members report that they are experiencing seasonal allergies. We did find the average percentage of light sleep rises very slightly (from 54.3% to 54.5%), as well as the average number of sleep disturbances (from 11.1 to 11.4).

seasonal allergies affect on sleep

Seasonal allergies lead to slightly more sleep disturbances, as well as small changes IN RHR and HRV.

We saw a very minor increase in resting heart rate (0.3 beats per minute) and decrease in heart rate variability (0.4 milliseconds) when members answer “yes” to seasonal allergies. However, these differences are not significant enough to have any impact on next-day recovery, which remains the same.

Additionally, average respiratory rate and blood oxygen level do not change.

 

Learn What Else Impacts Your WHOOP Metrics

The WHOOP Journal offers a great number of behaviors, choices, and other variables you can track–things like wearing a sleep mask to bed, feeling stressed, or taking supplements such as CBD or melatonin.

Monthly Performance Assessments and in-app insights provide you with breakdowns of how the behaviors you track affect your recovery and other WHOOP data.

 

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Mark Van Deusen

Mark Van Deusen is the Content Manager at WHOOP. Before joining WHOOP, Mark served as the Managing Editor and Head Writer for CelticsLife.com. He was also a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and a contributor at Yahoo Sports. A former tennis coach, Mark graduated from the University of Richmond with a degree in Sociology and Leadership Studies.

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