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February 8, 2021

Super Bowl’s Effect on Sleep & Recovery

How big an impact does the Super Bowl have on WHOOP metrics the next day?

By Mark Van Deusen

The Monday after the Super Bowl is notoriously one of the least-productive work days of the year in the United States. There have been movements to make it a national holiday, and surveys have shown that millions of Americans often take the day off anyway (roughly 10%).

For WHOOP members, Monday is normally the day of the week with the highest average recovery, typically around 61% (it generally drops as the week progresses, hitting mid-50s by the weekend). In fact, for the past 4 weeks, that’s exactly what it has been.

However, today the average recovery for WHOOP members is just 58%.

Over the past 4 weeks our members have averaged 7:04 sleep on Sunday night into Monday morning, but last night that dipped to only 6:50.

Sleep & Recovery Changes in Super Bowl Cities

The “Super Bowl hangover” was felt even more significantly on a localized level, where we examined data from the home cities of our members. In Tampa Bay, the average recovery for recent Mondays is 60%.

Today? It’s 47%.

For Kansas City, the average Monday recovery of late has been 58%, with a sleep duration of 6:58. This morning those fell to 52% and 6:46.

And what about Boston, home of WHOOP HQ and many long-time fans of a certain 7-time Super Bowl champion? Monday recoveries in Boston have averaged 62% lately, with sleep times of 7:17. Today they’re only 57% and 6:57.

 

Impact of Winning vs. Losing

It seems fairly clear that a Super Bowl victory has a more substantial impact on a fan base’s WHOOP metrics than a loss. Specifically, in Tampa Bay the average sleep duration last night dropped by 49 minutes, from 7:06 to 6:17 (compared to a 12-minute decline for KC). The decrease of 13% in recovery average was also much greater in Tampa than KC (6%).

Last year, when Kansas City won the Super Bowl, we saw recovery norms there fall 16% (from an average of 64% to 48%) and sleep averages shorten by 44 minutes (6:55 to 6:11).

In San Francisco a year ago (losers of the 2020 Super Bowl), average numbers slipped from 63% and 7:03 to 58% and 6:55–similar deviations to what happened in Kansas City today.

Also worth noting, the 47% average recovery for Tampa Bay residents this morning is the second worst of the past year, behind only New Year’s Eve (45%).

 

Any Effects of COVID & Social Distancing?

Despite what was likely a very different game-watching experience for many people this year, the changes in WHOOP member metrics today are fairly similar to what they were the day after the Super Bowl last year.

A year ago Monday average recoveries were 62%, and they dropped to 59% on this day (the same 3% difference as today). In 2020 WHOOP members lost an average of 11 minutes of sleep at night following the Super Bowl (6:50 to 6:39), slightly fewer than the 14 minutes this year.

 

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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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