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July 2, 2016

The Effect of Travel on Sleep and Recovery

Since 1979, 62.2% of NBA games were won by the home team. While home court advantage is ubiquitous across all sports and all levels of competition, its causes are poorly understood. One oft provided explanation of home team advantage is that the home team is spared the rigors of travel. Studies have attempted to quantify this effect by comparing home and away performances and by controlling for factors like days on the road and rest days between games; however, none have had the tools to rigorously quantify the effects of home and away games on objective measures of athlete recovery.

This case study attempts to untangle two phenomena: One, the effect of travel on sleep and recovery, and two, the effect of changing time zones on sleep and recovery.

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Emily Capodilupo

Before joining WHOOP in 2013 as the first full-time employee and first scientist, Emily studied Neurobiology at Harvard University and studied circadian biology in the Analytical and Modeling Unit of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard's Brigham and Women's hospital. As a runner and acrobat, Emily knows first hand the importance of sleep and recovery for peak performance. At WHOOP, she blends this personal experience with the sleep and analytics knowledge developed at Harvard to empower athletes to make intelligent, data-driven decisions.