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Behavior Impact

Therapy Sessions Can Help Your Sleep and HRV

May 1, 2022

We examine how frequently WHOOP members log therapy sessions, which age and gender demographics do it the most, plus the benefits they have on sleep and other health metrics.

By Mark Van Deusen

Your mental health and your physical health are deeply linked.

May is Mental Health Awareness month in the United States. Throughout the month we’ll share a variety of insights based on data collected from the WHOOP Journal surrounding behaviors associated with mental health, and the impact they can have on your physical health as well.

To start, we’ll take a look at changes in WHOOP metrics when our members log therapy sessions in the journal.

 

Tracking Therapy Sessions

This analysis studied the anonymous data of members who track therapy sessions on a regular basis (answering either “yes” or “no” to the question “Have a therapy session?” at least 10 times in the last 90 days).

Overall, roughly 3% of all WHOOP members log therapy sessions in the journal. It is significantly more popular among females (5.6%) than males (1.9%), and the age group most likely to track it is 30-39 year olds (3.6%).

Among members who consistently track therapy, they do it on 8.2% of all days on average (about once every 12 days). Within this group, 50-59 year olds are the ones who do it most often (10.5% of days).

We found mid-week to be the most frequent time for members’ therapy sessions (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday specifically), with a large drop off on Saturdays and Sundays. Additionally, the month of June is when our members log therapy the most, December the least.

 

Therapy Benefits Sleep, Heart Rate & HRV

We discovered minor improvements in several sleep metrics after WHOOP members report having a therapy session.

The average number of sleep disturbances decreases by 0.15 per night, while the percentage of time in bed spent awake falls from 13.5% to 13.2%. Additionally, the percentage of time in restorative stages of sleep increases slightly on average–REM from 24.5% to 24.6%, and slow wave sleep from 21.0% to 21.1%.

Most significantly, our members’ sleep consistency (aligning your circadian rhythm with regular bed and wake times) rises from an average of 70% to 72%.

therapy improves sleep and hrv

When WHOOP members log therapy sessions they have better sleep consistency and see minor improvements in HRV & resting heart rate.

Additionally, we found therapy sessions to have very small benefits to both heart rate variability (HRV) and resting heart rate (RHR), two valuable metrics for fitness and cardiovascular health. On average, HRV is boosted by 0.3 milliseconds (from 52.8 to 53.1), while RHR dips by 0.4 beats per minute (from 61.2 to 60.8).

 

Discover What Else Impacts Your Physiological Data

The WHOOP Journal offers a large number of behaviors, choices, and other variables to track–from anything like feeling stressed during the day, to taking supplements such as melatonin to sleep better at night.

You’ll then receive in-app insights and Monthly Performance Assessments that break down how the behaviors you track affect your daily recovery and other key health 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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