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Super Bowl’s Effect on Sleep & Recovery


Super Bowl’s Effect on Sleep & Recovery

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

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.

High spirits in Tampa Bay last night brought some low recoveries this morning. Post-Super Bowl stats are in and it looks like WHOOP members in Tampa, Kansas City and even Boston could use some extra Zzzzz's today.

Read more: #KnowYourself #SBLV — WHOOP (@whoop) February 8, 2021

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.