Alcohol, Resting Heart Rate, Heart Rate Variability and Sleep

Ever since I got the Oura Ring, I’m able to track my deep sleep, heart rate variability and my resting heart rate in a more accurate fashion. Heart rate variability is the time interval between heartbeats. Typically, the higher the HRV, the better. The Oura ring is able to measure this by measuring your HRV while you are sleeping at the same time of the day, which makes the readings more accurate than other devices like the Apple watch or FitBit.

A lower resting heart rate during sleep is also associated with good recovery and health.

On normal days, my deep sleep, HRV and resting heart rate is relatively good and consistent and my Oura Ring’s readiness score is not too bad. It’s not optimal because my weeks vary in terms of training and other activities.

Read moreAlcohol, Resting Heart Rate, Heart Rate Variability and Sleep

Things That Helps Improve my Sleep Quality

You can only train as hard as you can recover

People have different ways they believe assists them in their recovery process. This includes protein shakes, massage devices, ice baths, sauna and more. Some methods of recovery may have more of a placebo effect than anything else.  

One undisputed fact today is the importance of sleep for physical and mental performance and recovery.

A couple points to note about sleep and recover:

  • Most of the natural human growth hormone is produced during sleep.1
  • Lack of sleep seriously impacts athletic performance, mental errors, injury rates, reaction time, and overall health2.
  • Athletes and those who work out more above average require above average sleep.3
  • While you sleep, your body creates more white blood cells to assist you in attacking viruses and bacteria.4

Read moreThings That Helps Improve my Sleep Quality

How to Measure VO2 Max Using Apple Watch

Did you know the Apple Watch can be used to give you your estimated VO2 max score? I didn’t, but you’ll be happy to know that it can measure it without you having to go through the more troublesome and traditional way of measuring VO2 max by running your ass off on a treadmill.

While not as accurate as the treadmill-oxygen-mask method the Apple Watch gives you a simple way you can start collecting and testing your own VO2 max.

What is VO2 max you may ask, here are FAQs about VO2 Max.

Read moreHow to Measure VO2 Max Using Apple Watch

Drinking Alcohol Will Destroy your Sleep Quality

I’ve been tracking my sleep for quite some time now using the Apple Watch. I used to use the now-defunct Zeo Sleep Tracker, a device worn on the head using EEG signals to track your sleep. I’ve also ordered the Oura Ring, one of the more accurate consumer devices to track sleep.

Using the Apple Watch’s Sleep Watch app, I can only estimate my “restful sleep”. The app does not claim to know when you are in REM or deep sleep, very important sleep cycles. Hopefully, the Oura Ring can provide more insights into those cycles of sleep.

Although the iOS app doesn’t detect REM or deep sleep, I rely on it to detect my heart rate during sleep. A dip in heart rate during sleep is healthy and indicates more restful sleep. Studies correlate a lack of a heart rate dip with all-cause mortality, with findings state that “those with very small or no dips in sleeping heart rate were about 2½ times as likely to die in the next 7 years as those with normal or large dips during sleep”.1

 

Read moreDrinking Alcohol Will Destroy your Sleep Quality

Eric’s Dexa Scan Results for 2017 and 2018

If you want to know your lean mass percentage and other cool metrics about your body composition, the DEXA scan is one of the easiest ways you can find out.

The DEXA (Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) is a fairly accurate way of measuring your body composition. This includes your bone mineral density as well as your lean body mass and fat mass.

The DEXA scan does this by exposing you to low level x-ray beams throughout your body while you lie on a table. There are few items of interest that the DEXA reveals. One is the lean mass versus fat mass percentage per region (head, arms legs etc..), the other is the bone report that tells you your bone mineral density per region.

I got my scans done at BodySpec, where you can get a scan for 45.00 or 2 scans for 85.00. You can also get your Vo2 max measured as well as your resting metabolic rate (RMR)

I’ve done this 2 years in a row. For consistency, both times I’ve done it was around the same time of day and in a fasted state.

Here are the results:

Read moreEric’s Dexa Scan Results for 2017 and 2018

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