There's nothing quite as important as a good night's sleep.
The amount of sleep that you get has a direct impact on your health, productivity and overall wellbeing. It helps to improve recovery, boost the immune system, and is as important to our overall ability to function as eating, drinking and breathing.
The WHOOP strap, with its in-app sleep coach feature, can help you not just to track but to improve your sleep, which has positive knock-on effects across all aspects of your life.
In our series 'WHOOP Diaries with Lauren Guilfoyle', we investigate just how the feature works. If you want find out more on WHOOP and how it can improve your sleep, click here.
The sleep coach is designed to give you personalised sleep suggestions based on how strenuous your day has been and when you need to wake up the following day.
By setting performance goals in the app, the sleep coach will tailor what sleep you should be getting.
On days where you need to be at optimum performance levels, you'll need to get 100% of your sleep. So, if you've a relegation six-pointer on the weekend, you'll need to be at your best.
For days where you need to perform, but not in a strenuous fashion, you need 85% of your sleep. Think of this as the amount of sleep you need if your team is mired in mid-table with nothing to play for.
For recovery days where you simply need to get by, you'll need just 70% of your sleep. Guess who has the weekend off?
Tracking Your Sleep Performance
There's a number of aspects of your sleep that you can track with WHOOP. It's crucial to recognise that the quality of the sleep is as important, if not more important, than the quantity of sleep.
From sleep stages to sleep cycles to sleep disturbances, WHOOP tracks it all.
WHOOP can track the time you spend in bed that you aren't asleep for, giving you a better indication of how well you've been resting.
However, the WHOOP app can also tell you if your sleep has been broken or disturbed. It knows if you've woken up in a cold sweat after having a nightmare about the Leaving Cert again.
(Okay, maybe it doesn't know exactly what you've dreamt about, but it knows when you haven't had an efficient sleep).
You can also track your breaths per minute whilst you're sleeping. This feature can actually let you know if there are any changes to your health that you should be aware of.
Monitor The Sleep You Need
Eight hours is the benchmark when it comes to sleep. However, the amount of sleep your body needs on any given day is unique to your body.
For Lauren, her WHOOP band automatically calculated that she needed the new seven hours and fifty-seven minutes sleep on one given night.
It gave her a suggested bed time as well, which is handy if you need to be coerced to get into the leaba.
WHOOP has four categories which determine how much sleep you need on a given night.
Baseline sleep is what WHOOP determines you need automatically based on how much sleep you typically get.
By accounting for Recent Strain, WHOOP will also recommend that you spend more time in bed if you're active throughout the day
Sometimes, we don't get enough sleep. The sleep left over from these nights is known as Sleep Debt. WHOOP factors your sleep debt into how much sleep you should be getting.
However, WHOOP also takes into account Recent Naps when calculating the sleep you should get in a given night. Sometimes, a siesta isn't the worst idea in the world.
All sleep isn't created equal. In fact, there are four stages of sleep, with each crucial to the process of recovery.
The first is you being awake. You might ask: What does being awake have to do with being asleep? Our first response would be "Don't be cheeky". However our second response would be that it's all about rest.
Light sleep is the second stage of sleep, which exists to allow you to transition into a deep sleep. Think of it like the M50, light sleep is the motorway between you being awake and you being fast asleep.
Next is REM sleep, where you dream about being Michael Stipe and putting men on the moon. No, it actually has nothing to do with one of the most popular bands of the 90s. Instead, this is the mentally restorative stage of sleep, where your body consolidates memories.
Lastly, you have deep sleep (or Slow Wave Sleep). This is the stage where your body restores your muscular, cellular and skeletal systems. All while you're snoozing away, Jaysus, the body is mad, isn't it?
Sleep is a valuable commodity.
The amount of rest and recovery that you get can be the difference between a yard on the pitch, so it's vital that you understand what your body truly needs to be at its peak.
WHOOP gives you deep insights into a vast array of categories, and your sleep is just one of them.