Kristen Holmes: Improving Circadian Behaviors, Tracking, and Leveraging Wearable Data

Kristen Holmes Improving Circadian Behaviors

Kristen Holmes
Improving Circadian Behaviors, Tracking, and Leveraging Wearable Data

As Vice President of Performance Science and Principal Scientist at Whoop, Kristen Holmes blends her academic and applied background in athletics, coaching, performance technology, psychology, and exercise physiology to drive research, education, partnership, and product development initiatives to strengthen WHOOP as a leader in Human Performance. Kristen’s research is focused on understanding the effect of sleep, circadian, recovery, and load behaviors on our physical, mental, and emotional resilience.

Kristen was a 3x All American, 2x Big 10 Athlete of the year at the University of Iowa, competing in both Field Hockey and Basketball, and a 2021 University of Iowa Hall of Fame Inductee. 7-year member of the U.S. National Field Hockey Team and one of the most successful coaches in Ivy League history, having won 12 league titles in 13 seasons and a National Championship at Princeton University.

We love having the ability to track our data with wearable technology, but often wonder how the large amount of data being collected can be used to help the general population. Kristen’s background in sport and coaching gives her a unique perspective while running performance science at Whoop and we really enjoyed understanding how we can all use data to track and improve the behaviors that will serve our health and fitness goals.

For more info on Kristen, follow her on Instagram, connect with her on LinkedIn, and definitely go deep in the science on Research Gate.

Points of interest in the episode: 

03:00  Juliet and Kristen met while advocating for women’s health and research in D.C. last fall
04:00  Kristen’s background as a competitive athlete and coach
06:24  How coaching helped Kristen understand that the hours outside of training are hugely important to performance and recovery
11:14  Kristen was the first coach in the NCAA to use HRV with her athletes
11:40  Kristen was using EPOC to determine substitutions during games, which was unheard of; EPOC defined
13:14  Developing her first company
14:40  Meeting up with Whoop
15:00  Kristen’s current research is on circadian behaviors
18:30  What we can meaningfully track? What are the myths?
22:38  HRV is an excellent proxy for mental and physical health
21:05  HRV defined
25:10  Kelly becomes HRV aware; Omegawave
28:05  Alcohol and HRV
30:10  Circadian behaviors
33:13  The importance of melatonin
34:36  Jared Hanley, NatureQuant
35:30  Night owls; Ken Wright Study
40:43  How to affect change in the household as a parent
43:04  Meal timing
46:20  Exercise timing
48:43  Weekly trends
50:25  Using data at the team level
53:55  Defining sleep debt
56:50  Population level data
61:50  The gen pop is not pleased to hear that 7-8hrs of sleep is the recommended minimum
67:44  Kristen’s socials



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