HRV: Has anyone tried more than one tool to measure Heart Rate Variability? Which one did you prefer?

I’m interested in buying something to measure heart rate variability.

I want to use it for:

  • Knowing if I’m close to overtraining (Bodybuilding)
  • Knowing if I’m stressed and need rest.
  • Making month long experiments and seeing if they improve HRV.
  • It should also track when I go to bed, when I wake up and how long I slept. (And perhaps approximate how much time I spend in each sleep stage)

This is my criteria:

  • I don’t want to pay subscription
  • I would like it to be as passive as possible, while still being accurate enough to make conclusions from. I don’t like sitting with a smartphone 1 min. each morning to measure with the camera.
  • It needs a public API, so I can export the data.

I’ve been considering the Oura ring or maybe something I can put under my bed, if it’s accurate enough.

Has anyone tried multiple tools for measuring HRV? Which one did you choose? And why?

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I tried several a few years back. I can’t remember which ones they were. If it’s important, I could try and figure it out. It was one more thing to do. I’ve learned to rely on Garmin’s Stress numbers and Training Peaks interpretation of them to inform my training.

I’ve been considering the Oura ring or maybe something I can put under my bed, if it’s accurate enough.

Optical methods are far from being accurate. The most reliable and accurate sensors for these types of readings are those that extract HRV directly from the ECG signal. As you probably know, HRV is the variation in the time interval between consecutive heartbeats in milliseconds, thus precise beat-to-beat interval can be extracted only from the raw ECG signal.

I would suggest looking for sensors equipped with accurate, continuous ECG monitors.

Does Oura have accurate continuous ECG monitors?

Oura is equipped with optical infrared sensors to measure heart rate and heart rate variability. They state to have R^2 = 0.980 (https://blog.ouraring.com/how-accurate-is-oura/) when compared to medical-grade ECG device so it’s on you to decide if this satisfies your needs.

Do you know if emfit comes close? Or how about watches like Garmin?

Watches are not capable to measure your HRV from the ECG, that’s just how our physiognomy works. Not sure how emfit works or if it will match all of your criteria, but you can give it a shot. Have you considered using a chest strap?

I don’t want to put on a chest strap everyday.
So you think Oura is better than watches? Oura with R^2 = 0.980 is good enough for me, but I could consider a watch if it is just as good.

Optical methods work well, provided you can sit still :grin:

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Keep in mind: For assessing training readiness, HRV is usually just one factor that’s taken into account, along with many other (often purely subjective) metrics. If you were hoping for one convenient, magic number that will tell you what to do, you might end up disappointed…

Which other metrics would you ue? :slight_smile:

Have a look at either HRV4Training or EliteHRV, that will give you an idea of what kinds of metrics matter.