Kristen Holmes Hone In Episode 16
Kristen Holmes: How Sleep Impacts Heart Rate Variability and Performance
Recovery secrets to perform better in the gym.

As the vice president of performance science and principal scientist at Whoop, Kristen Holmes, PhD aims to move the needle big-time on health markers that matter. Her average day involves researching the effect of sleep, circadian recovery, and load behaviors on physical, mental, and emotional resilience to help Whoop members change the trajectory of their health.

In this episode of Hone In, podcast host and Hone Health CEO Saad Alam sat down with Holmes for the inside scoop on the exact changes that make the biggest impact on how you show up and perform every day.

They talk about the link between sleep quality and heart rate variability (HRV)—a key biomarker linked to how hard you can push during a workout (or workday) and how fast you’ll recover. Plus, what to drink (and not to drink) to boost your HRV.

Holmes also outlines how to control natural and artificial light to maximize your sleep-wake cycle. And how to know when to hold back and push in your workouts based on your HRV and stress levels.

Listen to the full episode for a sneak peek into how to tweak your habits to boost HRV quickly, and ultimately live a longer, higher-quality life.

Listen on:


  • How fitness performance is linked to HRV
  • Exactly what time to stop looking at artificial light for better sleep
  • Biomarkers that may indicate stress and how to improve them
  • How circadian rhythm plays a role in boosting recovery
  • Holme’s three non-negotiables for high-quality sleep


  • How your physiological behaviors are linked to your psychology
  • Why this one bad habit might be reducing your performance
  • When (and when not to eat) to optimize your circadian rhythm
  • The one recovery strategy you’re probably missing
  • Why you should always get a few hours of sleep before midnight
Kristen Holmes