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Behavior Impact

Football Hangovers on Valentine's Day: Breaking Down the Data

February 14, 2022

We break down the Super Bowl’s negative effect on sleep and recovery, but also how Valentine's Day has a positive impact on WHOOP members’ metrics, including HRV. Plus, what about sex?


Mondays are usually the day of the week when our members have the highest average recovery, and for the past six weeks that number has been 65%. But on the Monday after the Super Bowl, that’s not the case. As expected, the average WHOOP recovery today in the United States is down to 61%.

The good news is today also happens to be Valentine’s Day, which we’ve discovered may actually help boost your recovery tomorrow. Our research also shows that people have more sex on Valentine’s Day, but will that still happen when factoring in the Super Bowl hangover?


Super Bowl Decreases Sleep & Recovery

Overall, WHOOP members slept about 18 minutes less last night compared to recent baseline averages.

A year ago recoveries took a much bigger dive among fans of the winning team than they did for the losing team–dropping from 60% to 47% in the Tampa Bay area compared to 58% to 52% around Kansas City.

However, this year the opposite is true. The stats from Los Angeles mimic the national averages (from 65% to 61%), but in Cincinnati today’s average recovery is just 51%.

super bowl recovery in cincinnait

Recovery after the Super Bowl is much lower in Cincinnati than elsewhere.

What could this mean? LA residents may not be as enamored with their football team (which recently moved back there from St. Louis, where the average recovery today is 60%) as other cities and possibly didn’t celebrate as much.

On the other hand, based on data from our journal feature, reports of alcohol consumption increased by 93% in Cincinnati last night (by far the most of any city we tracked).


Valentine’s Day Improves Recovery and HRV

In previous years we’ve learned that our members’ average recovery and heart rate variability are higher than usual on the day after Valentine’s Day. We’ve observed average recoveries go up 4%, and average HRV increase by 6.6% (65 milliseconds compared to 61 ms).

valentine's day improves HRV

Valentine’s Day has a positive impact on WHOOP members’ average recovery and HRV.

Are there common behaviors we engage in on Valentine’s Day that are beneficial to HRV? Things like expressing gratitude, acts of kindness, recalling positive experiences, and engaging in relationships you value can all positively affect heart rate variability.


Impact on Sex

Also worth noting, based on information logged in the journal our members have more sex on Valentine’s Day. Roughly 40% more, in fact, than on the same day of the week normally. It’s by far the biggest jump we see for any day of the year (by comparison New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are second with a 9% increase).

When it comes to a correlation with next-day recovery, we found that sex logged earlier in the day leads to 1% higher recoveries than when it happens around bedtime.

Tying it all back to the Super Bowl, last year we noticed very little change in reported sex that day in the region of the winning team (Tampa), but a massive 37% drop-off in the Kansas City area (the losing team). The same holds true again this year, however the dip is even greater in Cincinnati, down 58%.

Sorry about that Cincinnati, hopefully things turn around for you today!


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