Category Archives: Balance Your Nervous System

Improve your HRV with the Delta Sleeper SR1

Many of you know SweetWater Health’s co-founder and CTO, Jo Beth Dow, as our resident biohacker. She has spoken at many quantified self events about her experiments. Most recently, she has been using the Delta Sleeper SR1 for better quality sleep and longer nights. Below you will find her testimonial:

“I am always searching for new techniques and technology that will help improve HRV.  Our partner and friend, Ben Greenfield of Ben Greenfield Fitness highly recommended the Delta Sleeper and he was posting his morning HRV after using the device.  I was intrigued after viewing Ben’s posts and I had to try it for myself.

I started using the Delta Sleeper SR1, a 1.5 ounce device, to determine what affect PEMF had on my heart rate variability.  Being an ultra lark I never had difficulty falling asleep but sometimes I had difficulty staying asleep.  I would wake up between 3:30 am and 4:30 am and start working.  Fortunately, I was getting 7 to 7 1/2 hours of sleep per night.  I never fully understood until now what affect my rather unique sleep schedule had on my husband.

The Delta Sleeper SR1 was easy to use and while I was sleeping I wasn’t even aware that I was wearing it.  The Delta Sleeper SR1 is a small device that you place on your brachial plexus using a thin adhesive strip. The first night I did not notice any difference.  The second night I was restless but woke up feeling unusually good.  The third night I had decided not to wear the SR1 and I had a very restless night.  I got up in the middle of the night and placed the SR1 on my forehead (this is not recommended application) but I was too groggy to apply the adhesive and place it on my brachial plexus.  I slept in until 7:25 am and felt wonderful!

I have continued to use the SR1 every night.  Even on the nights that I am not sleeping longer, I feel especially clear, relaxed and focused in the morning.  One night I told my husband I wasn’t going to wear the SR1.  I wanted to test the quality of my sleep without the product.  My husband responded, “You’re not?”  I replied, “What, you want me to wear it?”  His response was, “I want you to implant it.”

The SR1 has not only helped me sleep longer but as a secondary effect helped my husband sleep better.  Even the nights that I don’t sleep longer than my previous norm I feel like I am getting more quality sleep and sleeping deeper.  I have two months of HRV data since using the SR1.  My morning HRV has increased  9 points and is moving on an upward trend, reached an all time high HRV on several mornings and my afternoon HRV and LF/HF power levels have increased.  The numbers are impressive especially since the HRV value is logarithmic.

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To purchase the Delta Sleeper SR1, click here or on the image below.

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New Graphs: SweetBeatLife Update!

Yes, you read it right! There is a SweetBeatLife update available, which includes brand new enhanced graphs. The graphs are completely interactive and allow for a better view of your SweetBeatLife metrics.

Key features of the new graphs:

  • Zoom in by putting your pointer finger and thumb on the graph and moving your fingers away from each other. Double tapping the graph can also be used to zoom in.
  • Zoom out by using the same two fingers and making a pinching motion.
  • By holding your finger down on the graph, you will create cross hairs to pinpoint.
  • There is a yellow circle with an “I” in the middle of it in the top right corner which opens up the graph’s key.
  • Turning your phone to the left will give you a landscape view.

Note: If you do not see these graphs when you open SweetBeatLife, this means you have to manually install the update. You can do this by going to your App store, click on the bottom right tab labeled Updates, and install the SweetBeatLife update.

See below for examples of the new graphs:

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We have been constantly working on SweetBeatLife to make it the most full functioning heart rate variability (HRV) application you’ve ever used. We hope you enjoy these new graphs as much as we do!

Happy Quantifying!

Increase Your HRV, Lower Your Stress

You’ve just found the most powerful nervous system enhancement & stress relief tools in the world

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Every person experiences stress from time to time.  Just the word may be enough to set your nerves on edge. Some, though, cope with stress more effectively, or recover from stressful events more quickly, than others. Some are chronically stressed and easily fall into coping strategies such as anxiety, anger, depression, overwhelm, sadness, overeating, and many others.

Effec­tive stress management and emo­tional reg­u­la­tion depends on your ability to flexibly adjust your phys­i­o­log­i­cal response to a chang­ing environment. This flexibility is also referred to as resilience and can be measured via Heart Rate Variability (HRV).

What does flexibility look like?

A flexible nervous system has a few components:

  • Balance between Sympathetic and Parasympathetic branches of the Autonomic Nervous System
  • The ability to carry a variety of electrical impulses throughout the body
    • Called power levels of the nervous system

SweetBeatLife measures these 2 branches of the Autonomic Nervous System via LF (Sympathetic/fight or flight) and HF (Parasympathetic/rest and digest). While a healthy balance of LF and HF power is a ratio of 1:1 to 2:1 respectively, many customers find that their LF response is consistently 5x, 10x, and even 20x greater than their HF response!

In addition, many people show LF power levels in the thousands while their HF power numbers are in the low hundreds. We even see LF readings in the hundreds and HF of less than 100. These low readings are indicative of chronic stress.

The Good News Is….

…you can re-wire your nervous system, increase your power numbers (and your resiliency) and measure your progress via HRV. How? By using Centerpointe Research Institute’s Holosync® audio technology in combination with the SweetWater Health iPhone app called SweetBeatLife.

Holosync® audio technology provides a super-enriched environment for your nervous system, causing enormous, beneficial changes in the brain. SweetBeatLife is the easiest and most accurate way to measure your HRV and track the changes in your nervous system as you progress through the Holosync® program.

By creating resilience via Holosync® meditation, people and situations that used to stress you no longer affect you the same way. Your nervous system becomes more balanced and resilient.

What is Holosync®?

Holosync® is an audio technology you listen to using stereo headphones, which enables the left and right brain hemispheres to be targeted separately. By gently altering the electrical patterns in your brain, Holosync® creates states pf profoundly deep meditation usually only experienced by advanced meditators meditating for several decades (e.g. Zen Buddhist Monks). Holosync® is based on research by Dr. Gerald Oster of Mt. Sinai Medical Center, a pioneer of the effects of binaural beats on the brain, and the world-famous Menninger Clinic.

Holosync® has been around for twenty-five years, and has been used by over two million people in 193 countries.

Most people know that an EEG measures the different frequencies of electrical brain activity. Alpha brain frequencies are associated with relaxation, focus and concentration and enhanced learning ability; theta frequencies with dreamless sleep, creativity, and visionary meditation experiences; and delta frequencies with deep sleep, access to the unconscious mind, and charisma and persuasiveness. It is believed that in these brain wave patterns, usually experienced during sleep, the nervous system and body repair and recover from the previous day’s stressors.

Research has shown that meditation alters the alpha, delta and theta EEG patterns significantly, thus aiding nervous system repair and recovery. Holosync®, by directing specific sound frequencies to each brain hemisphere, gently creates alpha, then theta, and delta brain patterns.

Your brain responds by creating new neural pathways linking the left and right hemispheres and similar links between the amygdala (the brain’s more primitive emotional center) and the pre-frontal cortex (the source of executive control). This enables the Holosync® user to mitigate emotional reactivity and self-sabotaging behaviors as well as experiencing the other benefits of deep meditation, but without the long learning curve.

HRV during Holosync Meditation

Below are some examples of HRV measurements during meditation using SweetBeatLife. While HRV is dynamic and not the same for everyone, there are average ranges for the general population. Image 1 (below) is from an individual meditating without Holosync®, and who has never used Holosync®. Notice the HRV maxed out at around 695. Image 2 is from an intermediate Holosync® user during Holosync® meditation. During this session the HRV was more than 5400 (higher HRV is a sign of higher nervous system flexibility). The advanced Holosync® user shown in Image 3 maxed out at 12,430 during a Holosync® meditation, clearly signifying a very high and healthy nervous system.

As you can see, the Holosync® users show a significant difference in HRV, a difference enabling them to navigate life’s challenges with more flow and happiness.

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Special opportunity for a limited number of current SweetBeat and SweetBeatLife users:

SweetWater Health and Centerpointe Research are partnering to study the effects of Holosync® on HRV. We’re looking for a limited number of SweetBeatLife app users to participate! Each participant will receive a free personalized HRV assessment valued at $100.00 consisting of a brief assessment at the beginning of the study and a comprehensive report when the study concludes.

If you’re accepted to participate, you’ll not only get the above assessment, you’ll also contribute to scientific understanding of HRV, its relationship to stress and resiliency, and the effectiveness of Holosync® meditation in improving both.

To participate, you must have the SweetBeat or SweetBeatLife app and a supported heart rate monitor, and you must purchase Awakening Prologue, the initial level of the Holosync® program ($179 for CDs or $159 for downloadable MP3s). Centerpointe Research even offers an unheard of one-year money back guarantee on Awakening Prologue. They have millions of satisfied customers around the world (including me—I’ve been using Holosync® for 6 years).

To apply for participation, click here.

Even if you aren’t interested in participating in this study, we strongly suggest that you try Centerpointe’s Holosync® program. It will improve your overall HRV—and give you many other mental, emotional, and even spiritual benefits associated with meditation. Please check out their website.

In a Nutshell

  • Every person has stress
  • Chronic stress may lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and other illnesses
  • HRV is associated with nervous system flexibility
  • A high HRV is indicative of a healthy resilient nervous system that can cope with a wide variety of situations
  • Meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, anxiety and emotional well being
  • Holosync meditation dramatically accelerates the benefits of meditation
  • Holosync and SweetBeatLife provide the perfect toolset for you to achieve and track the benefits of deep meditation

Interview with Ronda Collier: How Heart Rate Variability Can Help You Manage Stress by Primal Blueprint

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Description: Host Brad Kearns talks with Brock Armstrong (the voice of the MDA blog podcasts and a Sweetbeat ambassador/product tester) and Ronda Collier, CEO of Sweetwater Health, makers of the Sweetbeat Life iOS application. Sweetbeat Life allows for convenient Heart Rate Variability (HRV) measuring and information storage. This discussion will acquaint listeners with the basics of HRV, and proceed quickly to discuss some of the finer points of HRV’s effectiveness in monitoring stress and recovery. Heart Rate Variability is a measurement of the variation in intervals between heartbeats. More variation indicates better cardiovascular fitness and stress management, and is represented in a higher HRV number on a 1-100 scale.

Finer details of this show’s discussion include: how Low Frequency (LF) and High Frequency (HF) values correlate with sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system activity; techniques for how to moderate your stress response and improve your recovery through breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and extra sleep; and a step-by-step process for how to get started in HRV monitoring (buying the proper equipment, operating the Sweetbeat Life app smoothly, and understanding how to best use the informational graphs generated by the app). This is a fantastic show to help you jump head first into the amazing health technology of Heart Rate Variability!

Topic timestamps:

  • What is HRV?: 01:19
  • Autonomic nervous system: 03:01
  • You want a high HRV: 08:32
  • Crossover point: 13:46
  • Look at other stressors: 21:31
  • The brain’s job: 23:37
  • Getting quality sleep: 30:31
  • Analyzing sleep cycle: 33:09
  • How to get started: 35:42
  • How did Ronda get into this?: 42:29
  • Stress measurement: 44:2

Listen to the full podcast here!

Author of “Less Doing, More Living” interviews Ronda Collier

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Ari Meisel interviews Ronda Collier on HRV. See below for a summary and a list of topics. At the bottom you will find a link to the original podcast.

Summary:

In Episode #104 Ari talks with Ronda Collier, CEO of SweetWater Health™, a company striving to revolutionize mobile health monitoring and stress management by combining verified medical research with the most recent mobile-tech innovations. During their conversation, Ari and Rondatouch on the frequently overlooked value of Heart Rate Variability and the future of health technology. 

7 Key Points:

  1.        The heart does not beat at a consistent interval like a metronome
  2.        Stress isn’t “bad”; How we react to it – our inability to come down – is what makes it bad
  3.        People who are in constant “fight or flight” mode normalize stress in their brains, which makes it difficult for them to institute change because these individuals don’t “feel” stressed
  4.        Monitoring HRV is a great way to maximize recovery from physical training and keep track of stress
  5.        When HRV levels are low do “busy work”; When they are high do “creative work”
  6.        Sensitivity to certain foods can significantly impact stress and HRV levels
  7.        Good nutrition, consistent exercise and self-awareness are the pillars of healthy living

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  •          02:05 – Happy Thanksgiving from Ari and the Less Doing Team!
  •          02:55 – Felix and Ari address tryptophan
    • Editor’s Note: Ari mentions that tryptophan occurs naturally in the body – he meant to say the opposite, we can only get it from outside sources vl
  •          03:25 – Tryptophan is not what makes us tired…overeating makes us tired
  •          07:56 – June 9th-12th of 2015, Ari will speak at the Fortune Leadership Summit
  •          19:27 – Ronda discusses her background and the journey to founding SweetWater Health
  •          20:40 – HRV: Heart-Rate Variability
  •          22:28 – It’s not that stress is a bad thing of and in itself…it’s how quickly we can recover from that stress.
  •          23:00 – Why should we care about HRV? Why even track it?
  •          25:55 – SweetBeat and how the SweetWater apps work
  •          27:00 – The SweetWater and the Vital Connect HealthPatch
  •          29:57 – HRV has been used by athletes for decades to help them mitigate the risks of overtraining
  •          29:05 – How can HRV monitoring work for a non-athlete?
  •          30:50 – SweetBeat can alert people to everyday behaviors that induce commonly overlooked stress
  •          32:10 – Meditation has always been a challenge for Ari
  •          33:15 – How Ronda personally uses her HRV monitoring tools
  •          33:39 – The bucket of willpower
  •          34:30 – When HRV is low; do busy work. When HRV is high; do creative work
  •          34:45 – When you are “in-flow”, HRV starts to go up naturally
  •          35:32 – Food sensitivity and how it relates to stress
  •          39:10 – Most people are not aware of modest heart rate spikes
  •          40:23 – The future of SweetBeat
  •          41:35 – The value of correlation
  •          43:27 – Ronda’s Top 3 Tips for Being More Effective:
  •          43:43 – Improving nutrition; eating fresh
  •          44:00 – Being self-aware of what’s going on inside your body
  •          44:30 – Exercise, even minimally, every single day
  •          45:10 – BeatHealthy.com

Click here to hear the podcast!

Triathlon World Summit Tickets Available Now!

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The Triathlon World Summit brings you experts that will teach you their tips and tricks to improving performance and health.

Our very own, Ronda Collier, has been interviewed for the Triathlon World Summit. She will be speaking about upping performance using heart rate variability for training. Register now for free! Ronda’s interview will run LIVE November 21st and 22nd. There are a total of 25 coaches, athletes and visionaries speaking between now and then, including our partner Ben Greenfield! View the schedule on their website.

They will play several of the interviews live and free. To get access to all of the information (over $600 in educational information, videos, slides, etc.), you must purchase the digital access pass.

FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY: digital access presale tickets are available for only $47 until event starts. The event begins on November 9th, at 2 pm PST. Get your presale tickets now!

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View nearly 30 HOURS of multi-media interviews between Kristian Manietta and the world’s experts and thought leaders on:

COACHING: The Coaches who are helping you remove the noise so you train better, improve health while also helping you get to the performances you desire even when the time you have to train seems against you.

NUTRITION: The Nutrition specialists helping change the game by getting you more metabolically efficient, recovering quicker, and not destroying your metabolism or long term health in the process.

THE MENTAL GAME: The NLP expert, the lessons from World Champions and the Coaches helping you learn how to develop this crucial 6 inches between the ears so you don’t fall short.

MOVE BETTER: The Movement specialists giving you the keys to better economy. Want more power, speed, better fuel efficiency and the ability for you body to endure.. then you need to learn from these guys.

The Triathlon World Summit is packed with so much information—answers you’ll need so Triathlon doesn’t wreck your health but improves it while helping you get the performances you desire — you’ll not only watch it once, but also keep it on hand for future reference!

 

“CrossFit’s dirty little secret..” – by Joe Bauer

joebauerJoe Bauer is a fitness and weight loss expert with over 13 years of experience as a CrossFit coach and personal trainer. Joe’s known as AllAroundJoe on his blog. He was able to make some very interesting discoveries using
SweetBeatLife’s HRV for Training feature. Read below for his blog post and a link to the full podcast.

“When it comes to CrossFit it’s easy to get addicted. You start to see improvements, it’s fun, you see more improvements, you’re looking amazing, you see more improvements, you’re getting competitive, you see more improvements, you push even harder, you start to feel like crap.

You cannot figure out why you feel like crap. You’ve been eating great. Mostly Paleo, lots of calories.

You workout all the time. Sometimes up to 2 hours a day. You drink tons of water. You take all of the recommend supplements for muscle growth and recovery.

Lake Chelan Ice Bath

In order to start feeling better for your workouts you take pre-workout supplements loaded with caffeine, or drink coffee. It works for a little while, and you crush workouts.

What you don’t realized is that you are fatiguing your insides. You hormones are drowning.

Finally you hit a wall. You can’t sleep (or you can’t stay awake). Your energy levels just don’t feel right unless you’re jacked with caffeine.

And finally you’re workouts start to suffer. You can’t hit the numbers that you used to hit, and when you tell your body to push… it literally shuts down, and you can hardly move.

When you ask your coach they probably say to take some time off, and eat more.

You take a week off, and when you get back to CrossFit you feel better. Well, you feel better for a few days or weeks. It really depends on how many times you’ve gone through the overreaching cycle.

The problem is that every time you train you don’t fully recover.

Eventually your hormones can’t keep up. And in my case it was my adrenal glands.

These are the glands that are located on top of your kidneys, and produce that hormones that are responsible for your fight or flight (sympathetic), and rest & relax (parasympathetic) nervous systems.

In my case the fight or flight system became fatigued, causing all of the above symptoms.

The initial feeling of fatigue is what lead me to the Ben Greenfield podcast, and the SweetBeatLife iPhone app.

My HRV ReadingThe SweetBeatLife app measures your Heart Rate Variability (HRV), and the power of your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.

The coolest things is that the HRV can tell you how recovered your body is, and if it’s ready for another CrossFit workout. It will literally tell you to have an easy workout day, or even take the day off. It does this when you simply open the app and take your heart rate for 3 minutes in the morning.

The SweetBeatLife app is so beneficial that I’ve asked ALL of our competitive athletes at StoneWay CrossFit to start using it daily. If the app says to take the day off there’s no arguing.Parasympathetic/Sympathetic

We all want to get better, and we get better during rest from hard training.

I’ve always told people to listen to their bodies, but the real truth is that we can listen, but without tools like the SweetBeatLife app we have no idea what our bodies are saying.

In this episode you learn about CrossFit and overtraining, plus…
  • The HRV tracking Sweet Beat Life app.
  • Where to learn about HRV.
  • What heart rate monitor that I’m using.
  • And much more.
Resources and links mentioned in this podcast

Sweet Beat Life app for iPhone
60Beat Heart Rate Monitor
Ben Greenfield Fitness HRV/SweetBeatLife Podcast #1, #2, #3

*above could be affiliate links. I get a small commission if you click through them and buy, but they in no way make the products cost anymore. If you decide to use them please let me know so I can thank you.

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