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Is the Whoop device any good for measuring sleep?

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The Whoop device, I estimate that at least 20 people have asked me about the Whoop device in the last three weeks. Why? Mainly because the popular podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” has it as a sponsor of the podcast for a Sober October challenge. In addition, Joe Rogan and some of his comedian friends are wearing the device to measure sleep, heart rate and activity.

Is the device any good for measuring sleep? This is the question I have been asked the most. So, I went on a scientific quest. Using terms related to the Whoop device such as validation, whoop, polysomnography, actigraphy I searched the databases; Pub Med, Google Scholar and via a University online library that links to many other databases. My initial result found nothing. I searched online via Google, and I searched throughout the Whoop website, and I found nothing. Now if you go there you will find papers under a heading called validation. However, none of these papers validated the Whoop device. They reference other studies and other scientific information.

To scientifically validate such a wearable device, it should be done against polysomnography (PSG) which is the gold standard for measuring sleep. You may recall a recent study I had published using this methodology. You can read more or listen to an audio abstract here.

Not satisfied with my scientific quest, I was determined to find out more. I emailed a selection of colleagues in the sleep research and sleep medicine field from around the world but alas I found nothing. I did find out that one research group has looked at this device against PSG. The paper is currently under review, and as such they cannot communicate the findings.

In summary, the Whoop device is or has not been validated for measures of sleep from our findings. If you would like to know more about validated wearable technologies or how to integrate into your business or team, contact Sleep4Performance or Melius Consulting.

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