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Measuring heart rate variability
Frequency Domain Scores of your Heart Rate Variability
Frequency Domain Scores of your Heart Rate Variability
Mark avatar
Written by Mark
Updated over a week ago

Our Frequency analysis shows the power of high frequency (HF), low frequency (LF), and very low frequency (VLF) waves generated by your heart.

If you want to complete your Heart rate variability (HRV) scores with the Frequency analysis, you need to take a longer measurement in 300-RR interval duration mode. Just head to Menu → Settings and enable the 300-beat mode.

To get the most accurate Frequency analysis, stick to the following rules:

  1. Use the bathroom before the measurement.

  2. Lie down for at least 5 minutes before you measure.

  3. Make sure you are lying down with your legs stretched out while taking the measurement.

  4. If you want to keep track of your trends, take measurements at a set hour several days in a row.

Don't forget to check out our measurement guidelines.

Total Power shows the sum of HF, LF, and VLF waves generated by your heart. Lower values usually mean that you are too tired or sick. Higher Total Power is better, but it should not be too high.

High-Frequency (HF) waves depend on your parasympathetic activity and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (normal variations in your heart rate when you inhale and exhale). Your night HF values are usually higher than those you see during the day. That's why comparing your morning, day, and night values won't get you anywhere. But if your morning values keep dropping throughout the day, it may be a sign of chronic stress.

Low-Frequency (LF) waves’ score partially depends on your HRV metrics. When you are calm and relaxed, your LF values reflect the baroreflex control of sympathetic nerve activity — the fastest mechanism that helps regulate your blood pressure. You can see higher LF values after yawning, inhaling, or if your respiratory rate is 8.5 breaths per minute or less. The latter also means that your LF score reflects your parasympathetic activity.

Very Low Frequency (VLF) waves are the most tricky ones. Your heart is in charge of their rhythm, while your sympathetic nervous system can impact the waves’ frequency and amplitude. The VLF values change pretty fast — within several seconds or minutes. That's why this score can vary considerably, even in the results of back-to-back measurements. If your VLF score keeps dropping, it may signify the whole body inflammation or low testosterone levels. And high VLF values mean that your body is most likely under pressure.

We calculate your Frequency Domain scores using normal ranges specified in scientific studies and HRV measurement standards. These ranges can give you additional info about your health in general. However, these typical normal ranges may not reflect how you feel right now.

That's why instead of specific characteristics of each type of wave, we give you the interpretation based on the balance between all the frequencies and the total sum of their power.

I can't get my spectral analysis after taking a measurement in the 300-RR interval duration mode. What should I do?

To get your frequency analysis, there should be more than 280 RR intervals in your measurement. You can see the resulting measurement length in the details of the histogram message in the Total Beats section. During a measurement, RR intervals can be filtered out due to noises or irregular peaks. If you receive a result that is less than 280 RR intervals, just repeat the measurement in several minutes. If you have a naturally low heart rate, try to measure sitting with a straight back rather than lying down. If you still receive a result that is less than 280 RR intervals, try to increase the number of beats for camera measurements in the Debug menu.

If you are an iOS user:

  1. Tap the Menu icon in the upper left corner.

  2. Scroll down to the end of the screen and tap Report a tech problem.

  3. Tap the "Report a tech problem" heading 5 times until you see the "debug mode is on" message.

  4. Go back to Menu and tap the Debug option.

  5. Change the Measurement duration in the Heart rate monitor section to 400 beats and retake a measurement.

If you are an Android user:

  1. Tap the Menu icon in the upper left corner.

  2. Go to Account.

  3. Tap your email address 5 times until you see the "debug mode enabled" message.

  4. Go back to Menu and tap the Debug option.

  5. Increase the Number of beats for camera measurements in the Measurement settings section to 400 and retake a measurement.

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