I have heard wonderful things about the Amazing Oura Ring for a long time. If you care about your health, and if you want to track HRV — Heart Rate Variability while you sleep — then one of the only consumer-facing items you can add to your health assault arsenal is, the Oura Ring! Yes, the Oura Ring gives you rungs of an aura of invincibility because you begin to learn things about the way your body operates — especially while you’re sleeping — that others, without the ring, cannot know. The Oura Ring has a battery, is Bluetooth enabled, and it communicates with your iPhone to update your Apple Health vitals — and it does all this via three LEDs in the ring that read your heart rate, movement, and temperature.
Our Oura rings arrived today from Finland! What amazing technology. I love the passive, but active, recording of HRV, REM, temperature — and our ongoing human animation! This is the future of proactive healthcare! pic.twitter.com/cK64pel1gu
— David Boles (@DavidBoles) August 2, 2019
You can wear the Oura Ring all day to track your movement, but the Oura Ring shines best on you while you sleep.
The Oura Ring battery lasts for five days between charges, and every morning when you awaken, the Oura Ring will tell you how you slept, give you a Readiness report, and track, and set, activity goals for you.
Readiness is a curious, and often hard to understand, Oura Ring contemplation. Your body temperature plays into your Readiness — a lower temperature is better — and your resting heart rate is really important to the ring’s analysis.
If your resting heart rate is high when you awaken, then you know you are not getting enough sleep, and your Readiness for the day will be affected.
Sleep is also a fascination. My Apple Watch tracks my sleep via Apps, and I can tell you the Oura Ring is much more unforgiving of tossing, and turning and, if you happen to fall asleep too quickly, the Oura Ring will punish you in the morning with a Latency score that suggests the reason you fell asleep too fast last night was because you did not get enough sleep the night before! A vicious circle is created by the one ring designed to unite them all!
As well, my Apple Watch App tracks my deep sleep, and my REM sleep, and it used to give me solace; but my Oura Ring is extremely hard on me when it comes to calculating REM sleep, and the ring can make me feel, at times, as if there is no amount of sleep that will ever please my Oura Ring to earn me a higher REM sleep rating!
My Apple Watch loves my exercise and activity. My Oura Ring does not like how active I am — because my Oura Ring tells me that when I am too active, it affects my Readiness, which then affects my sleep, which then means I am not resting enough to get a better overall rating.
While I appreciate that coaching goal of the Oura Ring, one can easily become dismayed by the process if you like to be active, because you will be punished by your ring for not getting enough rest between workouts.
You know you’re doing well, and you’re on track with Oura, when you get an “crown” for your Activity rating for the day.
The real, invaluable, power of my Oura Ring is in its ability to track health trends over time. During the first week of September I had a health double-whammy.
I was diagnosed with two Malignant Basal Cell Carcinomas on my face that had to be immediately, surgically, removed and, the day after my skin cancer surgery, I was subsequently diagnosed with a serious, advanced, case of E. coli poisoning — that actually happened three days prior during the Labor Day weekend.
You quickly learn to spot the differences in the dead of night — by feel alone! — between Neosporin and Preparation H!
Here is my Oura Ring Total Sleep trend from the website service portal for the ring. You upload this data from your iPhone to the Oura portal for a deeper dive into what’s happening to your health over time.
Here are just a few of the trends you can track — with a full explanation of what you’re seeing from Oura on their website.
Notice the big sleep dip in September? That’s when I was pooping my blood and guts all night long with the lovely E. coli — and the lesson of E. coli, is this: You are on your own, nobody can help you, it’s between you, the toilet, and all the blood you’re losing! Skin cancer is much more a companionship-based ailment!
My REM Sleep Time trend also shows a massive drop in early September.
You want your resting heart rate to be low, and in September, you can see the rising trend of my resting heart as I’m fighting the E. coli bacterial infection.
My average resting heart rate is usually around 50bpm, but during the E. coli episode, I was regularly around 88bpm.
My Oura Ring trends for walking are also revelatory — when I was ill in September, my mileage precipitously dropped, and I’m still ticked off about that!
Again, my Lowest Resting Heart Rate trend is usually really good — but it elevates in September and stays there for a good two weeks.
What wreckage cancer and E. coli transpose against what used to only be an Apple Watch life!
Now, HRV — Heart Rate Variability — is vital to track, but HRV readings are specific to you, and your heart, so it doesn’t so any good to compare my HRV to anyone else’s.
Generally, a higher HRV number is better because it means your heart is resting longer between beats, but it doesn’t always mean that; but having your specific HRV tracked over time can really be a benefit for your cardiologist to see what’s going on with you.
Again, the September curse is such a drastic drop in my average HRV that it almost looks like an outlier, even though we know it’s not — it’s the proof of what happened.
Finally, here’s my temperature trend. Cooler is usually better in the Oura Ring world, and so you can see my ring really tanked my Readiness rating in September for those notorious couple of weeks when I was overheating!
I have a love/hate relationship with my morning Oura Ring Readiness Report — but I absolutely admire the goals, and technology, of the aura ringlets that surround my every waking moment, and influence every deep slumber — and I love the ultimate impact of the Oura Ring on my health and life.
The Oura Ring is a much more sophisticated health monster than the Apple Watch, and while I try not to let my Oura Ring ruin my morning when I see a low Readiness rating, I do enjoy knowing what may be in store for me the rest of the day depending on the deepness of my sleep, and restfulness of the night before.
Getting at least seven hours of sleep a night is primordial if you hope to get your health back on the level.
For decades, I used to only sleep four, or five hours a night. I thought I was tough, and invincible, because I could operate at a high level working on only a few hours of sleep.
Now I know better, and I’m trying to do right by my body and mind. I accept that getting eight, or even nine hours of sleep a night can profoundly change your life; and your Oura Ring will tell you that daily, and never leave an aura of doubt.