Oura Ring

And The Power of Sleep

By Ryan Willms

It’s been a month now since I received the Oura Ring in the mail, and it’s already paying off. I don’t plan on plugging products too often on this site, but when I find something that I really like, that works well and I can really recommend, I probably will. And that’s what I’m doing here. To show that I mean it, I recently got one for my mom for Christmas.

My friend and previous coach John introduced me to the Oura Ring probably eight months ago now as he was getting excited about the product and knew their latest version of the ring was scheduled to release last fall. Folks he’d been following had been using it for the last couple of years, Aubrey Marcus and Ben Greenfield have been vocal supporters but it took me a bit of time to feel like I was ready to invest myself. As I get more in touch with the universe and allowing things to fall in place, this worked out perfectly as I’d started working with my new coach, Paul Chek and he had me documenting my resting heart rate each morning, how I slept and a number of other factors throughout each day. This primed me perfectly to introduce the Oura ring into my life, and understand on a deeper level how to use it as a tool, without getting attached to it or relying on it. The goal in the end will be to be connected enough to my body that I won’t need the ring, but in the meantime this ring is a great set of training wheels to fine tune one of the most important things we have access to, our sleep.

The latest version

The ring measures a lot of factors and gives you a lot of information, but the key daily reports are your Sleep Score and your Readiness Score. It does this by using; pulse waveform and pulse amplitude variation detection with infrared PPG sensor, body temperature sensor, 3D accelerometer and gyroscope, Interbeat interval of heart rate (IBI), pulse amplitude variation (related to blood pressure variation), ECG level resting heart rate (RHR), heart rate variability (HRV), respiratory rate, movements, and timing, duration and intensity of physical activity, body temperature deviation.

 

The Sleep Score consists of Total Sleep, Efficiency, Tranquility, REM Sleep, Deep Sleep, Sleep Latency, and Sleep Timing, which all all broken down each morning. This is probably the key information you get from the ring, as it then effects your Readiness Score, but your sleep is what I’m trying to affect as much as I can. By tracking my day, my movement, mediation, what I ate and when, how much caffeine I drank, or even who I spent time with—I can compare these factors daily to the data I get from the ring. The App provides great insight and notes to what each factor and element means and how it works within the construct of the score and your sleep. After you have more date, the App will also begin to guide you to a personalized bedtime window which is helpful to aim for. Realistically everyone should be getting to bed by 10-1030pm however to reap the rewards that sleep has to offer.

Sizing kit

The Readiness Score has already been crucial for me. I’ve been over worked, over stressed, and over exercised for a few years, driving myself into total exhaustion and adrenal fatigue, and as I crawl my way back to living in harmony with the 4 Doctors of Happiness, Quiet, Movement and Diet—the ring has been a very useful tool for insight into when I can go hard, and when I need to take my foot off the gas. I love coffee and started to realize at times caffeine was giving me a false sense of my energy levels which resulted in a tired mind and unbalanced blood sugar, which can lead to eating things I shouldn’t, feeling bad about myself and the lovely cycle that follows all of that.

 

This past week alone, I was able to make some positive, proactive decisions to my movement practice, opting for a massage or a float rather than the gym or even yoga, and within days and a couple of earlier nights to bed, I was feeling stronger and more energized than before the low readiness score popped up. I’m already feeling these benefits, I’m getting to bed earlier and I’m getting more in tune with my own circadian rhythm and body’s messages—only a month in! I’m excited where the Oura ring will help guide me. Self quantification is a powerful tool, but that is what it is, a tool. We still need to be responsible for ourselves, make the decisions to change our lives, but when we do and we feel the positive momentum as a result it feels empowering, and exciting and makes it easier and easier to continue doing.

 

Ben Greenfield recently wrote a long article about the Oura Ring, how to read it, what it does and all of the in-depth details you could need to get the most of out of it. Whether you’re thinking about buying the Oura Ring or already have one, it’s worth a read here.

 

One of the podcasts that got me excited about the ring before I bought it, was Kyle Kingsbury’s interview with Harpreet Rai, the CEO of Oura Ring—have a listen here.

This article was written by Ryan Willms and published on January 8, 2019