2020 was a shock for many people. Less Covid and more personal drama, it succeeded in complicating our lives. My husband and I had to make some efforts to leave behind a tragic period that brought some complications in our day-to-day (and night-to-night) life.
The result of the happenings was panic attacks for me and the feeling that my heart was not behaving. After 3 investigations that revealed nothing, I still had some panic attacks that interfered with our day and normalcy.
So the solution my husband proposed (he’s nothing if not the best fixer in the world really), was a heart rate monitoring smart something.
I love watches but the classical ones and a smartwatch could not help me at night. After reading Lifespan by DAVID A. SINCLAIR we started to follow him for more advice on smart and long living. One of the tips Sinclair gave was a tracker for his sleep and activity levels. This was in 2021 and at the end of the year, we ordered our first Oura rings.
They stay on for sleep, for dives and the beach, for the airport, and the trips we take.
And with its Gucci collaboration, you can keep it on for every other occasion you can think of, even if you are very fashion-conscious.
Oura Ring review: My first year with a smart ring, for panic and health
So the trigger was my anxiety and the need to know my heart rate when I had the impression it was strange. Mostly at night. The Oura Ring does this instantly, so each time I felt uneasy, I just checked the app and made sure the heart rate was normal and then went back to sleep calmer.
So what does Oura ring monitor?
The Oura Ring monitors sleep, heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), personalized temperature trend, activity, and period prediction for women.
Oura Ring measures the following parameters and by measuring them it helps with the following:
a. Oura ring measures Sleep Quality and quantity
The Oura Ring accuracy is comparable to gold-standard sleep lab testing, the website tells us. It determines the quality of your sleep by taking indications from: total sleep time, time in bed, and resting heart rate. For example, your score could be low even if you spent 10 hours in bed. Sleep efficiency is a measurement that reflects the percentage of time you spent asleep compared to the time you just stood there. Oura also records the amount of REM sleep (it must be around 1.5 hours a day for best results and decreases with age) and Deep Sleep (about 0-35% of your total sleep, or 1-1.5 hours, also decreasing with time).
These very important data is added to the Measurement of Blood Oxygen Levels and Breathing regularity. Thus indicating the Heart rate and heart rate variability.
It’s an immense help for people with sleep apnea, like my husband. But it also matters a lot in the overall score for the day, as you can find out why you feel down. You’ll stop blaming the phases of the moon, the spring or depression.
The Oura App warns you at night when it’s time to get away from the phone or TV and to start to unwind. And it has a variety of over 50 audio sessions for meditation, sleep, focus, energy boosts. After learning your routine, it determines the best time for you to go to sleep and wake up. And it counts your Naps, often timing the perfect time needed to recharge.
I spent more time on Youtube for the meditation practices (that’s why you can only see 22 min below in meditating time).
This is basically what my year with Oura Ring looks like, in the retrospective the Oura App made for me. There are other screens, but the most relevant for now are these.
b. Oura Ring determines Your Readiness
Like I said, once the levels of your sleep are available every day, your readiness can be calculated by the Oura ring, keeping in mind the Goal you choose. Oura tracks heart rate, activity levels, and training frequency. It lets you input data about your training and choose the intensity of exercise. And it even upgraded the App by letting you start a recording of your workout.
On the main screen of the app, you get a counter for your calories and the minimum needed to stay on par with your goal. And it even warns you every time to stay in one place too much and reminds you to move. Like it did for me right now, and so I’ll go drink some water. 🙂
If your sleep was good and your readiness is good, the goal for the Activity levels is higher. Makes sense right?
All day long and in training, the Oura Ring records Resting Heart rate, HRV balance (an indicator of recovery based on comparing the last 2 weeks of heart rate variability data to the last 3 months. The comparison works because using a shorter window means the levels would be all over the place, as the body needs rest after some days and nights of intense exercise. Also, there’s a clear warning for when you eat too much or too late in the day.
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Too tired – Some days the body needs rest even if you feel like you can carry on. The early prevention of exhaustion is better than long periods of recovery.
Real Madrid joins the Oura Rings too, as the ring becomes a Partner to Provide Insights on Club Recovery and Training for the reason I stated above.
“The Oura Ring allows us to see how our players respond to training, traveling, or for instance, stress and, as a result, their recovery trend,” Dr. Suzanne Huurman, Real Madrid’s head of medical education and head of academy, said in a statement for businesswire.com.
Likely sick – by analyzing the changes in your temperature trends, heart rate variability and rediness levels, Oura can predict periods of sickness. And it got some right. Over the year we tried to counteract the start of the sickness and prevented based on the levels in the Oura App.
Period and Ovulation predictions – based on readiness levels but mainly on body temperature, the Oura Ring lets you know when there’s a less likely time to be able to wear white pants or make a baby. It needs improvements from my experience (it’s only been out as a feature for about 6 months) and I still use another app for this function.
c. Activity is determined and encouraged by your Oura Ring
On the App every day you can see some data gathered by your Oura. The Activity indicator determines the number of calories burnt in a day and the minimum you need to reach based on your priority.
When you make your profile on the App, you can choose age, weight, and type of lifestyle. And the goal you want to reach> be more present and focused, Be more productive and energetic, Improve athletic performance, Develop learning skills, Manage stress levels, and Improve health.
And no, there is no Weight Loss objective, but the data gets you there as you choose better health as an objective.
Compared to Samsung Heath, for example, the number of steps counted is kind of similar. Same with the number of calories. Except that the intensity of effort and exercise gives some different counts on Oura.
The heart rate in real time was a lifesaver for me. The ring uses 3 little sensors that are situated on the underside of the finger. Doctors measure your heart rate from your finger for a reason and so the measurement is quite accurate. And you sometimes glow in the dark, green when Oura measures Heart Rate and Red when it measures Oxygen levels. And it’s cool, you expect a lightsaber to come out of it.
And when you’re really down and just don’t know it, Oura enables Rest Mode, which adjusts your daily goals — prioritizing rest and recovery and making you avoid feeling guilty that you didn’t reach the Goal.
The catch with the Oura Ring and Oura App>To have access to all the data you will pay a monthly subscription of 6 dollars (in Dec. 2022). This is after a 1-month free trial.
Oura Ring frequent questions and some advice after a year of use:
How can you order an Oura Ring?
The first step when ordering an Oura Ring is to get the Size kit. We recommend you wear your practice ring for about a week minimum. My advice and theirs is to get comfortable with the smaller size if you’re between measurements. Keep in mind that the real Rings are very sleek and smooth and if you choose a larges size they’ll fall or fail to register data.
There is a size for you, I guarantee it, because I have really scrawny fingers and my husband’s really thick ones. And we got the first and last sizes. You can keep the sizing kit.
Which finger is best for Oura Ring?
Oura recommends the index finger for best results. I have it on my left hand, index finger and only change hands when playing tennis, because it’s uncomfortable under the handle and because I fear damage. But be chill, the Oura Ring is made from titanium.
Other features of the Oura Ring Gen 3:
- Compared to the old edition, that has a flat surface on the front, the new one has a completely round shape
- It’s Water resistant up to 100 m (more than 328 ft.)
- Lighter than a conventional ring (4 to 6 grams)
- Includes size-specific charger and USB-C cable
- With daily wear, the ring may develop scratches
- And the colors available are: Silver, Black, Stealth, Gold, Rose Gold.
Info and images from> ouraring.com
and start your own journey toward BETTER
Once you input the size you want and the model, your ring is on its way.
Does the Oura ring count steps? Yes, but the main goal you see and strive towards is the Activity Goal. Once you press the Activity tab on the Oura App you can see your number of steps.
Is Oura ring battery-powered? How long the battery lasts? – Yes, Oura is battery powered and the battery is rechargeable by USB. Each ring has a small dock and you must remember to bring it on your holidays. The Oura Ring battery lasts for about 50 hours. Approximately.
Can you keep your Oura ring on the plane? Yeas, you can keep it on in the airport scanner and on the plane, but it has an Airplane mode and once activated you have to put the ring into the charger to take it off airplane mode.
Is the Oura Ring better than a smart watch? – For me, the Oura ring was better than a part watch because of the reason i needed it. I needed something slick to sleep with and move around all day and in all environments.
What other devices for health and exercise monitoring exist like the Oura Ring? – You can choose any smart watch or a Whoop band, the apps in the phones like Samsung Health or others. The main thing is for you to become accustomed with the divide and keep it near, to learn about you and for it to come to help you ane become more than a fashion statement or novelty.
Can the Oura ring be integrated with other apps? – Yes, you can correlate data sharing between the Oura ring and Health Connect, Google Fit, Strava App, and Groups (of you’re in a company of football team).
Is the Oura Ring really worth it?
The answer is YES, the Oura Ring is worth it. To calm down, to monitor your sleep and understand why you can’t perform better in a day. To know if your body needs rest and to know if a cold is after you. It helps a lot and I honestly don’t know if my panic attacks and poor sleep could have been cured as fast if we didn’t get the Rings.
As a sociology student in the past, I love some functions of the ring. Data is amazing and can determine so much, tell so many stories. Like the one below. The Heart rate during the World Cup Final (amazing final) for people in France and Argentina. France has a really bumpy ride!
This year, Oura joins another F1 team (Aston Martin Red Bull Team) as a health technology partner. In 2022, you could see Leclerc from Ferrari playing with his Oura ring.
“Formula One is constantly evolving with new technology, and we never stop searching for extra performance that will give us an edge. We’re delighted to begin this new partnership with Oura, who offers us just that.” – Christian Horner, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team Principal (source)
David Sinclair is A.O., Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Genetics and co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at Harvard Medical School)
Read more studies, research articles and other news about Oura ring here.
And below, a demonstration made by Rob ter Horst, a scientist with lots of videos on youtube.