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Data Makes the Difference: The Oura Ring

March 03, 2020

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Essential takeaways:

  • The Oura Ring is a highly effective tool for tracking biometrics such as heart rate, heart rate variability, sleep phases and body temperature.

  • Oura’s specific focus on sleep and recovery makes it extremely helpful for determining quality and quantity. Optimizing sleep means optimizing function but it must be evaluated holistically.

  • Powerful insights regarding stressors makes managing lifestyle easy and accessible, especially when paired with Fieldlab tips. 

  • Fueling your self-experiment with data leads to high impact results and constant optimization.

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Field Approved: The Oura Ring

The Oura Ring has proven to be an extremely effective tool for tracking personal health and measuring function. If you have not yet heard of the Oura Ring, get ready to be amazed!

Developed by Finnish company Oura Health, the ring’s simple yet solid construction is highlighted by the sleek titanium outside that protects the ring’s technology from an active lifestyle, making it suitable for any user. The ring provides on-demand access to one’s physiology with an easy-to-use app that is downloaded directly to a smartphone and data that is easily updated via a Bluetooth connection. Worn on the finger of one’s choice, the device can be tracking constantly and becomes barely noticeable after some time. Oura, has even made conscious decisions to eliminate EMF as a variable in the equation by limiting the amount of time syncing occurs and absorption rate. It doesn’t get easier!

The best part – the Oura ring is a one-time purchase, with no subscription required.

Why Oura?

Unlike other biometric trackers, Oura’s primary focus is sleep – potentially the most valuable tool for recovery and increased function. Ultimately, one’s performance is a byproduct of the cumulative actions taken outside of active hours. By taking the emphasis off performance, individuals can focus on what truly matters – recovery and lifestyle – which will subsequently drive improved performance. During sleeping hours, the brain and muscles go through regenerative processes in order to heal from the previous day and prepare for the upcoming one. But it goes much deeper than simply considering quantity as measured by the number of sleeping hours; evaluating the different stages of sleep is critical to understanding recovery. Each stage provides the body with a different benefit and the greatest recovery occurs during deep sleep. 

What Should I Be Looking For? 

Tracking both quantity and quality could be our greatest tool for optimization and can be affected by any number of factors: activity, nutrition, stress, fatigue, routine, habits etc. and should be monitored closely in conjunction with one’s daily decisions and actions. Ultimately, optimizing sleep means optimizing health, performance, and function, but this can’t be done without data. In order to return an accurate assessment of one’s sleep quality, the ring considers a number of key health indicators: resting heart rate, HRV, body temperature and respiratory rate. A powerful algorithm provides a comprehensive sleep score and readiness assessment as well as a breakdown of the stages of sleep throughout the night. Oura will even provide gentle guidance based on scores and trends that make continued improvement easy and accessible. During the day, the ring returns powerful insights on what may be going well and what could potentially need attention. For many, the implications of stress and fatigue on the body could be negatively affecting or even eliminating many of the positive actions taken and mitigating or managing these factors is essential to overall function. Oura will let you know when it could be time to take a break, avoid certain stressors or provide you with the data to know what you are doing is working. 

Field Tests: 

  • Don’t think late night eating affects sleep and recovery? Think again! Observe your sleep score over time and the fluctuations caused by different eating times. Compare one day to another or pick consistent mealtimes over a month for a more in-depth comparison.
  • Skip the rest day and watch the effect on recovery – you may be surprised how drastic the impact truly is.
  • Experiment with sleep hygiene. Make your room colder or invest in a cooling mat, eliminate stimulus prior to sleeping or focus on calling it a day at a consistent time. All of these simple changes could yield surprising results. Look at the data over the course of a month or longer to formulate a holistic picture of what works and doesn’t work. 

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Medical Disclaimer: This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Monette nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program. Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Products sold on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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