I have been really getting into my health and fitness tracking recently with a keen focus on sleep tracking. Now I already have the Apple Watch Ultra which I have already talked about when it comes to health and fitness tracking (check it out here) but now I have a new tracker to bring to the table.
The Oura Ring certainly brings something new to the table because it’s a ring and therefore is not intrusive or uncomfortable when you sleep with it. It also captures more than just your sleep and provides information on heart rate variability, and blood oxygen levels, which I will cover in more detail as we go.
In order to get your trends to see and understand your sleep performance you need to use the ring for at least two weeks which is why now I have had this ring for just about a month I am ready to share some thoughts.
I decided to go with Gen 3 heritage ring in stealth which is kind of like a matt black. I like the aesthetics of the ring and it does look pretty stylish which was important for me as I wear it 24/7 so I wanted to be happy with how it looks on my hand. The Oura Ring comes in 5 different finishes and 2 styles that you can choose from.
I would say that it is really important to go through the sizing to ensure you get the right size. If it’s too loose you may not get the best data for tracking your sleep patterns and health scores. Getting the right size will also ensure that the Oura Ring is comfortable to wear.
I have noticed that with wearing the watch daily that it has started to get the odd scuff here and there. Nothing too dramatic and you have to get pretty up close to be able to see them so it’s not taking away from the look of the ring. This is just something that you have to accept as part of daily wear and tear.
This is the main reason that I was drawn to the Oura Ring. I wanted another way to track my sleep that didn’t involve having to wear my watch whilst, in bed, I was never a big fan of wearing it to bed but I have gotten used to it.
As I wear a ring already I found that wearing the Oura Ring didn’t bother me at all and was not interfering with my sleep in any way. I would say that this is one of the main benefits of using a fitness/sleep tracker like this. So from a comfort perspective, this is a great option for those who don’t want to wear a watch.
So let’s move on to what sleep metric the Oura Ring actually tracks and where it’s different from the Apple Watch. You will need to have the app Oura App Downloaded and set up so that you can receive the data from your ring. Once you are in the app the data is updated you will see a number of metrics that will give you plenty of information about your previous night’s sleep.
Within the app, you will see under the sleep tab that you have additional sleep contributors that you won’t see on the Apple Watch. These consist of metrics around efficiency, restfulness etc. All of these then combine to come up with your overall sleep score, effectively your sleep quality for that night. I really appreciate having a sleep score as you can see at a glance whether your sleep was optimal (good) or not. This is certainly something that I would like to see on the Apple Watch without having to pay for a 3rd Party App.
Other Sleep Metrics
There are other metrics that are available on the app such as resting heart rate, heart rate variability and blood oxygen these will also link to your Readiness score which I will touch on later.
like on the Apple Watch, you still get a nice graph that tells you how long you have spent in each of the sleep stages such as Deep sleep, REM sleep, Light sleep and how long you were Awake. You also have the days above so you can easily compare your data against other days.
I have really been enjoying this metric on the Oura Ring, it effectively is telling you if you are feeling refreshed and ready to exercise or if you should think about taking a rest. On the home screen in the app, you will get a quick glance at your score whether that be optimal or not. To get more information about what contributed to your score you can go into the readiness tab.
Like with sleep tracking there are a number of contributors that make combine to make up your readiness score. It will take into consideration your heart rate variability, resting heart rate, sleep and your previous day’s activities as well as a couple of others.
The other metric I like on the Oura Ring that is also on the Apple Watch is body temperature. This is not something that I had paid a lot of attention to previously but it is really interesting to see what can effective your temperature and what you can adjust in your lifestyle to improve your overall health metrics.
Although the Apple Watch Ultra does track many of the same things it doesn’t provide you with a Readiness Score, so to get around this you will need to download a 3rd Party App.
The Oura Ring doesn’t just track your sleep and readiness scores it also tracks your activity levels. of course, you need to have your phone to manage any exercises such as adding them in unless you have Apple Health and then you can sync your Oura Ring and it will pull in the date from there.
You can also manually confirm exercises on your phone when it thinks that you have been walking for example but you haven’t tracked it as an exercise on your watch for instance. You will also get notifications on your phone when your Oura Ring detects that you have not been active in a while, this is a nice reminder during the day especially when your working at a desk all day.
I have found that the battery life on the Oura Ring is really good and is generally lasting my 5-6 days before I need to charge it again. It also doesn’t take too long to charge back up and you get a nice notification when it has finished charging to full.
I like the longer battery life compared to smartwatches as it means that I don’t have to think about charging it every day or really worry that I am going to run out of charge. As you get notified when the battery is fully charged the Oura Ring will also notify you when it needs to be charged so you are not going to be caught out.
The ring comes with a charging station which you put your ring onto in order to charge. It is not big and just sits on my bedside table with my other charges for when I need it. One thing I would say is that the charger only fits your ring size so if you wanted to use a friend’s charger, for instance, they would need to have the same size ring as you for you to be able to use it.
This is not a cheap piece of kit and depending on the style and finish you choose it could set you back as much as $399. I do think that this is a bit expensive for what it is and you could pick up a smartwatch for around this price which will give more features.
Along with the cost of the ring, you will also need to pay a monthly membership fee. The membership fee is $6.99 a month and gives you access to all the data from your ring, you will get the first month free. I can’t say that I am a fan of the membership fee especially when you are already spending a lot of money on the product but it seems to be a model that most are starting to follow.
So what’s my verdict on the Oura Ring? I have to say that I have enjoyed it and found its features really useful. Being able to see my sleep patterns and keeping track of movement is great but the feature that I really like has to be the readiness score.
In terms of sleep tracking this has to be the most comfortable sleep tracker that I have used. You really don’t notice that you are wearing it when you are sleeping which is great as I think sometimes that can be a barrier to using a sleep tracker.
So if you are looking for a less intrusive way to track health metrics then I would certainly suggest giving the Oura Ring a look. I am not sure it made me get more sleep but it has certainly put a focus on making sure that I am getting good quality sleep.
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