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Have been using both the Oura Ring and the Apple Watch Ultra for over a year to track my sleep as well as my health and fitness. They both do a great job, but in this post, I wanted to review how both devices track your sleep and help you understand where you might need to improve.
So, let’s look at these devices in a bit more detail, starting with the Apple Watch Ultra.
Apple Watch Ultra:
I have owned many an Apple Watch over the years but have never really used them to track my sleep, until the Apple Watch Ultra came into my life.
Why, you may be wondering, well, it’s down to battery life. I would always charge my Apple Watch overnight, so would not wear it to bed as it would generally only last a day. With the Ultra, you have a better battery life, in my experience, at least two days of use before needing to charge.
The Apple Watch has evolved over the past year or so in that it does just tell you how long you have slept. It can now tell you how long you spent in each of the 4 different sleep stages:
It also provides a graph for you to be able to see it visually as well as just in numbers. This can be viewed on your Watch itself (this is on all Apple Watches)
Other things that your Apple Watch Ultra will track throughout the night are:
- Heart Rate
- Respiratory Rate
Not everyone likes to wear their watch to bed, and I am a bit the same, so it’s important to have a comfortable watch band if you want to use your Apple Watch for sleep tracking.
I, personally, use the Apple Trail Loop band as I find it to be the most comfortable. You can adjust it easily to how tight you would like it, and it’s also nice and soft.
App & Data:
You can see your sleep stages using the sleep app on your Apple Watch. This will only provide you with a limited amount of information but will give you a snapshot.
If you want to access more data, you will need to head over to the Health App on your iPhone. Here is where you will get all the other information that your watch will track. You will be able to see how much your heart fluctuates during the night and your respiration rates.
You can also compare across the days, weeks, and months to see how your sleep has changed, whether that be improving or seeing an area for improvement. The one thing that I wish the Apple Watch had was the Sleep and Recovery Scores already in the app. You can get these, but you will have to download a paid app.
This is where the Apple Watch Ultra, or Apple Watches in general, have an advantage over the Oura Ring. You can set a time for when you want to be in bed and when you want to wake up. One of the main things that I like about this is that you can set how long before bed you would like to start winding down. Once your iPhone and Watch go into Sleep Mode, you will not receive notifications unless you choose to. This is great for switching off before bed.
So, in my opinion, the Oura Ring has a couple of big advantages over the Apple Watch Ultra and there are
The Oura Ring will last at least 5 days before you need to think about charging it up again. This is great for those of us who experience battery anxiety. I like the fact that I can go away for a few days and, as long as charge it to full before I go, don’t need to take the charger with me. With the Apple Watch Ultra, you must take your charger with you.
Not everyone likes to wear a watch to bed, so having a ring that you can put on your fingers will be a lot more comfortable. To the point that after some initial getting used to it, I barely realise I have it on at times.
With the Oura Ring, you get a sleep score, which you don’t get on the Apple Watch. This will tell you how well you have slept in terms of it being poor, fair, good, optimal, etc. So you can see it at a quick glance.
You can also see the sleep stage data, like with the Apple Watch, and comparisons from weeks to months. It also tells you hate rates, HRV and Respiratory Rate, so it covers you on all bases.
App & Data:
The App itself is well set out and easy to navigate. On the Home Screen, you can see your sleep score and then at the bottom of the screen, there is a tab which is dedicated to your sleep data.
You can also get data on your Apple Watch in the Oura App. It’s less detailed than the app on your phone, but you can see your sleep, readiness, and activity score.
Both of these devices are great ways for you to track your sleep, and each has its strong points. It just depends on your preference, as with most tech. If you already have an Apple Watch and you just want to see how long you have been asleep, etc, then it’s more than good enough.
If you want to have something that Is more discrete and tracks a bit more in terms of HRV etc, then you might want to go for the Oura Ring. Any which way, I don’t think that you will be disappointed either way.