This is the definitive Oura Ring review.
Starting with what an Oura Ring is. The Oura Ring is an overall health and wellness tracker focusing on sleep, that works remarkably well because it’s something that’s designed to be worn 24/7, and be directly on your person in the form of a ring. This allows for data collection of sleep (it’s primary and most touted function), HRV (heart rate variability) and more to determine your overall “Readiness” score for a given day. The key is to use all of the data points that compose your readiness score to improve it day by day, whether that is going to sleep earlier, not drinking alcohol before bed or trying to lower stress levels — all of which contribute to you being more in control of your day and making your overall life better.
We are all creatures of habit and in the year 2018, we have a habit of creating lots of data, whether it is traces of our location, shared with Google, all over the interwebs, health and fitness or list after list or pin after pin — we create data. Sometimes that data is seamlessly collected, such as fitness data from your favorite smartwatch; yet, at times, it can be difficult, such as logging each meal.
Every piece of data is valuable, especially when it’s aggregated, and presented to the user in a concise manner that is easily interpreted and can be utilized for deep analytics. That is where biohacking comes in. What exactly is this word? Isn’t hacking usually associated with computers? The answer to that question is yes, usually.
Biohacking is “the process of making changes to your lifestyle in order to hack your body’s biology and feel your best.” (Source: Dr.Axe)
Oura Ring, version 2.
The Oura Ring is the perfect companion for a biohacker because it focuses on it’s niche and hones in on what it does really well.
- Sleep tracking
- Readiness tracking
- Heart rate variability
- (anything in between)
The Oura Ring is designed to be worn 24/7 to help provide these statistics, the number that users all know, associate with and love is your daily “Readiness” score, which is a compilation of a number of factors including sleep, heart rate and more from your previous day that is an overall measure of how ready you are for the upcoming day.
The experience of Oura begins from the moment that it arrives in a very well designed box. This entire review is based off of the second iteration of the ring, which is more streamlined than that of the first version.
As soon as the box is lifted off, you are greeted by the ring and it’s beautifully crafted inductive charger, which tops the ring off to 100% in about an hour with a battery that lasts for at least a week, easily being that smart device that lasts and lasts. Thank you Oura, thank you.
Day to Day Use
Once the ring is on your finger, it’s off to the races! Before placing your final order with Oura, part of the process is to get a sizing kit, in which the company sends a variety of sizes so that you can practice wearing the ring on any finger you’d like. This is very important because while you may be a certain size in a traditional ring, the Oura contains a set of sensors inside of the band that may throw that size off. In short, get the sizing kit or else you would’ve wished that you had.
The ring is very light and a pleasure to wear, so much so that it’s a bit unnerving of it’s lack of significant weight; however, that helps the device get out of the way so that it can collect valuable data for you. Throughout the day, the Oura app will buzz you in order to promote movement, asking if “it’s time to stretch your legs a bit?” when you’ve been sedentary for too long — which is a jolt that all of us need from time to time. This may be a feature that if you’re an Apple Watch user can become a bit redundant, but I found it welcoming as I’m a firm believer in overall wellness and movement.
The true magic of Oura comes at night, as this is when all of your sleep data is tracked, which is the largest selling point of the ring as a whole and it does not disappoint. As noted earlier, the big daily number is your Readiness score, which is a compilation of a variety of measures that are taken during your sleep time to determine how “ready” you are for the day. All of your statistics are stored inside of the Oura app and once opened, you’re greeted by your readiness score, then once clicked — you’re hit with a multitude of values to help you “hack” your way to better readiness.
Home screen of the Oura app for iOS. (I didn’t get the best night sleep the prior night — which is excellent to see all of the factors, as this is why I purchased the ring to begin with.)
Tapping on your Readiness score will give you a breakdown of all of the factors that contributed to that score:
Readiness score comprise.
Once tapped, each item can be expanded upon giving the user a detailed definition of what is being tracked, along with graphs which go back over the lifetime of the ring, which allow for deep analysis into trends of how your body responds to certain stimuli such as lack of sleep, alcohol before bed, increased heart rate due to a late meal or workout — the range of factors are endless, yet the data speaks for itself and is backed up quite well. Read over this study (Source: NCBI, PubMed which contains biomedical literature), which measured the performance of the Oura ring against polysomnography, which is used for the study of sleep and as a diagnostic tool in sleep medicine (Source: Wikipedia).
King of Sleep
The Oura Ring has made a name for itself because of it’s ability to track sleep like no other wearable on the market and provide deep dives into all of the sleep cycles that our body goes through on a nightly basis.
The Oura Ring notably measures REM, light and deep sleep, providing the amount of time that what spent in each, as well as an intensive breakdown of what percentage of your sleep it should be along with a definition of what defines it. Take a look below at a previous day’s sleep breakdown and an example of REM sleep defined:
Screenshots inside of the Oura App, pertaining to the Sleep section.
This definition and overview is seen after tapping one of the sleep stages from the previous screen above.
Overall, the information on your sleep data that can be garnered by simply swiping and tapping your way through the app is extremely valuable, rich and extensive, truly making this wearable the King of Sleep.
After having the Oura Ring for a little bit over 2 weeks, it has changed how I view my sleep (lack thereof) and I am consistently working to make my readiness score better. Whether that is being mindful of a late drink, workout or cup of coffee — anything and everything can help — isn’t that the purpose of biohacking? Using the data you have to make your life better going forward.
Starting off at $299, for the amount of data that you get is simply invaluable, so if you’re interested head on over to the Oura site and check out what they have to offer. (No, I am not sponsored and do not have any codes I can give you to get money off; however, try watching the review view from Alex Furgus, which will give more information on the ring itself and show the discount code ALEXFERGUS)
If you’re even thinking about it, this device is worth every penny.