The popularity of apps and wearable tech that monitor our sleep activity has rocketed in recent years. But with so much choice out there it takes some good old research to seek out the best and avoid the rest! After doing my (Co-Founder Jeff’s) homework (and combing through reviews!) I decided to test drive an Oura ring sleep tracking device and have been using it for almost a year now. Read on to find out more about my experience so far and what I would recommend for anyone looking to track and improve their sleep!
We’ve all heard of wearable technology and apps designed to monitor, track and give us feedback on our sleep activity – but are they necessary? In my opinion, yes!
It’s possible to have a good night’s sleep or a great workout without knowing the exact miles, minutes and ins and outs of each! But knowing exactly what’s going on in your body can help you to reflect on each and encourage more healthy habits.
Understanding your body gives you scope to change your lifestyle and adapt your biology, something known as biohacking. Simply put, by analysing your sleep patterns and learning how they work you can adjust your sleep and learn some healthy habits that will maximise your rest and rejuvenation each night.
Here’s just some of the amazing benefits of improving your sleep:
Unlike many techno gadgets which are given quite ambiguous and even outrageous names, the Oura smart ring is in fact a smart ring! It’s a ring in a jewellery sense and smart due to its amazing functionality. You wear it on your finger both day and night and it constantly gathers data on your heart rate, motion, temperature, pulse, respiratory rate and – of course – sleep patterns!
It monitors multiple bodily functions simultaneously to gather data on your daily activity and sleep and collates this to provide user-friendly data via an app. This gives you feedback, advising on what changes you could make to improve your sleep in both quantity and quality.
With so many sleep tracking devices available on the market, it can be hard to choose which is the best for you. Here’s a few reasons why I chose the Oura Ring:
As with all things in life, there will always be an option that’s more suitable for one person than it is for another, but when it comes to tracking sleep activity I really think that the Oura Ring has everything covered. Sure, the price may be premium but in return you’re getting a sound investment in your health – and as the saying goes, you get what you pay for!
It felt quite strange wearing a ring at first as I am not such a fan of jewellery – I soon go used to it and also liked how it can be used as a conversation starter. I’ve got quite small hands for a guy (my feet are not so small however!) and it did feel reasonably large at first. I always feel more comfortable taking it off when lifting bars and playing on suspended gymnast rings etc. I think this might be primarily due to my smaller hands though!
Whilst I’m a huge fan of the Oura Ring, I thought it necessary to make it clear that sleep tracking devices aren’t needed to get a good night’s sleep! I consider the Oura a privilege and an amazing tool to help me live as healthy a lifestyle as possible. But some people won’t wish to track their sleep at all or may even find that doing so makes them lose sleep! Fixating over and analysing sleep could have a negative effect on your ability to switch off, so if using a tracking app keeps you awake at night check out our Guide to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep, without apps and tech!
Oh, and make sure you’re not staring at your screen before you go to bed assessing your data – this kind of defeats the object of getting good sleep! I’d also advise against looking at your phone and App as the first thing you do in the morning. In my opinion, this can lead to compulsive behaviour and a poor sleep score could negatively affect your outlook on the day ahead.
The reputation of the Oura rings precedes itself and their ever-growing popularity, paired with intricate design, means that there’s a bit of a wait between ordering and delivery. The guys at Oura can have your smart ring with you in around 3-4 weeks following your order; you know what they say – good things come to those who wait!
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