I have been using the Oura sleep tracking ring for almost two years now. I immediately fell in love with the form factor, as I can’t stand watches or bracelets.
When do I wear it?
I used to wear it all the time, but then switched to night-only. I’m not interested in tracking my steps or any of the other activity features.
It also provides an interesting airport security case study:
Turns out that airport security doesn’t care about the Oura ring. Every time I try to put it off, they say “no no, keep the ring on”, and it never beeped or anything, even though it’s an electronic device.
Main use cases?
I mainly use it to observe my body temperature at night. It’s a great early warning system for infections.
Also for my “readiness”. It indicates how restful my night was, informing the intensity of my workouts. I‘ve especially found that “low readiness” combined with an “intense workout” is a really bad combination. Instead I use the earliest signs to „listen to my body“
Another important factor is seeing if I got enough REM sleep.
What have I learned so far?
I’ve learned that time in bed doesn’t equal time asleep. Just because you’ve been in bed for 7 hours doesn’t mean you slept for 7 hours. It’s more likely that you slept 6. Based on my ring, my own difference is 30 to 60 minutes per night.
I’ve also learned more about my sleep cycle. For the first few hours, my body focuses on deep sleep. Towards the morning, the focus is shifted to REM sleep. To feel fully rested, I both need enough deep as well as REM sleep. Especially the REM sleep seems to be the most important factor for me.
Sick vs. Healthy
Here is a comparison between me being sick and healthy. Your sleep quality is always summarized into a “readiness” score, which makes it easily comparable.
How accurate is it?
At the time I bought the ring, author of Why We Sleep, Matthew Walker, has said that this ring was probably the most accurate sleep tracking device for retail consumers. As I loved Matthew’s book, I trust his judgement.
The battery lasts for 5-7 days, which is fine. The ring does introduce a new charging device to your life—but I guess we got used to charging device inflation, right?
I also like that the ring is waterproof, so you can wash your hands with it, or take a shower.
After 9 months, I had to have my ring replaced on warranty, because the battery life dropped to 1-2 days, and the whole process was very smooth. I never had any problems with my second ring.
I love the mobile app. The ring connects via bluetooth and the syncing takes about 20 seconds. The ring receives regular firmware updates, which are also performed through the app.
Comparison with Fitbit and Apple Watch
I’ve tried a Fitbit but had to send it back, because I didn’t like the bracelet form factor.
I also tried the Apple Watch two times, and had to sell it after a short time for a similar reason.
I really love the ring form factor, and also the accuracy of the Oura ring. There is no better product for me.
If you care about your sleep and health, I highly recommend using the Oura ring.
As a last comment, I strongly believe that the company should be acquired by Apple, as I believe that it would fit nicely into the Apple wearables ecosystem and provide a wonderful new form factor.