I’m Brandon Wilson. I am constantly working toward improving my mind, body, and spirit using various ancient techniques and cutting-edge biohacking tools and devices. I want to be healthy, but not at the expense of being happy. This simple idea is what it means to be wellthy.
First time reading? Let’s get you in the club.
From 2016 to 2018, I traveled for work from my home state of Arizona to Baltimore. Half the year, it’s a three-hour time difference. According to Dr. Matthew Walker, every hour of time-shifting requires about one day to adjust. I used to fly to Baltimore on Sunday and fly back to Arizona on Thursday. So much for the adjustment. I started the assignment traveling every week and then every other week. When the contract ended after two years, my sleep was a complete mess. I wrote about how I fixed my sleep in a previous newsletter. The device that helped me get my sleep under control is the Oura ring.
Oura is a company founded in Finland that believes health starts from understanding you, and great health starts with good sleep. The Oura ring is a lightweight sleep/activity tracker that measures temperature, heart rate, and movement. During the day, it detects workouts and tracks your activity. During sleep, it detects when you fall asleep and tracks your movement, temperature, and heart rate to provide an estimate of your sleep cycles. The Oura ring provides three daily scores:
Sleep - Your Sleep Score answers, “How did you sleep last night?” by analyzing your deep sleep, REM sleep, light sleep, nightly heart rate, bedtime schedule, and more.
Activity - Your Activity Score answers, “How are you balancing your activity, inactivity, and rest?” by analyzing your daily movement, how much rest you’re getting, and more.
Readiness - Your Readiness Score answers, “How much can you and your body take on?” It considers your sleep, activity, and body stress signals like body temperature and HRV.
The ring connects to your phone via Bluetooth with an airplane mode option. The app provides daily, weekly, and monthly calendar views to show trends of key metrics. It also offers tags to pinpoint specific activities or choices and tie them to the quality of sleep and readiness. The app also syncs workouts with Apple Health and Google Fit.
The Oura ring is durable titanium and weighs 4-6 grams, and it is water-resistant up to 100m. Oura states the battery will last 4 - 7 days, and charging takes 20 to 80 minutes. I can go weekend to weekend on one charge.
Battery life is a big deal to me (looking at you, Apple Watch). I buy that I have to charge my phone every day, but I will not buy that for a watch. If you wear it all day and when you sleep, when do you charge it? I’ve tried the Apple Watch, Fitbit, Fossil Watch, and other trackers. The Oura ring is the only one I’ve consistently worn going on three years.
What’s new with Gen 3?
I have had the Gen 2 Oura ring since January 2019. In October 2021, Oura announced the next generation. Here’s what’s new:
24/7 heart rate monitoring instead of just during sleep. Workout heart rate and insights will be available in early 2022.
Restorative time tracking using heart rate and skin temperature to tell you when your body and mind are in a relaxed state.
Seven precise temperature sensors allow Oura to track your menstrual cycle.
SpO2 blood oxygen measurement during sleep will be available in 2022.
Guided audio sessions for meditation, sleep, focus, energy boosts, and more.
What makes the Oura ring better than other sleep/activity trackers? In a word—accuracy. When you go to the hospital, they put the sensor on your finger to check blood oxygen/pulse. The fingers (particularly index fingers) provide a more accurate measurement than the wrist. In addition, skin temperature can reveal information on how stress and illness affect your body. Oura boasts 99.6% heart rate accuracy and 98% HRV accuracy.
How much is it?
The silver, black, and gold finishes are $299. Stealth black is $399. The price includes a free sizing kit since the shape of the ring with the sensors may not align with your typical ring size. You can also decide which finger you want to use. I shifted from my ring finger to my index finger.
With the Gen 3 ring, Oura introduced a subscription model of $5.99/month. The subscription covers access to daily health insights, personalized recommendations, guided audio sessions, science-backed educational content, and an ever-growing suite of innovative features. The Gen 3 ring requires a membership, and Oura offers six months free when you buy a new ring.
If you already have the previous Oura ring, you can keep using it with the same features without the membership. I decided to upgrade because, after almost three years, my Gen 2 Oura ring battery barely lasted two days. You know my thoughts on charging. Oura offers existing users $50 off the new ring plus lifetime membership. You can return or exchange the ring within 30 days, and the Gen 3 ring has a one-year warranty.
What do I do with the previous ring? Oura sent me a shipping label to return it. They will do a factory reset, refurbish it, and donate it for research.
The Oura ring is my favorite device for sleep tracking and overall assessing how I feel. The ring provides good data, but it is not a replacement for a formal sleep study. If you suspect that you might have issues during sleep, you should seek advice from a trusted healthcare provider.
Oura gives us a link to share with three friends to get a $50 discount on a new ring. If you are serious about taking charge of your health and want to get an Oura ring, email me or DM on Twitter, and I would be happy to send you the discount link. First come, first serve!
Congratulations to Stephen C., Amanda P., Barbara C., Renata, and Steve H., who submitted correct answers to last week’s brain training. All you have to do is email me or DM on Twitter the correct answer to each week’s brain training, and you will be entered into a monthly raffle to win cool biohacking prizes. Must be a subscriber to win!
Insert the same letter into any position in each set of three words to create three 5-letter words. None of the added letters is S. When you’re finished, unscramble the six added letters to form a final word.
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