Introducing Oura for Slack

Dear Community,

We recently introduced a new optional feature, “Oura for Slack,” aimed at fostering deeper human connection and empathy amidst the remote work environment.

The response was mixed: while we saw encouraging feedback from some members, we also heard concerns from others. Some of our community voiced apprehensions that this feature might inadvertently lead to employee discomfort or a blurring of the lines between professional and personal lives, despite the voluntary, opt-in nature of the feature.

In light of the feedback received, it’s clear we didn’t quite hit the mark on delivering the value our members anticipate from us. We deeply value your input; it is through this feedback that we continuously improve and refine our offerings. Therefore, after careful consideration, we’ve decided to discontinue our integration with Slack. 

Our primary aim is to create tools that empower our members to lead healthier lives, and to do so in a way that’s directly in line with one of our foundational core values of data privacy. We will never share your data without your explicit consent—ever. We’re committed to maintaining the highest standards in all we do, and continual feedback is invaluable to us in achieving that goal.

Thank you for your understanding and your ongoing support.

-The BioRingo team

A sense of community at work is essential for individual and collective success. Recent research is shedding light on the vital significance of community and the deep-rooted need for a genuine sense of belonging. Startling reports are also drawing attention to a modern epidemic of loneliness, one only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If the majority of our waking hours are devoted to work — of which many of us now spend working remotely — is there a way to forge more resilient and healthier communities within our workplaces?

One method involves connecting with colleagues within your organization, which has been linked to wellbeing and performance. Similarly, the positive impact of workplace communities on employee health and overall happiness emphasizes the importance of social connections in creating a healthy and thriving work environment.

These insights are backed by research that found when workers felt a sense of community at their job, they were 58% more likely to thrive at work, 55% more engaged, and 66% more likely to stay with their organization. Thought leaders also advocate that cultivating a sense of community in the workplace leads to greater employee retention and a more vibrant organizational culture.

Build Community with Coworkers with Oura’s Optional Slack Integration

For those who choose to opt in, Oura’s new integration with Slack enables Oura members to voluntarily synchronize their daily Slack status with their Oura Readiness and Sleep Scores. When members make the choice to use this feature and take the steps to link their Oura scores to their Slack account, it can provide a unique way for remote and hybrid colleagues and Oura members to check in and connect with each other. Colleagues can also choose to hide their Oura score on any given day. There’s also an option to share both Readiness and Sleep Scores, or only your Readiness category.

In increasingly remote and hybrid work environments, Oura for Slack encourages coworkers to communicate with empathy and build a culture that is more connected, supportive, and engaged.

ŌURA & Slack

During a small pilot study, members using Oura for Slack within a work setting expressed that it helped foster compassion for co-workers, creating human connection across time zones in a remote work setting. One pilot participant shared, “I can see when my teammates aren’t feeling their best and encourage rest, or delay meetings for when they are more ready.”

Throughout the Oura for Slack pilot, safe spaces among colleagues emerged in which personal challenges such as caring for a sick family member during the night, coping with a demanding marathon training schedule, or dealing with work-related stress were shared in the context of Oura Readiness and Sleep Scores. For coworkers who may communicate and meet during the workday but may not engage with each other personally, Oura’s Slack integration was a helpful conversation starter in small group settings.

Findings from the pilot include:

  • 45% of respondents reported that they felt more connected with their team as a result of the Slack integration
  • 39% of participants reported that a coworker reached out to them showing support about their Readiness Score

Helpful Tips for Using Oura’s Slack Integration

  • You have the control to decide what, when, and with whom you want to share — it’s an entirely voluntary, opt-in experience at your own control. Do not feel pressured to share something you are not comfortable sharing.
  • When colleagues do share their status or scores, treat it with the utmost respect and compassion. Take care not to criticize someone about low scores, and don’t hassle them about their habits. Instead try to convey a supportive relationship.
  • If you feel your Oura score is not representative of how you’re currently feeling, consider providing a short context within your status, like “jet lag,” “think I’m getting sick,” or “tough workout yesterday.”
  • React and respond to others. Use Oura for Slack to build empathy, compassion, and camaraderie. Although competition may emerge, this integration brings awareness to the reality that every one of us has good days and tough days, and this connects us.

Keep reading to learn how to connect with your co-workers with Oura for Slack.

How to Access BioRingo for Slack

  • Go to and log in to your Oura account.
  • If you are not already, log in to your Slack account. On the Slack authorization page, click Allow.
  • To change your share settings, open the Slack app and search for “ŌURA”. You’ll be able to configure your settings from the Home tab.
    • In the ŌURA page within your Slack app, choose what you’d like to share on your Slack status:
      • Readiness and Sleep Scores: Maija Malli 92, 80
      • Readiness by category: Maija Malli Readiness is Optimal
    • If you don’t produce a score (i.e. not wearing Oura Ring, low battery), a status won’t show for that day.
    • Your status will only appear from Monday to Friday, from when you first sync your ring in the morning until midnight in your local timezone.
    • If you don’t want your status to post during holidays, PTO days, or sick days, you can turn the status sync off in the ŌURA page within your Slack app.
    • Oura for Slack will not override an existing Slack status, however if you use a third-party Slack application that also posts a status (i.e. Google Calendar “In a meeting”), it will not override your Oura score.

    Understanding Emojis

  • Readiness:

    👑 = Optimal 85-100

    🟢 = Good 70-84

    🟡 = Fair 60-69

    🟠 = Pay Attention <60


    🌙 = Sleep Score

    Please note: You are always in control of your Oura data. If you use both Oura and Slack, the choice to use this feature is entirely up to you. You will not automatically be opted in to this feature. Your employer cannot enroll you in this Slack integration. Only you can choose to link your Oura Readiness and Sleep Scores to Slack, never your employer. 

    At Oura, we are committed to privacy and take data privacy seriously. We only use your data to power your experience and deliver your personal insights. We never share your data with your employer. We do not sell your data to third parties or use your data to sell advertising to other companies. 

    Not all Slack workspaces allow apps to be installed by users. In the case that the member doesn’t have permission, they may need to request support from their Slack admins / IT department.


Burnout to Brilliance: How to Make the Most of Your Work Breaks

Breaks during the workday support wellbeing, productivity, and focus that will help you stay resilient during the work week. They also bust stress, allowing you to ease into non-work time and get a better night of sleep while you’re at it.

Learning new information can be closely tied to purposeful breaks, too. If you are starting a new role, taking on fresh responsibilities, or working toward a certification, building breaks into your work week gives your brain the time it needs to integrate new information.

In a compelling 2022 meta-analysis, researchers found that micro-breaks, or breaks that are 10 minutes or fewer in length, may help support wellbeing. In fact, according to the study’s authors, “the data suggest that micro-breaks may be a panacea for fostering well-being during worktime.”

The study’s authors suggest these short and frequent breaks have a wide range of positive effects on wellbeing and work-related outcomes. Micro-breaks serve as a powerful tool to counteract the negative impacts of continuous work and create a more productive and healthy work environment.

Want to take a better break? In his book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, author Daniel Pink outlines the secrets to taking a healthy hiatus during the workday — restorative breaks. Inspired by Pink, here are 4 strategies for taking your best breaks yet.

Moving Breaks

Research supports the idea that moving for 5 minutes for each hour of sitting may improve mood, reduce fatigue, and boost thinking and energy. According to another study, moving promotes motivation and attention.

Try It: Set a reminder to move each hour — your Oura App is great for this. Stretching, walking, or taking a few flights of stairs are solid options for getting your mind off of your to-do list and your blood moving.

Nature Breaks

The benefits of spending time in nature are numerous, and there is a growing body of research that suggests as much, reinforcing that we need time outside to feel vibrant and fulfilled. Taking a few breaks a week in nature has a positive impact on wellbeing.

Try It: Keep it simple — grab a cup of coffee or a snack and head outside to enjoy it, take moving breaks outdoors a few times each week, or if you can skip video and join a meeting from your phone, take your meeting to go. Use your Oura Ring to track your steps, length of your outdoor walk, and Workout Heart Rate.

Social Breaks 

For some of us, just taking a break can be challenging, but research suggests that taking a break with others can have added benefits, especially when the focus is on non-work topics.

Try It: Find someone at work in need of a break and a quick chat about vacation plans or shared interests. If you work from home, identify other work from home friends you could call for a fun chat a few times a month.

Fully Detached Lunch Breaks

We’ve all done it — eaten a hurried, not-great meal at our desks in front of our computers, but research shows that taking a lunch break while fully setting work aside may have benefits that build over time. Get distracted and lost in your lunchtime, knowing that work-related tasks will be there when you’re finished eating, but this time is only for you.

Try It: Add a dedicated lunch break to your calendar so this time is allocated to you vs. meetings. Socialize this plan in your office or team so your colleagues know you’re devoting your lunch time to your wellbeing. If this is not possible every day, take these islands of respite when you can.

Timeout Tools 

The alarm function on your phone can play a role that extends beyond rousing you from sleep – consider using it to alert you when it’s time for a break. If you use a shared work calendar, experiment with scheduling personal pauses to ensure they remain solely dedicated to your wellbeing. Oura can function similarly – be sure to have inactivity alerts set up, reminding you to stretch your legs if you’ve been inactive for 50 minutes. This can be a powerful tool to remind you to move and take a break.

Finding balance is challenging when work culture celebrates constant productivity, thus the importance of intentionally taking pauses during the workday cannot be emphasized enough. By taking brief respites, we can enhance our focus and concentration, reduce stress levels, improve emotional wellbeing, maintain physical health, and boost creativity and problem-solving abilities.

Experiment with different activities during your task-timeouts to find what works best for you, making sure to give yourself permission to pause and recharge. By prioritizing short intervals of time to rest your mind and defocus on your tasks, you can improve your wellbeing.

CategoriesCollections Health

How Can Intermittent Fasting Improve Your Sleep?

Have you ever tried intermittent fasting? Trick question — we all fast naturally while we sleep. But a growing number of people are extending that period to change their daytime eating habits as well.

What Is Intermittent Fasting? 

Intermittent fasting is an eating plan in which you consume food during specific times of day and then fast during the rest of the day. In practice, this commonly looks like an 8, 10, or 12-hour period of eating (sometimes called a “feeding window”) and the remainder of time is spent not eating, or fasting.

For example, some people may follow a 16:8 schedule, in which they eat only during 8 hours of the day, and fast for the remaining 16 hours, including their sleeping period.

Another type of fasting is known as 5:2, in which someone limits their caloric intake by 25% for two days of the week, then consumes food as normal on the remaining days.

The point of this practice is for your body to enter into “fasting mode” and start converting your fat reserves into energy.

Research shows that health benefits of intermittent fasting may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Lower inflammation
  • Improved markers for heart disease
  • Reduces risk of developing some cancers and some neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Fasting & Sleep

Fasting before bed may improve the quality of your sleep by supporting your natural circadian rhythms.

When you go to bed with an empty stomach, the internal clocks in your digestive system align with the clock in your brain so that all your systems agree to go offline for sleep. This kind of fasting — which you can accomplish simply by eating dinner early and avoiding snacks before bed — can lead to improved sleep.

If you’re embarking on a more complex fasting protocol, however, your digestive clocks need time to adjust to a new routine. You may not see the improvements of fasting right away, but if you stick with it your body will adjust and your sleep patterns will normalize.

When you fast regularly, your body adapts to your new schedule and your circadian rhythm actually becomes more pronounced (in a good way). Intermittent fasting causes insulin levels to drop and melatonin levels to rise. Melatonin is your body’s primary sleep-promoting hormone and can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Fasting also promotes the release of human growth hormone, one of your body’s vital resources for repairs while you’re asleep.

Keep in Mind

Some first-time fasters report disrupted sleep — the dreaded experience of lying wide awake in bed, bored and hungry. Why? Your “internal clocks” in your digestive tract are saying: “We haven’t eaten anything in a while! Are you sure we shouldn’t grab a bite to eat?” As a result, your body might jump into action and produce the stress hormone cortisol to help keep you awake in case food walks by.

This is temporary — your body is simply getting used to a new routine. After an adjustment period that generally lasts about 3 to 7 days, your body steadies its rhythm and fasting can actually benefit your sleep.

Remember, every body adapts differently to food routines. If you aren’t planning to start doing serious intermittent fasting, start by paying attention to your dinner time and trying to finish up at least 2 hours before your bedtime.

Start by experimenting with different protocols and observe what happens to your REM, deep sleep, and resting heart rate in your Oura App.

CategoriesCollections Ring & App

Your BioRingo Activity Score

What Is the Oura Activity Score?

Your Activity Score is one of three Oura scores that help you answer different questions about your health:

  • Your Readiness Score: How ready are you for the day?
  • Your Sleep Score: How well did you sleep last night?
  • Your Activity Score: How are you balancing your activity, inactivity, and rest?

Your scores are connected and influence each other — giving you a full picture of how your lifestyle impacts your body.

For example, if your activity levels change how you recover, your Readiness Score will adjust to reflect the impact of your training. Similarly, if your Readiness Score drops, your activity goal will automatically adjust to help you prioritize recovery.

Your Activity Score is a great tool to discover your ideal activity-rest balance and adjust your potential training goals.

Your Activity Score ranges from 0-100 and tells you, at-a-glance, how to adjust your activity-rest balance:

  • 85 or higher: Your balance is optimal, keep it up!
  • 70-84: Your balance is good, you’re on the right track.
  • Under 70: Your balance seems off and there may be lifestyle changes you can make to improve it.

Your Activity Contributors

The sum of six daily Activity Contributors make up your Activity Score.  Your contributors help answer deeper questions about your activity patterns’ impact on your health through three core pillars — inactivity, activity amount, and recovery.

Some of your Activity contributors are actually about inactivity and help you answer “Am I successfully avoiding a sedentary lifestyle each day?” 

  • Stay Active: “How much time have I been inactive today?”
  • Move Every Hour: “Have I been able to avoid long periods of inactivity today?” 

While other contributors cover your activity amount and help you answer “Have my activity patterns been healthy and balanced over the past week?”

  • Meet Daily Goals: “In the past week, how many days have I been able to stay active enough to reach my daily activity target?”
  • Training Frequency: “In the past week, how often have I been able to exercise?”
  • Training Volume: “In the past week, how much time have I spent exercising?”

Your last contributor is about recovery and helps you answer “Are you making enough time for recovery?” 

  • Recovery Time: “In the past week, have you been able to take enough recovery days?”

These contributors are designed to help you avoid the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle (increased levels of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, & weight gain) and take advantage of the boost that regular movement gives to your heart, body, and mind.

Regardless of where you are in your activity journey, you can identify your strengths (in blue) and your potential improvement areas (in red).

Oura also provides tools to help you meet your goals. If you need a bit of encouragement, enable Inactivity Alerts, and get friendly reminders to stretch those legs. If you are ill, injured, or need to pull back a little, head into your Oura App and turn on Rest Mode. This mode temporarily mutes your activity goals so you and your body can prioritize recovery.

More Activity Tools

Oura measures your physical activity 24/7 using a highly sensitive accelerometer, helping you go beyond just measuring steps. Oura gives you credit for every movement, including subtle activities like household chores that may only involve moving your hands. With your profile information in mind (e.g., age, weight, height, and gender), Oura delivers personalized daily activity goals and a record of your overall activity levels and calorie burn.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Goal Progress: “How many active calories have you burned today vs. your Oura goal?”
  • Total Burn: “How many calories have you burned today, including those burned while resting?”
  • Walking Equivalency: “If all of your daily activity was converted into steps, how far would you have to walk to burn that same number of calories?”
  • Steps: “How many steps have you taken today?”

You can also adjust your baseline Activity goal and type of goal — steps or calorie burn. Learn more about personalized activity goals here.

You can use your Goal Progress and Total Burn to decide when to ramp up your activity intensity, take a well-deserved day off, or adjust your caloric intake based on your lifestyle.

You can use your Walking Equivalency and Steps to keep track of your daily activity progress and draw comparisons between different days.

Going Beyond Steps

With Oura, the answer to the question, “Does this activity count?” is always “Yes.”

Oura sets itself apart from traditional activity trackers. Whether you’re on a run or completing some chores around the house that only involve moving your hands (e.g., dishwashing, gardening, or childcare), you get credit for all your daily activities.

To get the full activity picture, Oura displays your overall activity levels in 15-minute increments across your Daily Movement graph. This timeline can help you balance the benefits of low-intensity activities (keeping your blood flowing and giving space for your body to recover) with high-intensity activities (strengthening your heart, lowering your blood pressure, and helping you maintain a healthy weight).

Your Workouts

In addition to your activity metrics, contributors, and Score, Oura also helps you detect and isolate individual activities — labeling them as “workouts.”

Oura has a suite of tools to help you track and log your workouts:

  • Automatic Activity Detection has a title that says it all. It references a list of 20+ activities and automatically detects and labels your workouts.
  • Manual activity logging enables you to track workouts that aren’t automatically detected to make sure no activity or workout falls through the cracks (Yes, even badminton!)
  • App integrations give you the power to import activities from Google Fit, Apple Health, and Strava.

We all have our favorite ways to measure our workouts, and Oura makes it easy to view all of them in one convenient location.

How To Improve Your Oura Activity Score

If you’re looking for ways to improve your Activity Score, keep these principles in mind:

  • Contributors where you receive a “pay attention” message, with a red progress bar, are areas for potential improvement.
  • An Activity Score of 85 or above is optimal. 100s are designed to be rare rather than regular.
  • If an illness, injury, or lifestyle need prevents you from meeting your activity goals, you can temporarily mute your Activity Score Contributors with Rest Mode.

As you’re exploring which Activity Contributors you can improve, it helps to consider which questions they help you answer.

If your inactivity Contributors are in the red, they’re signaling patterns of inactivity. “Are you successfully avoiding a sedentary lifestyle each day?”

To improve these contributors, try enabling Inactivity Alerts for a friendly reminder to stretch your legs or using these tips for staying active. It may also help to keep the design of these contributors in mind:

  • Stay Active estimates your total daily inactive time while you are awake. This contributor excludes when you are naturally sedentary (e.g., asleep). To improve your Stay Active contributor, aim to keep your inactive time under 8 hours each day.
  • Move Every Hour measures how well you’ve avoided long periods of inactivity. To improve this contributor, try moving for 2+ minutes each hour and avoid consecutive hours of inactivity.

If your activity amount or recovery contributors are in the red, they may be signaling the need for a healthier activity-recovery balance. “Have your activity patterns been healthy and balanced over the past week?” and “Are you making enough time for rest?”

To better balance your Activity Contributors, keep these definitions in mind:

  • Meet Daily Goals records how many days over the past week you were able to meet your Oura Activity Goal based on your Readiness Score and profile information (e.g., age and gender). To improve this contributor, meet your goal for at least 3 days each week, and strive for 5 or more days. When it comes to balancing your activity and recovery, there’s one true expert: your body. Oura does not currently enable the manual adjustment of your goal because your Readiness Score is a reflection of your body’s true capacity — and your body knows best.
  • Training Frequency reflects how often you engaged in medium-to-high-intensity activity over the past week. To improve this contributor, try exercising at a medium-to-high-intensity level 3+ times per week. What exactly does that mean? Medium intensity activities noticeably increase your heart rate and breathing rate. You may sweat, but you are still able to carry on a conversation. High-intensity activities leave you huffing and puffing. Try incorporating moderate activities (e.g., jogging, elliptical, gardening) or high-intensity ones (e.g., running) to improve your score.
  • Training Volume captures your total activity time over the past week. To maintain a strong Training Volume, try to get 2,000-3,000 calories of medium-to high-intensity activity each week. For a healthy adult, this is equivalent to approximately 2 hours of jogging or 4.5 hours of brisk walking per week. If your Training Volume falls to 750–1500 calories per week, it will lower your Activity Score. This contributor is all about finding what works for you. Keep in mind that you can meet your goal by adding up longer periods of medium intensity activities (e.g., gardening, walking, errands) or shorter periods of higher intensity activities (e.g., HIIT workout, run). The goal is not to pack your weekly training volume into a short window of time but rather to spread it out and find balance throughout the week.
  • Recovery Time reflects your balance of high and low-intensity activity over the past week, ensuring you’re setting aside recovery time for muscle repair, muscle growth, injury prevention, and mental recovery. To improve this contributor, dedicate one to two days per week to lower-intensity activities like walking. If you’ve gone 5 days without recovery time, this contributor will detract from your score. Keep in mind that “recovery days” do not mean sedentary days — simply taking it slow can help your body recover while still getting your blood circulating with a light activity like a neighborhood stroll.
CategoriesCollections Health

Naps Around the World

We’ve all been there. It’s 2 pm, you just had lunch, loads more to get done, but your body wants a breather. What do you do instead? Fight through the exhaustion, and get some more done even if you have to do it half-heartedly. At least you’re ticking off that list, right?

What if you didn’t have to go through that struggle? What if you just took a nap? Naps, when done right, are a perfect way to take a short mental timeout during the day.

Benefits of Napping

The science is evident on the benefits of napping for physical and mental functioning and productivity. A 30-minute nap is good enough to help regulate emotions and boost performance. Napping also gives your cognitive abilities—attention, learning, problem-solving, creativity, focus, alertness, memory, and wakefulness—an uptick.

Interestingly, a 2015 study demonstrates naps can make up for the health effects of a poor night’s sleep, relieve stress, and strengthen immunity.

As much as napping can be an easily accessible antidote to daytime fatigue, many adults still think twice before doing it. The Pew Research Center reports that only 34% of American adults nap. For some, napping leaves them in a worse situation than before—groggy and sluggish. While for others, napping at work just isn’t cool.

However, it may excite you to know that some cultures take naps seriously, and we’ll be looking at these distinct napping habits and their effects on the individuals of each location.

5 Fascinating Napping Practices 

1. The United States & United Kingdom

It’s probably easy to guess that the prevalence of hustle culture in the US and UK has led to the devaluation of napping. If you guessed that was the case, you guessed correctly—and the data backs this up.

In the US and UK, The Oura Community naps a bit less than average with only 15% taking naps.

For reference, in Japan, that number is a whopping 22%.

2. Spain

Based on a snapshot from May 17th – May 23rd, Barcelona was the world capital of chill with members of the Oura Community taking, on average, 2 naps per week.

Naptime for people in this region, and other countries in the Mediterranean, is usually six hours after waking up—noontimeShops and local businesses shut down their doors for a compulsory leisure lunch and nap generally from 2 pm to 5 pm.

According to the BBC, this practice is no longer as widespread as it used to be. However, Ador, in a small town in Valencia, the mayor announced in 2015 a compulsory daily Siesta for the entire city.

Taking a Siesta also has the same benefits to quality of life as napping.  But it’s interesting to note that a study on 1175 older adults showed that subjects that habitually took siestas had lower systolic blood pressure levels than the group that didn’t.

3. Italy 

In Italy, businesses also close in the afternoon to take their midday break called “The Riposo.” These naps, just like the Siesta, follow lunchtime. It’s the people’s fix for the slump that strikes after a good meal and a way to refill lost energy. And they generally last from 2 to 4 hours.

4. Scandinavian countries 

Leaving a baby—as young as two weeks to two years old—out in frigid weather is something that sounds a bit unbelievable. But it’d surprise you to know that parents in Scandinavian countries—Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland—leave their babies outside in a stroller during winter to take a nap. They do this every day whenever it’s nap time.

Because of how strange this practice may seem, it’s easy to look down on it as harsh and endangering. It won’t be a first: in 1997, New York Police Officers arrested a Danish woman for leaving her 14 months old daughter outside to take a nap.

Research, however, shows that Nordic parents report only positive experiences with this culture. They claim that this practice boosts their children’s immunity, protects them from catching a cold, and improves their sleep. For some, napping their children outdoors after covering all security risks promotes family wellbeing.

5. China

Workplaces in China allow workers to nap at work because of how demanding the job is. Some offices create a “sleeping room” for this purpose. These naps help boost alertness, concentration, performance, and productivity. And they can last from a few minutes to an hour—as long as you get the recharge you need to get right back to work.

This napping culture is sacred in China because they believe rest is necessary to restore mind-body harmony.

How to Take a Nap

Now that you know that napping is good for you, and are aware of countries that own their napping culture, you may want in. But there are basic nap “rules” to follow, so your body thanks you. Let’s go through them by answering the questions: “For whom?” “When?” “How long?” “Where?” and “How often?” 

For whom?: It’s not advisable for everyone to take a nap. If you have insomnia or generally have trouble sleeping well at night, napping in the day may worsen your condition.

When?: Taking a nap when you notice a dip in energy levels is the right thing to do. Usually, that’s between 1 pm and 3 pm. Snoozing hours after that may affect nighttime sleep.

How long?: With napping, duration matters. A lot. Studies say 10 to 20 minutes is the perfect nap length. Napping for less than 10 minutes can’t guarantee you the stimulating effects of napping. And snoozing for 30 minutes or more may send you into that deep sleep zone,  making it harder for you to wake up. And when you do, you’ll wake up grumpy because your body wants more.

So before you start your nap, you may want to set the alarm.

Where?: Your best bet is a comfy place. You may have to create that sleep-friendly environment for yourself if you’re at work. Generally, you’d want somewhere cool, isolated, and with little light and noise. Your car (with the AC turned on) is a good option. Then turn off all distractions – yes that means your phone.

How often?: Napping at the same time and same place every workday primes your body to get better at the habit. You’ll not only fall asleep more quickly, but you’ll also learn to wake up without an alarm.

If you’ve tried these tips, and you still can’t regularly get a good nap, then it’s okay to ditch the idea. Meditation, listening to calm music, taking a walk, or watching an episode of your favorite sitcom are great alternatives for relaxing. By now, you’d agree that nothing’s weird if it works.


1. A;, Tourula M;Pölkki T;Isola. “The Cultural Meaning of Children Sleeping Outdoors in Finnish Winter: a Qualitative Study from the Viewpoint of Mothers.” Journal of Transcultural Nursing : Official Journal of the Transcultural Nursing Society, U.S. National Library of Medicine,

2. Brooks, Amber, and Leon Lack. “Brief Afternoon Nap Following Nocturnal Sleep Restriction: Which Nap Duration Is Most Recuperative?” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 June 2006,

3. Cai, M, et al. “Siesta Is Associated with Reduced Systolic Blood Pressure Level and Decreased Prevalence of Hypertension in Older Adults.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 2 July 2015,

4. Faraut, Brice, et al. “Napping Reverses the Salivary Interleukin-6 and Urinary Norepinephrine Changes Induced by Sleep Restriction.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 Mar. 2015,

5. “It’s Time to Put the Tired Spanish Siesta Stereotype to Bed.” BBC Worklife, BBC,

6. J;, Tourula M;Isola A;Hassi. “Children Sleeping Outdoors in Winter: Parents’ Experiences of a Culturally Bound Childcare Practice.” International Journal of Circumpolar Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine,

7. Liu, Yang. “Why Chinese People Always Take a Noon Time Nap.” Go Abroad China, 26 June 2019,

8. McCrum, Kirstie. “A Town Is Passing a Law Which Requires Residents to Sleep for 3 Hours a Day.” Mirror, 17 July 2015,

9. McDevitt, Elizabeth A, et al. “The Impact of Frequent Napping and Nap Practice on Sleep-Dependent Memory in Humans.” Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group UK, 10 Oct. 2018,

10. “Mother Who Left Baby Outside New York Restaurant in 1997 Says Arrest Was Unjust.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 26 Nov. 2017,

11. Rasi H;Kuivila H;Pölkki T;Bloigu R;Rintamäki H;Tourula M; “A Descriptive Quantitative Study of 7- and 8-Year-Old Children’s Outdoor Recreation, Cold Exposure and Symptoms in Winter in Northern Finland.” International Journal of Circumpolar Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine,

12.“Sleep and Behavioral Correlates of Napping Among Young Adults: A Survey of First-Year University Students in Madrid, Spain.” Taylor & Francis,

13. SoraNews24. “Study Once Again Ranks Japan as the Country That Sleeps the Least.” Japan Today,

14. Taylor, Paul. “Nap Time.” Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, Pew Research Center, 30 May 2020,

15. Tourula M;Fukazawa T;Isola A;Hassi J;Tochihara Y;Rintamäki H; “Evaluation of the Thermal Insulation of Clothing of Infants Sleeping Outdoors in Northern Winter.” European Journal of Applied Physiology, U.S. National Library of Medicine,

16. Traced by: Louise Bendixen Share this page on: et al. “Would You Let Your Baby Nap Outside?” Would You Let Your Baby Nap Outside? | The Nordics,

17. “What Countries Have a Siesta?” Reference, IAC Publishing,


Researchers Use Oura Data to Evaluate Physiological Responses to COVID-19

As we pass the three-year anniversary of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oura is pleased to share innovative research conducted by our science team that was published today in the peer-reviewed journal, Digital Biomarkers.

The study, authored by Oura’s science team members Gerald Pho, Nina Thigpen, Shyamal Patel, and Hal Tily, analyzed the anonymized biometric data of 838 Oura members who reported confirmed COVID infection and 20,267 members who reported receiving a COVID vaccine.

The biometrics compared in the study included:

  • Temperature trends
  • Resting heart rate
  • HRV
  • Breathing rate
  • Sleep efficiency

These were measured for each user in the month before and after the vaccination or infection event.

COVID Infection:

  • The study found significant changes in temperature, breathing rate, heart rate variability, and sleep efficiency beginning up to 2.5 days before members reported COVID infection and extending 10 or more days afterward.
  • Physiological responses to the Delta variant were larger than responses to the Alpha or other earlier variants, particularly cardiac responses.

COVID Vaccine Response: 

  • Researchers found similar but much smaller physiological responses to the vaccine, beginning on the night after the vaccine and lasting up to around 4 days.
  • Physiological response to the vaccine was greater in people under 35 than in people over 50 and greater in the second vaccine dose, suggesting a stronger immune response.

Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated Response to COVID infection:

  • Physiological response to COVID infection was smaller in people who had previously reported receiving a vaccine than in those who had not.

Overall, these results are in line with prior findings that biometric measurements provided by consumer-grade wearable devices, like the Oura Ring, can be predictive of COVID-19 infection. The results also suggest that wearable technology, such as the Oura Ring, can be used as a potential platform on which to build screening tools for early detection of illness.

Critically, as the researchers note, “continuous passive monitoring of biometrics may result in higher compliance than self- or physician-administered testing programs, while also allowing the creation of individual baselines that increase sensitivity to illness-related deviations.”


Inside the Ring: Developing BioRingo’s Latest Sleep Staging Algorithm

At Oura, we’re committed to consistently raising the bar for accuracy. Today, we begin rolling out our new sleep staging algorithm to our members. This algorithm is among the most accurate sleep staging algorithms available in a consumer wearable, achieving 79% agreement with a polysomnography (PSG) sleep lab test, the gold standard of sleep testing, for 4-stage sleep classification (wake, light, deep, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep).

The research and work behind this algorithm took years to perfect, using advanced machine learning techniques trained on one of the largest sleep datasets ever collected.

“The new sleep staging algorithm highlights Oura’s commitment to accuracy and scientific validation as core pillars of our product, as well as our relentless pursuit to empower members on their health journey by delivering deep, personalized health insights,” says Shyamal Patel, PhD, Head of Science at Oura.

To learn more about this undertaking, we turned to members of the Oura science team: Raphael Vallat, PhD, Senior Machine Learning Data Scientist and former sleep researcher at the University of California, Berkeley; Gerald Pho, PhD, Senior Machine Learning Data Scientist; and Xi Zhang, PhD, Head of Health Sensing.

Below, these scientists share what makes the new sleep staging algorithm stand out, what members need to know, as well as the challenges and wins of the process along the way.

What’s New? 

While the new sleep staging algorithm is more accurate than ever, rest assured that the old sleep staging algorithm was already one of the best in the wearable space and was independently validated for accuracy.

The new algorithm, however, raises the bar. Now, Oura Ring achieves 79% agreement when compared to gold-standard PSG lab testing. This is a remarkable achievement, considering that studies have independently found that agreement among human experts scoring a PSG study on the 4-class sleep staging is around 88% and inter-rater agreement for 5-class sleep staging is around 83%.

Additionally, across all sleep stages, the new sleep staging algorithm has higher sensitivity, accuracy, and specificity, ranging from 74% to 98%. While other studies have shown similar results for the detection of a specific sleep stage, this improved performance typically comes at the expense of the other stages (e.g. high performance in detecting deep sleep might result in a poor ability to detect REM).

That means Oura’s new sleep staging algorithm can better detect which sleep stage you’re in throughout the night. Increased sensitivity across the sleep stages not only increases the accuracy of your Sleep Score, but also your Readiness Score, giving you a better reflection of how primed your body is for the day overall.

The Oura Difference: Diversity in Data 

As you sleep, Oura Ring monitors your body signals, like your heart rate, movement, and body temperature trends, to determine when you have fallen asleep and which sleep stage you’re in. This is possible because each sleep stage (awake, light sleepREM, and deep sleep) is characterized by distinct biosignals.

To develop the new sleep staging algorithm, “we collected one of the largest sleep wearable datasets to train an algorithm to better detect these biosignals and the associated stage of sleep, in a more diverse population,” Vallat tells us. “The improvement in accuracy ultimately provides Oura members with better insights into their sleeping patterns and overall health.”

The development process has involved more than two years of extensive research. “We actively built this dataset, which contains more than 1,200 nights of sleep using PSG and Oura Ring data from sleep labs around the world,” Vallat says.

The results from their research were published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Sensors. The paper gives an in-depth look into how the algorithm works, and it’s publicly accessible to ensure anyone who wants to understand the technical details of how our sleep algorithm works can do so — demonstrating Oura’s commitment to transparency.

“Unlike previous datasets, the one we were collecting was from a diverse population with varied sleeping patterns and backgrounds; for example, people with different skin tones, health statuses, ages, and sleep disorders.”

Having a heterogeneous dataset ensures that the algorithm has been trained on — and therefore will work well across — a wide range of individuals. At Oura, one of our values is human-first, so we are committed to making sure our algorithm performs well for everyone.

“Since the study was published in 2021, we have continued to expand our training and testing databases,” Vallat says. “With more than double the dataset, we have increased the diversity of patients to ensure high accuracy across population types.”

Typically, sleep staging algorithms are developed on a limited amount of data (<100 nights of sleep) and taken from a homogeneous population, like healthy young university students. That means that when used by a broader and more diverse population, the algorithm inevitably becomes less accurate.

About the Development Timeline 

The road from research and development to the productization of scientific algorithms takes time and poses unique challenges.

“Science is time-intensive,” Pho says. “It can take years for proper testing and validation to be completed, and our new algorithm is no exception to this. We wanted to ensure that the research version of the algorithm matches the final in-product implementation, which means ensuring that it works as expected on our much larger and diverse member base.”

“Plus, even when the science is ‘ready,’ it’s built outside of the ring as a theoretical algorithm, and needs to be synchronized with the hardware and the app,” Zhang explains. “Translating the algorithm into software has been an extensive process that involves changing the ring firmware, app and cloud development, and more.”

“Because the new sleep staging algorithm is foundational and has many downstream consequences, like affecting the overall Sleep Score and Readiness Score, we had to make calibrations to this to ensure that there was good overall continuity,” Pho says. “That’s why we released a beta in November 2022. We wanted to collect millions of nights’ worth of member data using concurrent algorithms for cohesion.”

Ultimately, over the course of two years, Oura researchers and scientists from across the globe were able to significantly expand our scientific knowledge base, and the work continues as we’re constantly adding to the dataset and updating the algorithm.

What Changes Might Oura Members See? 

“As we used data from a more varied population, we noticed some key changes based on age and heart rate variability (HRV),” Vallat explains.

Changes Oura members may see in their sleep metrics include the following:

  • Most will see an increase in light sleep. But rest assured: while it’s called “light sleep,” it still delivers benefits for your brain and body. Learn more about light sleep.
  • If you have a higher HRV, you may see a decrease in awake time and deep sleep, and an increase in REM sleep.
  • People with lower HRV may see a decrease in REM sleep, as well as an increase in awake time.

RELATED: What Is the Average HRV?

Looking Forward

It’s important to acknowledge that the science of sleep evolves with time — and so does the science behind Oura. “Our goal is to deliver the most accurate metrics and insights possible with the science and technology available today,” Patel says. “As science and technology evolve, we will continue evolving with it to push the boundaries of what is possible with Oura.”

“We are proud to be a science-led company and will continue investing in research and development efforts to bring the most advanced health-sensing capabilities to Oura members,” says Patel.

About the Oura Experts

Shyamal Patel, PhD, is the Head of Science at Oura where he leads an interdisciplinary organization focused on research and development of algorithms that translate sensor data into accurate measures of health and wellbeing. Shyamal has a PhD in electrical engineering with a specialization in signal processing and applied machine learning from Northeastern University. He completed his post-doctoral research at Harvard University and lives in Boston.

Gerald Pho, PhD, is a Senior Machine Learning Data Scientist at Oura. He has a PhD in Neuroscience, and since joining Oura has contributed to the development and deployment of several algorithms including the new sleep staging algorithm, Workout Heart Rate, and Health Risk Management.

Raphael Vallat, PhD, is a Senior Machine Learning Data Scientist at Oura. He previously worked as a sleep researcher in the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California Berkeley (Prof. Matt Walker‘s lab). He has published extensively on the topic of sleep and human health, and his work has been featured in several major news media and podcasts.

Xi Zhang, PhD, is the Head of Health Sensing at Oura. He supports a global team of scientists to research and develop algorithms for multiple health applications. Dr. Zhang received his PhD from the University of Michigan and built the world’s first non-invasive thrombolysis robot. He worked at Fitbit first and then Apple after graduate school. At Fitbit, he led an internal startup and also delivered a few key heart health-related features, such as the 24/7 heart rate monitoring and the atrial fibrillation detection (FDA-approved). He is also serving on the editorial board of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology journal focusing on the ML/AI applications.


What is the Relationship Between Heart Rate and Respiratory Rate?

  • our heart rate and respiratory rate have a bidirectional relationship, meaning: When you breathe in, your heart rate increases, and when you breathe out, your heart rate slows down.
  • Various factors can impact your heart rate and breathing rate, including your age and gender, fitness level, environmental factors, illness, and medical conditions.
  • You can use Oura to accurately monitor your heart rate and respiratory rate to spot changes from your normal levels that could indicate a change in your health.

While numerous factors contribute to your overall well-being, two fundamental components include the health of your heart, as well as your respiratory rate.

One metric that provides insight into the health of your heart is your heart rate, or the number of times the heart beats per minute. This measures the rate at which blood is circulated throughout the body.

Oura accurately monitors your heart rate 24/7, which you can find in your the Heart Rate Graph in the Home tab of the Oura App. There, you’ll find color-coded visualizations of your sleeping, daytime, and workout heart rates, as well as periods of Restorative Time, all in the same chart.

Another major system in your body is the respiratory system, which supplies the body with essential oxygen. Your breathing rate, or your respiratory rate, refers to the number of breaths taken per minute, indicating the rate at which you inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. In the Oura App, you can find your nighttime respiratory rate (the average number of breaths you take per minute) in your Readiness Tab.

Understanding Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia

In the Oura App, your respiratory rate is calculated via minute-by-minute changes in your nighttime heart rate. This calculation is possible because your heart and lungs are closely connected by a process called respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA).

While the term arrhythmia may set off a mental alarm, RSA is actually a perfectly normal process and is a sign of a healthy heart. The process consists of the following:

  • When you breathe in, your heart rate increases.
  • When you breathe out, your heart rate slows down.

RSA is driven by the intricate interplay between heart rate and the autonomic nervous system — which consists of the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system — during inhalation and exhalation.

When you breathe in, the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system (fight or flight mode) is activated. This activation leads to a slight increase in heart rate, preparing your body for increased oxygen demand. Conversely, as you breathe out, the parasympathetic division (rest and digest mode) takes over, triggering a decrease in heart rate, and promoting relaxation and restoration.

The dynamic interplay between the sympathetic and parasympathetic activations not only facilitates the synchronization of heart rate and breathing rate, but also promotes optimal oxygenation. This ensures that blood flow to the lungs increases during inhalation, enhancing the efficiency of oxygen exchange.

This rhythm between the autonomic nervous system, heart rate, and respiratory rate supports your overall health and oxygen balance. As such, it’s important to keep both heart rate and breathing rate stabilized, as any imbalances or disruptions can have implications for your physiological functioning.

5 Factors That Affect Heart Rate and Breathing Rate

1. Your Age & Gender

Resting heart rate and breathing patterns vary across individuals. Your personal characteristics can impact your heart rate and breathing rate.

Younger individuals typically exhibit lower resting heart rates and more efficient breathing. Oura data backs that up: An analysis of Oura members’ resting heart rates shows that on average, resting heart rate increases slightly until around the ages of 50-60, after which it levels off and may even decrease slightly.

Additionally, there is a difference in average resting heart rates between female and male Oura members. With an average of 58.1 beats per minute, women tend to have slightly higher resting heart rates compared to men, who average 54.5 beats per minute. This difference can be attributed to the female heart being smaller. Since a smaller heart pumps less blood with each beat, it compensates by beating at a faster rate to match the larger heart’s output.

Plus, women’s respiratory rates typically vary more due to a link between changes in respiratory rate and menstrual cycle stages. Respiration is slower at the start of the cycle (follicular phase), increasing as the cycle comes to an end (luteal phase).

2. Your Fitness Level

Regular physical activity and cardiovascular fitness can also contribute to a lower resting heart rate and optimized breathing rate. In contrast, sedentary lifestyles or age-related changes may lead to higher resting heart rates and altered breathing patterns.

This is because engaging in regular cardio and other physical activity strengthens the heart, enabling it to pump blood more efficiently. As a result, the heart doesn’t have to work as hard, leading to a lower resting heart rate. In addition, regular physical activity improves lung function, which, in turn, contributes to an optimized breathing rate and improved oxygen exchange.

3. Environmental Factors

Various environmental factors, including temperature, air quality, and altitude can impact heart rate and breathing rate. In hot weather, for instance, the body’s cooling mechanism kicks in, leading to an increase in heart rate and respiratory rate as it works hard to regulate temperature.

Similarly, poor air quality, such as high pollution levels, can have an impact on blood oxygen levels. When exposed to pollutants in the air, the respiratory system may struggle to extract sufficient oxygen from the inhaled air, leading to lower oxygen levels in the bloodstream. This decrease in blood oxygen levels triggers a response from the body, causing an increase in breathing rate and potentially elevating heart rate as well.

Oura detects blood oxygen saturation levels (SpO2) and variations during sleep, offering insights into your body’s oxygen absorption and circulation. It also detects breathing disturbances that may occur while you sleep, providing you with a better understanding of your overall health.

At high altitudes, oxygen levels decrease, prompting the body to compensate by raising both heart rate and respiratory rate. So don’t fret if your heart rate increases when you visit (or live in) a higher elevation.

Case in point: Endurance runner and Oura member Don Reichelt shared that he sees a higher heart rate living at an altitude of 10,000 feet than he would at sea level: “So, my resting heart rate is a little higher than it would be at sea level. For example, last night, my lowest resting heart rate was 44. If I go down to sea level, it’s usually around 36,” he says.

4. Illness

As your body fights off an infection, it triggers various physiological changes, such as increased body temperature, inflammation, or the release of certain hormones. These changes lead to an elevated heart rate, which in turn, stimulates an increase in respiratory rate to support oxygen delivery and maintain proper gas exchange.

In fact, Oura data shows that members’ resting heart rates increase by an average of 8.5 bpm when they tag “fever” or “flu.”

LEARN MORE: Why Is My Heart Rate Higher When I’m Sick?

In the case of a respiratory tract infection like bronchitis, the increase in breathing rate is also because the infection causes temporary damage inside your lungs. This damage affects the cells responsible for exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide. As a result, you need to breathe faster to compensate for the reduced efficiency in getting oxygen into your bloodstream.

It’s important to note that the specific effects on respiration rate during sickness can vary depending on the type and severity of the illness, as well as individual factors. If you’re experiencing respiratory distress or have concerns about your breathing while sick, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance.

5.  Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions can significantly impact heart rate and breathing rate. For example, asthmatic people may experience elevated heart rates and rapid breathing during asthma attacks or periods of restricted airflow.

Conditions that impact the heart, like heart disease, can lead to irregularities in heart rate and potentially disrupt the typical patterns of respiratory sinus arrhythmia. Furthermore, chronic respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can affect breathing rate, which in turn can have an impact on heart rate.

Oura Trends and Readiness Score are powerful features that can help you track factors like heart rate and breathing rate to see if they can reveal anything about your overall health. For Oura member Mark C., an uncharacteristically high heart rate helped him realize that something may be wrong.

“I had my wife drive me to the emergency room after seeing the data. I was admitted to the hospital and ultimately diagnosed with Atrial Flutter,” says Mark. Thanks to the timely data, the doctors were able to correct the heart condition.

“[Oura] quite literally may have saved my life…Thank you for creating such an amazing product,” Mark told us.

RELATED: How Oura Can Help Monitor Sickness

3 Techniques to Regulate Heart Rate and Breathing Rate Levels

Certain medical conditions and everyday stressors can disrupt heart rate and breathing rate, but there are effective techniques to help restore balance.

1. Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises can be a valuable tool in regulating heart rate and breathing rate. By consciously taking slow, deep breaths, you can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to slow down the heart rate and establish a more balanced breathing pattern.

2. Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness practices have been shown to have a positive impact on heart rate and breathing rate regulation. By focusing on the present moment and cultivating a sense of calm, meditation and mindfulness can help you achieve a state of deep relaxation, leading to a decrease in heart rate and a more efficient breathing pattern.

If you’re an Oura member, you can use the Explore Tab to access a library of both guided and unguided meditation content. You’ll also get some post-session biofeedback to help you see how your body responds to different types of meditation sessions.

3. Physical Activity and Exercise

Engaging in regular physical activity and exercise is crucial for maintaining cardiovascular health and optimizing heart rate and breathing rate. As mentioned earlier, exercise strengthens the heart and reduces resting heart rate over time. Physical activity also enhances lung capacity and improves the overall efficiency of the respiratory system.

Aerobic or cardio exercises, such as running, swimming, or cycling, are particularly effective in training the cardiovascular system and promoting optimal heart rate and breathing rate.


How I Use BioRingo for a Competitive Edge as a High School Chess Champion

Key Oura insight: “One of Oura’s most impactful insights is its ability to tell me when to recover and when to push myself through my Readiness Score,” Nate says. “This feature has benefited me in high-pressure chess tournaments, knowing when to recover and be my most ready self when it comes time to perform.”

How did you first discover Oura? 

I’ve been a member for almost three years. I got my Oura Ring in the summer of 2020, soon after the pandemic hit and my family quarantined for months. I discovered the ring from my uncle, who had worn it since 2016 and talked about how beneficial it was for his sleep and health. He was aware of Oura’s Covid research and wanted to use the ring as a tool for illness detection.

What was so special was that my family members experienced different benefits from using Oura. My grandparents could use Oura to monitor their health and address potential health scares quickly. My parents could use Oura to help balance their lives between work and looking out for my sister and me.


And going into high school, I could use it to balance the stressful life of a teenager between schoolwork and social situations. More importantly, though, I looked forward to using Oura as a tool to help my performance in competitive chess and athletics.

How has Oura supported your experience as a competitive chess player?

As a competitive chess player at the highest national and international levels, every chess game is usually long and draining. Oura has been a rock, giving me insights on when to rest and be active, before and after tournaments.

Oura has also helped me get full nights of sleep before a big game, since I know my brain performs at its best when rested. I have noticed that I perform poorly when I lack sleep and my readiness is off. Oura has helped me be more mindful of how I treat my mind and body.

What kind of role does mindfulness play in your chess career?

I have done extensive mindfulness work over the past eight years. After realizing how much stress affected my performance, such as when I lost in the last round playing to become the National Champion, I sought the help of a sports psychologist. I met with him every week until he unexpectedly passed away this past fall. We practiced a significant amount of mindfulness and biofeedback work to advance peak performance. Since working with him, I have won 4 Individual National Championships/Co-Championships and 15 Team National Championships.

I was already playing at a very high level; however, my work with him gave me a competitive edge – being mentally prepared to perform in any situation – over my competition, to which I attribute much of my success.

Since then, I have created my own performance-based mindfulness program, Mindmates, geared towards other high-performing chess players and athletes. My mindfulness work impacted my life so much that I wanted to share my knowledge with other young players as well. Through Mindmates, I have spent the past year going into prominent chess institutions in NYC and sharing some of my favorite exercises with other competitive chess players. I look forward to branching out and impacting high-performing chess players and athletes nationwide.

In addition to my program, I have loved exploring and using Oura’s meditation exercises and guided breathwork in the Explore Tab. Plus, since Oura provides immediate biofeedback after a meditation session, it further validates the meditations’ effectiveness — something that other meditation apps generally do not provide.

RELATED: 10 Simple Breathing Exercises for Sleep and Relaxation

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about your health since using Oura?

I’ve noticed that I have a consistent lack of REM sleep and a surplus of deep sleep. However, just last month, I was at lunch with my grandfather, with whom I have a lot of physical and cognitive similarities, and we realized that he also had a severe lack of REM sleep and a lot of deep sleep. This similarity surprised me, because I now wonder if sleep tendencies, specifically REM sleep, can be genetic.



How BioRingo Helps Inform This Member’s Integrative Approach to Healing Stage 3 Cancer

Who: Stephanie B., 42, Seattle

Surprising BioRingo insight: Stephanie uses acupuncture as part of her integrative cancer care, and noticed that it consistently increases her Sleep Score. This was an unexpected signal that her body was responding well to it.

What led you to BioRingo?

I’ve always been interested in health and wellness and have been an active person, so getting BioRingo was an obvious choice. My husband was an early adopter of Oura, having gotten the Gen1 ring after getting diagnosed with an arthritic hip. This caused him to sleep very poorly due to the pain, so he used BioRingo to learn how to improve his sleep.

One year after joining BioRingo, I was diagnosed with stage three colorectal cancer. This was intense news to process, especially because I have taken such care of my health. My relationship with Oura changed. I went from enjoying the insights to heavily relying on them.

How did you move forward with your diagnosis? 

When I got my diagnosis, it was time to take a serious look at my habits. Despite being healthy, I realized that I didn’t prioritize rest. It was common for me to end the day late with a glass of wine before bed, having not stopped the entire day. It was time for me to focus on recovery so that my body could work on healing.

I started researching everything I possibly could about healing and decided to work with a naturopathic oncologist alongside a conventional medical team. So in addition to my four rounds of chemotherapy and five weeks of localized pelvic radiation, I use saunas, cold exposure, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, red light therapy, prioritize sleep, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), and eat a largely ketogenic diet, plus fasting – I’d do a three-day fast before each chemo cycle – and so much more.

I wanted to reset my body and viewed my diagnosis as a challenge to beat cancer and prevent it from ever returning. But doing all these things and not knowing how my body is responding is pretty pointless. That’s where Oura came in.

How have you used Oura throughout your diagnosis and treatment?

With so many shifts happening in my body, Oura has become an important data point to pay attention to. I log every time I use one of these alternative treatments. I map it out to see how it affects my Sleep Score, Readiness Score, heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), and my overall well-being. I follow my Readiness Score and temperature changes, in particular, to know what my body needs and when to pull back.

For instance, I noticed on the days that I had acupuncture, my body would shift into a rest state, boosting my Sleep Score.

During this process, I’ve also lost my menstrual cycle and have become perimenopausal. I was using period prediction, and started to notice my menstrual cycles went from 30 days to 42-day cycles. I’ve been able to go back on this data and see how my menstrual cycle has declined over time. This has been really useful.

I’m still staying active – I track my heart rate while running or using a stationary bike, and make sure my Activity Score is well-balanced. My body is fighting cancer, so I still don’t want to overdo it.

I started a Facebook group for other people with colorectal cancer, and for my friends and family who want to stay up-to-date with my journey. On the page, I share updates from my treatments (both conventional and alternative), relying heavily on my Oura data to show how they’re helping me.

Overall, Oura has provided me with an amazing source of information through this process. It has kept me accountable, but more so, it has helped me understand what’s going on inside my body and how it’s reacting to my treatments.