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.