Oura announces new sleep-centric updates
Body clock, chronotype, and sleep scores for irregular sleepers
One of the most important aspects of health and fitness is sleep. I wear two watches daily as I test wearables and enjoy some aspects of smartwatches, but it’s not always comfortable to sleep with one or two watches in order to track my sleep.
Two of the best devices I found for sleep tracking are the Oura Ring and Oura Ring Gen 3 Horizon. These rings provide up to a week of daily activity and sleep tracking with no interaction required on my part as they sit there and quietly capture the data.
The data has been quite interesting and Oura’s smartphone app provides guidance on bed times, readiness for activity, and meditation functions to help you maintain your mental health. Last week Oura rolled out some new features available in the smartphone application.
When looking at the details of your Readiness, Sleep, and Activity data in the Oura app, blue is the achievement goal as that indicates “good” levels. Prior to this update the only other color was red and that color indicated “bad” levels, which I often see in the timing or length of my sleep.
Oura now has a new color, yellow, that indicates a “fair” level that shows you have made some progress and need a bit more effort to reach the blue level.
A new metric appears in your Readiness area of the app to inform you how regularly you have slept during the past two weeks. It checks your bedtime and wake times, but does not account for those afternoon naps you might be sneaking in.
The experts state that a consistent sleep schedule is important to good sleep and also impacts a healthy digestive system. You clearly want to be in the blue level with this metric and Oura states if you are having trouble meeting this goal to start with a consistent wake time and work backwards from there to adjust your bedtime.
Another aspect of sleep that is provided with this latest update is calculation of a sleep score for people who work unique shifts and irregular sleepers. These situations don’t apply to me so I won’t be able to test out this new capability.
We’ve seen various wearables providing people with “sleep animals” and other sleep types that indicate various patterns of your sleep. Oura launched its Chronotype feature that will inform you that you are one of six chronotypes after it analyzes your sleep, activity, and body temperature data from the past 90 days. You must wear your ring during the evening and throughout the day for this determination.
The chronotypes include early morning, morning, late morning, early evening, evening, and late evening. Oura clearly isn’t on the animal naming trend here with these rather boring type names ;)
Oura states that determining your chronotype can then help you make informed decisions and possibly change some habits to match your preferred lifestyle.
Related to the Chronotype determination is a new feature called Body Clock. The Body Clock widget will appear on the Home screen in the Oura app and a 24-hour clock showing your optimal sleep window and your current sleep patterns.
The Body Clock feature is designed as an aspirational sleep window and works in conjunction with the Oura bedtime guidance. Check out all of the details on Chronotype and Body Clock on the Oura website.
Future upgrades will include optimal windows for focus, activity, and restorative time provided in relation to optimal slots in your measured chronotype.
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