Should You Combine Oura Ring and Apple Watch for Fitness?

There are so many different options that you have for tracking your workouts, daily activities, sleep and diet these days, that the options are impressive. If you’re an iOS fan, then you’ve likely already done your homework on the new Apple Series 7 watch, and you probably already are using a late model iPhone to connect it to. But one thing you may not have considered is pairing your Apple watch with another popular device: the Oura Ring.

Here’s why more people are doing just that.

Benefits of Using Oura Ring

The Oura ring is a popular activity and sleep tracker that has made waves in recent years, edging its way to viral popularity among smart device fitness enthusiasts. It is stylish, durable, and reliable, using infrared sensors to communicate to a corresponding app. The ring looks nearly like any other, and most people wouldn’t guess that it’s a smart device when seeing it on a finger. It can be taken for a swim, worn at the gym, in the shower and so forth.The Oura ring is available in Heritage with different styling options determined by the end user (a popular one is the grey matte finish). The company has recently announced Oura Ring 3.0 which offers a host of new and improved tracking measures, including HR and blood oxygen as well.

Before you can get your Oura ring, the company will send you a sizing kit. These include various plastic rings that you wear to determine which size is the best for your preference. Oura does advise that new users test these plastic rings for at least a day to be certain the sizing is proper. Once you’ve determined the correct size, your ring is shipped out.

The ring features infrared sensors that measure and report things like your heart rate, respiration rate and body temperature to the corresponding Oura app. A built-in accelerometer can track your movement during sleep, and can even identify different stages of sleep you’ve had, including light, deep and REM.

Oura also tracks things like steps, walking distance, calories you’ve burned and more. It helps you better understand your own health and fitness goals using a three-stage system that rates them based on: Activity, Readiness and Sleep. These different stages and your personal model are presented in various charts, which include trends and more.

Combining Oura Ring with Apple Watch

You can combine Oura Ring and Apple Watch for fitness, and there are a few ways that both can benefit your regiment. The Oura Ring 3.0 does feature daytime HR tracking but may not be ideal for activities such as golfing, cycling, weightlifting and or anything where the ring itself becomes a burden to wear during the activity.

Under these circumstances, the Apple watch makes sense to add, so you can get a clearer picture of your daily numbers. On the other side of the coin is the fact that most people don’t use the Apple Watch to track sleep because the battery life isn’t good enough to wear all day and night. Combining the two can give you a more usable, 360-degree solution.

Apple takes things to the next level, and like the Oura ring, offers blood oxygen level tracking and a heart rate monitor, with added features like a bedtime reminder, wake up reminder and more, but it doesn’t monitor your sleep cycles. Instead, you can use the in-depth information you gather from your Oura ring to have a deeper understanding of your sleep cycles, helping you improve your rest and physical health over time.

The watch’s built-in heart rate monitor comes in handy as well because the Oura ring only reads out on an app, which isn’t ideal when you’re in the middle of a cardio workout. Additionally, the Apple Watch allows you to take an ECG and tracks this information in the Health app in real time. Another thing to consider is that the Apple Watch can gently buzz you with added benefits of detailed displays, readouts and more vivid reminders that help you stay the course with your workouts.

Oura & Apple Health Sync

Another benefit to using Oura Ring and Apple Watch for fitness is that both of these devices are able to sync and share data in Apple Health.

According to Oura, the following data is shared when synced to Apple Health:

  • Sleep Analysis – this includes both in bed and asleep times.
  • The calories you’ve burned by walking, training, or doing other activities (activity burn), excluding your BMR.
  • Average respiratory rate from the night
  • Average nighttime resting heart rate
  • Presence sessions from Moment
  • Weight
  • Height

Imported From Apple Health to Oura

Oura also says that these following features can be imported from Apple Health to Oura:

  • Workouts (Steps & Walking + Running Distance cannot be imported into Oura)
  • Weight
  • Height
  • Calories

Sync Oura & Apple Watch to Modo Bio

Modo Bio and the Apple 6 watch combine to help you make the most of your health and fitness goals. We connect you, your wearable data, a dedicated health team and those you love on one platform… all so you can work together, set goals and achieve your best health yet.
Modo Bio also syncs with Oura Ring to help you improve your entire sleep regiment. Connect with providers on our platform to use the biodata from Oura Ring to learn how you can:

– Improve sleep hygiene
-Better maintain a consistent bedtime
-Set a bedtime alarm
-Better maintain a consistent wake time
-Get more morning sunlight
-Improve your daily exercise routine
-Get more steps into your day
-Create daily goals
-Manage your sleep journal
-Stick to your goals with strong social connections

Improving Seasonal Circadian Rhythm with Oura Ring

New studies find that the amount of light we get in a day can directly correlate with our wellbeing, and the season can have a direct affect on how we sleep. 

An Open Access article that was published on SpringerLink entitled “Effects of light on human circadian rhythms, sleep and mood” helps us better understand why balance of night and day is important for human beings. 

The article emphasizes that natural light is part of the human circadian rhythm, and that artificial light can throw this off: “The availability of artificial light has substantially changed the light environment, especially during evening and night hours. This may increase the risk of developing circadian rhythm sleep–wake disorders (CRSWD). which are often caused by a misalignment of endogenous circadian rhythms and external light–dark cycles.”

What is CRSWD?

In so many words: CRSWD is something that can occur when there is an imbalance in light and dark cycles that end up disrupting our circadian rhythm. When this occurs, it is possible for some people to suffer from varying types of wake-sleep disorders, which can be disruptive to their health and wellbeing.

The Summer Affects Our Sleep Cycle

A recent study by Oura Ring demonstrates how the biodata on users’ sleep cycles captured by the ring can help us better understand how seasonal changes like the summer can disrupt or affect our sleep patterns in various ways. 

For the study, Oura Ring culled sleep data from a pool of users. 

Included in the data was: 

  • Time spent in bed decreases
  • The % of REM sleep decreases
  • The % of deep sleep increases
  • Nighttime HRV averages trend higher
  • Nighttime heart rate averages run lower
  • Nighttime respiration rates are higher


According to Oura’s Lead Scientist, Heli Koskimäki, the reason why sleep cycles can change during the season is because: “When temperatures rise and it’s lighter for longer outside, we tend to spend less time in bed, cutting our total sleep time short. When we sleep less, we shift the balance of our sleep stages towards deep sleep and away from REM sleep which tends to occur more in later sleep cycles.”

The Winter Affects Our Sleep Cycle

It’s important to note that daylight hours are longer during the summer than during the winter, which can also naturally affect our sleep patterns too. This is because many people rely on the energetic summer sunshine to enjoy longer waking hours; whereas many people are also darkening bedrooms to sleep better when it’s lighter outside earlier. 

As we enter the winter season, the opposite is in play: there are fewer hours of sunlight and it’s colder outside. Both seasonal cycles can impact our circadian rhythm and can affect our mental wellness and our overall wellbeing. 

In fact, the lessened duration of light and ambient light during the winter cycle has contributed to a disorder that’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD); which is a form of mild to moderate depression that is directly associated with the changes in light and the associated weather patterns. 

The key is finding balance to your sleep cycle and natural sunlight intake, no matter the season. If you have limited time, it’s best to prioritize your sunlight exposure early in the day. This is known as low solar angle sunlight and it occurs when the sun is low in the sky, usually within 2-3 hours of sunrise. Sunlight at this particular time of day increases the stress hormone, cortisol. By getting low solar angle sunlight, you force the body to spike cortisol early in the morning and this actually helps regulate sleep and feeling tired later in the day. About 12-14 hours after the biggest cortisol spike, melatonin starts to be secreted. Melatonin is often associated with feeling sleepy, although technically speaking, it’s more of a circadian regulatory hormone than a sleep hormone.

How does the Oura Ring track Sleep Cycles?

The Oura Ring is a high-tech wearable device that relies on something called “reflected light beams” to track how you’re breathing and how many breaths you’re taking every 60 seconds (respiratory rate), your heart rate, movement, sleep and activity. The ring is also equipped with two sensors that take in temperature readings. These biodata points are then communicated to the Oura Ring App for users to track and review.

Improving Sleep Cycles with Oura Ring

If you’re using Oura Ring to track your sleep cycles this winter, keep in mind that these tips might help you maximize your efforts and improve your sleep cycles. Remember, that if you have any questions or concerns before you change sleep cycles or make any changes to your daily routine that could affect your wellbeing, that it’s important to confer with your general medical practitioner beforehand. 

  • Make sure your bedroom is set up for optimal sleep (not too warm, darker and quiet). 
  • Take short walks during the day to expose your body to more natural ambient light to balance out your circadian rhythm. 
  • Moderate alcohol consumption. During the winter season, the yuletide and the holidays mean that most people are consuming more spirits and are going to bed at irregular times. By moderating your intake of alcohol in winter, you’ll sleep better and have a more productive day the next day. 
  • Talk to your general practitioner if you have concerns about your sleep cycle. They can help you root out the key causes of circadian rhythm disruptions and help you fine-tune your approach. 
  • Use Oura Ring with ModoBio to get connected to one of our providers. They can help you make changes to your regiment, diet and lifestyle to improve your sleep cycle and circadian rhythm.

How Modo Bio Helps You Improve Circadian Rhythm

Modo Bio syncs with Oura Ring to help you improve your entire sleep regiment. 

Connect with providers on our platform to use the biodata from Oura Ring to learn how you can:

  • Improve sleep hygiene
  • Better maintain a consistent bedtime
  • Set a bedtime alarm
  • Better maintain a consistent wake time
  • Get more morning sunlight
  • Improve your daily exercise routine
  • Get more steps into your day
  • Create daily goals
  • Manage your sleep journal
  • Stick to your goals with strong social connections 

 

A healthy circadian rhythm is possible. With Modo Bio… you, your friends and a team of providers can help you meet and exceed your goals in the long term.

How Does the Oura Ring Work?

Wearable health tracking devices are exploding in popularity. Developments in consumer technology have provided easy and affordable access to personal wellness metrics, and millions are taking the opportunity to optimize their routines. Smart bands and other wrist monitors are perhaps the most common way for people to track everything from their step count to their heart rate, but other options are on the rise. Turns out, you can get your personalized health stats without the watch tan.

Curious? Read on to learn more.  

Introducing the Oura Ring

The Oura ring is a small titanium health tracking device designed to be worn on your finger so it can monitor and analyze your sleep, among other features. Priced at $299, it is on the more expensive end of the pricing spectrum for such devices, and it is famously worn by high-status individuals like Jack Dorsey and Prince Harry. The ring pairs with a smartphone app so users can see their personalized, precise biodata at any time and make changes to their habits accordingly.

In the early days of the pandemic, the Oura ring was touted for its ability to detect COVID-19 in wearers before they began to show symptoms. The ring’s temperature monitoring proved effective in illness detection in a University of California, San Francisco study where it spotted pre-symptomatic signs of fever in 76% of COVID cases. In response, the NBA bought thousands of Oura rings for the players as part of its comeback program. Even NASCAR was on board, buying rings for drivers and staff.

The growing popularity of wearable health devices and celebrity endorsements certainly contributed to the Oura’s immediate success, but plenty of people are still wondering: How does the Oura ring work, and how is it different from other health trackers? Let’s dive in.  

Getting Started with the Oura Ring

Before getting your very own Oura ring, the company will send a sizing kit with a range of dummy rings and ask you to wear the most well-fitting one for 24 hours. Your fingers swell in your sleep and while working out, so a full day and night of testing can help you determine which size is best. The real deal will arrive after you send the sizing kit back, and then you’ll spend two weeks wearing it so it can establish your baseline biodata. You’ll also connect the ring with the Oura app, where you’ll view your biodata and other resources.

How Does the Oura Ring Work?

The Oura ring is equipped with two infrared light photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors, two negative thermal coefficient body temperature sensors, a 3D accelerometer, and a gyroscope. What does all that mean? In short, the ring continuously measures your pulse—from the arteries in your fingers, rather than from the capillaries in your wrist—and your skin temperature. The PPG sensors can also reach deeper than the green light LEDs found in other wearable health devices. As a result, you get more accurate measurements that provide granular insights into your body’s status at any given time.

Oura simplifies your personalized biodata into three scores: Readiness, Sleep, and Activity. Your Readiness score predicts your physical, mental, and emotional capacity for performance. Your Sleep score offers insights into your sleep quality, and the app provides advice for better sleep and bedtime guidance. And you Activity score takes inactivity periods, daily goals, and

movement tracking into account so you can optimize your physical activity to rest ratio.

It prioritizes nighttime measurements because daytime measurements are more likely to be influenced by external factors, such as work stress and lifestyle fluctuations. During the day, Oura tracks activity levels, caloric intake, steps, and rest periods like naps. But take a look at what Oura measures at night:

  • Resting heart rate
  • Heart rate variability
  • Body temperature & variations
  • Sleep stages (Awake, Light, Deep, REM)
  • Sleep timing, duration, and quality
  • Movement during sleep

All of this biodata is transmitted and recorded in the Oura ring companion app, where information is neatly presented as deviations from the norm rather than as a cacophony of numbers. You won’t be able to swipe through your stats on the device itself, but users find the lightweight and unobtrusive design to be a fair tradeoff. Plus, everything is personalized to your own unique baseline, and the sensors are incredibly accurate.  

Together, all the metrics Oura tracks present a holistic view of your well being so you can understand your body’s signals and make adjustments for better health. Additionally, Oura has integrations with other popular wellness platforms so you can import your biodata and keep track of it all in one place.

Connect Your Oura Ring with ModoBio

What if all your biodata from your wearable health devices and all your apps was in one place, where you could connect with other health and wellness professionals to make the most of your biodata to improve personal well being? ModoBio connects with personal fitness, nutrition, health and wellness devices that you love and use daily to help users leverage the benefits of the biodata provided by these devices to improve personal health and wellness. Learn more.