Who: Dada J., 36, Bratislava, Slovakia

Surprising Oura insight: Dada has found that if her Oura Ring is tracking an elevated body temperature for a few nights, it’s a sign she might be experiencing inflammation or an IBD flare-up.

What led you to Oura?

I bought my Oura Ring after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), to help me manage my condition.

It wasn’t diagnosed until I was 34. Prior to this, I didn’t know what was wrong with me, which was very difficult. Now that I have a diagnosis, I have the right treatment and understand how to manage my condition. 

Ulcerative colitis greatly affects your sleep. I experience symptoms like abdominal pain, stress, anxiety, and side effects from my medication that affect my mood, appetite, sleep, and overall health.

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Taking her dog, Mila, for walks outdoors helps Dada feel more grounded and less stressed.

How does Oura help you manage your condition?

Oura has helped me in three major ways: improving my sleep, monitoring my body temperature, and managing stress.

The sleep tracking features have been a game-changer for me, providing me with data and insights that have helped me to improve my overall sleep quality and duration.

I also use Oura to monitor my body temperature trends. For IBD patients, it is very important to monitor body temperature, as it is an inflammatory disease with phases of exacerbation (flare-ups) and remission.

On the Oura App, I can easily see my nightly body temperature readings, which can give me an indication of whether or not I might be experiencing inflammation or a potential flare-up.

Spikes in Dada’s body temperature signal that her IBD is flaring up.

If my body temperature is consistently elevated over a few nights, it can be a sign that I need to take extra care with my diet and stress management, and possibly reach out to my healthcare provider. Additionally, tracking my body temperature alongside other metrics like heart rate variability can help me get a more complete picture of my overall health and wellness.  

READ MORE: Understanding the Normal Fluctuations in Body Temperature

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How has Oura helped you improve your sleep?

I’ve started by establishing a consistent sleep routine, where I try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. I’ve also created a relaxing bedtime routine that includes reading a book or practicing deep breathing exercises.

I’ve made sure my bedroom is a comfortable environment for sleep, with minimal noise, darkness, and a comfortable temperature. Finally, I’ve been trying to exercise regularly, although I make sure not to exercise too close to bedtime. By following these tips and paying attention to my Oura data, I’ve noticed improvements in both the quality and duration of my sleep.

READ MORE: 5 Simple Breathing Techniques for a Good Night’s Sleep

How does stress impact your condition, and how do you manage it? 

Stress is a major trigger for IBD, and Oura helps me to prioritize reducing my stress levels. 

My job can be stressful. I work as a heritage inspector which involves fieldwork in challenging conditions like ruins of castles or abandoned buildings in poor structural condition. To handle everything well, it is necessary for me to maintain a strict regimen, which includes quality sleep and mental and physical well-being.  

For instance, I do red light therapy while meditating and using the Unguided Sessions feature in the Oura App. This combination has been incredibly helpful in achieving a deeper level of relaxation. Plus, the ability to track my heart rate variability (HRV) and breathing rate during meditation sessions has been incredibly helpful.

READ MORE: Try Oura’s Guided Sleep Meditations for Deep and Restful Sleep

Other ways I manage my stress include illustrating. I like to take breaks to sketch or draw whenever I need to relax my mind. I also enjoy taking walks outside with my dog Mia and spending time in nature whenever possible. Being in a natural setting helps me feel more grounded and reduces my stress levels. Regularly practicing yoga helps me both physically and mentally. Finally, I also enjoy listening to calming music or guided meditations to help me unwind.

READ MORE: How Lewis C. Improved His Autoimmune Symptoms, Sleep, & Lifestyle With Oura

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