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How Your Oura Data Can Help You Listen To Your Body

Our days are filled with questions that require you to make decisions – when are you waking up? What are you eating? How are you training? What stress are you facing in your day?

To make these choices, we’re always balancing streams of information. We’re calculating how our body feels, what our mood is, what’s changing in our environment, and what our priorities are for the day.

Your Oura is a tool for helping you make those decisions. It allows you to listen to signals in your body you couldn’t otherwise hear like your heart and temperature.

By empowering yourself with your own data, you’re able to have a reliable and consistently measured indicator that is personalized to how your body is doing – is it in a state of recovery, strain, or stability?

Having this knowledge enables you to make lifestyle decisions with confidence because you can set goals (e.g. feel more alert), make changes (e.g. limiting device time before bed), and measure results (e.g. an increase in deep sleep and a feeling of mental sharpness).

The following are true stories taken from users who chose to share their experiences with us on how they use their Oura to help them make decisions. We’ve changed some of their names to respect their privacy.

What Has Listening To Your Body Shown You?

My Body Reminds Me That Everything is Normal

Dr. Carrie Jones woke up one morning and was spooked by a small increase in her temperature until she realized  stress was causing her to see symptoms in herself, even when her body was fine. Checking her Oura helped her pinpoint with confidence that her body was shifting normally due to her hormone cycle, rather than coming down with an illness.

“I woke up this morning and was feeling kind of run down and my throat kind of hurt and my ears were itchy and I was like ‘oh please no, oh please no’ and so I got up …and my Oura Ring was literally like….you’re super healthy. Your temperature didn’t rise in the middle of the night…Your heart rate went down. Your heart rate variability went up and you’ve got 2 hours of deep sleep, so what’s your problem? 

And I was like okay psychosomatic [symptoms], got it!…It just goes to show that stress can really affect how we feel and we should be aware of that.
 
Thank you body for reacting EXACTLY THE WAY YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO in a pandemic. ⁣Me, on the other hand, needs to chill out.”

 

My Body Tells Me When It’s Ready for Training Gains

Bill incorporates his Oura data into his training plan to help him balance the days that he pushes himself with days that he recovers or maintains his normal routine.

“My Readiness score is my go, no-go signal – Am I doing my normal workout or am I going for a PR today? I check it first thing in the morning and ask myself ‘ok, how did I sleep?’ I get my coffee, walk around, and say to myself ‘Yeah that feels about right’ and confirm how I feel matches my score. 

Anything above 90 is my cutoff – on those days, I feel like there is some fire under my skin and I’m ready for a PR! I’ll check my activity goal in the late morning and see how much I’ve actually managed to move, pacing on calls, etc. Then I ask myself, should I be resting up to save up for my workout or is there room for more? My workouts are typically in the 250+ calorie range and after I log them I say ask myself ‘how much more do I need to move today?’ to meet my goal.” 

My Body Lets Me Know Me When I Need to Take a Break

Kara uses her Readiness score as a barometer for when she needs to take a day off from work to rest and heal.

“I have always been that person. The one who goes to work even if they are coughing, they look like hell, and they are completely foggy mentally. I used to take my cold medicine, convince myself I was invincible, and head into the office like a martyr.

Now, I actually pay attention to the warning signs. I feel like when my Readiness drops really low, even if I don’t feel that bad yet, it gives me ‘permission’ to call in sick to work and take a rest day. I feel like I know my body better now and on those days my HRV tanks and my temperature spikes, you’ll find me in my covers, recovering like a reasonable human being rather than at the office. I bounce back so much faster because my body actually gets the rest it needs.” 

My Body Shows Me When I Need a Change
Etienne Margraff was surprised to see the impact of alcohol consumption with dinner on his sleep and, more specifically, on his resting heart rate. Many people have a glass of wine or a cocktail and feel as though they fall asleep faster but their data tells a different story.

“On the left is my data with alcohol at dinner, on the right is without.

It’s mostly that I never would have imagined that having a couple of drinks at dinner time would have such a big impact on my sleep. You always think that alcohol has a positive impact on sleep. You feel you sleep better and deeper. This is one sign that it is not really the case. How can your body rest properly if your heart is not calm?”

 

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