Here are the contributors Oura uses to calculate your Oura Readiness Score.
In addition to calculating the Readiness Score, Oura also tracks your Heart Rate Variability, a readiness metric worth keeping an eye on.
How well you slept the night before has a big impact on your Readiness Score. Good quality sleep is a must for physical and mental recovery – for your memory and learning capabilities, for example. Oura gives you a daily Sleep Score. A general rule of thumb is that it should be above 88% or at the high end of your normal range, if you’re planning to do something that calls for your maximum performance. Emphasis is on the ‘high end of your normal range’ because we’re all unique and sticking to a particular number isn’t advisable.
Readiness is about balance. The Sleep Balance contributor is based on a longer term view of your sleep patterns. Oura compares the past two weeks of your sleep duration to your long-term sleep history and the amount of sleep time recommended for people your age. It’s advised that for staying healthy and alert, adults typically need 7–9 hours of sleep every night.
Yesterday matters when we want to know how ready we are for today. Oura stays on track of your previous day’s load and guides you accordingly. If you have trained intensively, taking time for recovery pays off; that’s when you build your fitness. If you have rested well, your body and mind are readier to accept big challenges.
The Activity Balance contributor is based on a five-day rolling window of your activity levels. Here again, balance is the key. For maximum performance, the aim is to stay adequately active: as close to your daily activity goals as possible. Staying in balance will boost your readiness and help you maintain high energy levels.
Knowing the variations in your night-time body temperature helps you to detect early signs of impending sickness, a need to rest, and for women, the stages of menstrual cycle. Oura tracks and shows you the variations, so that you’ll keep on track of how recovered and ready you are for the day. Furthermore, recent studies advise female athletes to schedule the majority of their heavy intensity training to the first half of the menstrual cycle.
RHR, or resting heart rate, is a reliable and scientifically proven measurement for establishing overall sleep quality, recovery and health. Usually, a RHR on the lower side indicates good fitness, but don’t get too worried if your friend’s value is different from yours: RHR is highly personal and there are many factors that influence it. What you might want to concentrate on are changes compared to your own average, because an exceptionally high or low resting heart rate can be a sign that you need more recovery. Oura shows your lowest and average RHR, as well as minute-by-minute resting heart rate graph.
The timing of your lowest RHR is of significance, too. It tells you how balanced your body is in recovering from the previous day’s load and getting ready for tomorrow’s challenges. Recovery Index is one indicator of this balance: it shows how long it takes for your RHR to stabilize and reach its lowest point. An indicator of good readiness is if this happens earlier in the night (one rule of thumb is at least six hours prior to waking). For instance, eating a heavy meal, drinking alcohol, or exercising too close to bedtime can postpone the timing. They all speed up your metabolism and elevate your RHR, which in turn delay your recovery and increase your sleep need.
In addition to calculating the Readiness Score, Oura also tracks your Heart Rate Variability (HRV) throughout the night. What is HRV? Well, there’s a small time gap between your heartbeats, and this gap isn’t identical all the time. Heart Rate Variability indicates the variation in the time interval between heartbeats. Both researchers and practitioners consider HRV to be a good measure of your recovery, and therefore readiness status, as it can indicate stress and fatigue levels on your body. Generally speaking, when you’re fit, relaxed and recovered, your HRV is higher. When your body is recovering from e.g. strenuous exercise, your HRV is lower.
Oura calculates your night-time HRV from the rMSSD, a well-known HRV parameter that provides a good view on your Autonomic Nervous System activity. The Oura app shows your average HRV (from 5-minute samples measured during the whole night), and your nightly HRV curve.
The HRV value given by Oura can range from anywhere below 20 to over 100 ms. But bear this in mind: HRV is extremely individual. Your minimum and maximum values depend on factors such as your age, hormone levels, circadian rhythm, lifestyle and overall health. So do not compare your values with anyone else but yourself!