SHA Magazine Health & Beauty

Oura ring: the ring that helps you sleep better

SHA Wellness Clinic
September 28, 2021

This elegant and exclusive wearable tracks and measures your body’s most relevant psychophysiological signals that condition the quality of sleep.

Sleep disorders like insomnia, frequent awakenings, snoring and apnoea have grown exponentially since the onset of the global health crisis. This creates a massive gap between the body and an optimal state of well-being, since quality rest is essential for good physical, mental and emotional health.

As Bruno Ribeiro, head of the Cognitive Development and Brain Stimulation Unit at SHA Wellness Clinic, says, “until now, the technology used to study these disorders was quite invasive because a polysomnography requires wearing a mask on the head, a band around the chest and being connected to a machine for at least an hour of sleep. This test, which is very effective in detecting apnoea or oxygen depletion, can be stressful and only analyses nocturnal activity. However, the results are very conclusive: in 95% of cases, we find that the problems preventing a good night’s sleep are psychophysiological”.

That is why SHA has been working with the Oura Ring for several years. “This is a ring with the latest technology that helps us to detect what is happening with these psychophysiological variables. This advanced sleep monitoring system incorporates two infrared LEDs, proprietary measurement algorithms, a series of sensors including an accelerometer, a gyroscope and a thermometer, and uses plethysmography to measure the pulse in the finger arteries, movements, heart and respiratory rates, body temperature or blood oxygen saturation. The ring perfectly differentiates the different phases of sleep (light, deep, REM), how long it takes to fall asleep, that is, sleep latency, and awakenings, but also provides extremely useful information on daytime activity, a basic element for a restful sleep. In addition, its battery lasts more than a week, it is water resistant and you can wear it and go about your normal life. And, as it has no geolocator or recorder, it preserves the wearer’s privacy”, adds the doctor.

Of all the data that the Oura Ring measures and records, perhaps the most important is cardiac variability. “For me this is the advance of the ring”, says Bruno. “Cardiac variability is the way the heart adapts to the body’s actual blood and energy needs. It was once believed that the more homogeneous it was, the better, but now we know that this means that the heart is functioning under the effect of the sympathetic nervous system, that is, stress. On the other hand, when the cardiac variability is greater, it means that the heart is adapting to the real needs of the body at all times. In short, this technology makes it possible to conduct comprehensive and personalised assessment of both daytime and night-time activity, discover what prevents people from sleeping well and identify the most appropriate solutions in each case in order to enjoy a fuller and healthier life”, concludes the expert.


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