Welp, here I go with my first blog post! For some time I’ve wanted to write and share all the interesting things I’m learning about or experimenting with. The main focus of these blogs are topics pertaining to health optimization, but I’m sure some randomness will make an appearance here and there 😜.
For my first post I want to talk about a subject very near and dear to me, SLEEP and recovery. I always sort of knew that sleep was important, but it did not become apparent in my life until after becoming a parent. I could write another blog about the deleterious effects I had from this (and still do if I don’t take care of my sleep hygiene), but I’ll save that for another day.
The first step in sleep optimization was self quantification and some data analysis. I will say however that this is not necessarily needed to optimize your sleep (it just really helps). In fact, just journaling how you feel when you wake up, how much caffeine you’re consuming, and lulls in energy throughout the day is a simple an effective way to tell you if you’re sleeping enough.
To start my journey on sleep optimization I sought out various devices that were geared towards tracking sleep and various processes related to it. Per a recommendation from Ben Greenfield, I heard about the Oura ring and instantly knew that was the device for me. The Oura ring is a device specifically designed monitoring sleep and recovery. With only 4 days of use I’m completely blown away by their app and use of data trends. I could chat about the technical aspects of the ring and everything it does but for this post I just wanted to share briefly how and why I’m using it personally. For more info on the ring check out (www.ouraring.com).
Below I’ll share some of the data straight from the app and talk briefly on how I am using it.
First up is the main hub from your sleep data. As you can see at the top, you are able to see an easily read graph that shows the quantity of each sleep stage that occurs during a normal night. In the short time I’ve used it I have been able to get a bit more deep sleep and I certainly feel a difference from even just that small bump. By having this data and trend line I can easily manipulate variables in my life like workout programming and night time routine to see just how it may affect my sleep cycles. Did I have a huge meal for dinner (I did one evening that my deep sleep was low) or did I have a lot of screen time before bed? All things that directly affect sleep quality to which I am now able to quantify and see just how it does.
Next is the breakdown of the sleep quality and a view of my sleep cycles. As you can see, my beginning of the night was favoring deep sleep while the end was more REM (a really good thing actually and what the body needs to do). This was actually a really good night’s rest for me from a cycle standpoint and it conveniently came on an off day from workouts.
This is just a small glimpse into the sleep analysis portion of the ring. It also analyzes recovery and activity levels so I’m excited to get some more baseline data on that and share later. Over time I’ll come back and share more about sleep/recovery and how I’m using the Oura ring to help me optimize it 😃.