This article covers how your Sleep Score is measured, what determines a “good” score, and how you can work to improve this metric.
How Oura Measures Your Sleep Score
Oura analyzes your sleep by measuring the dynamics of your resting heart rate, body temperature, movement, and time spent in specific sleep stages, including light, deep, and REM. Oura’s proprietary algorithms combine these measurements into a summarized picture of your unique sleep patterns.
Your Sleep Score is meant to provide you with a holistic perspective of how well you're sleeping on a daily basis (overall sleep quality). It’s calculated according to multiple factors, including your total sleep time, sleep efficiency (the percentage of time you spend asleep during the night), latency (the time it takes you to fall asleep), among other metrics found in the Sleep tab in your Oura App.
What Is a Good Sleep Score?
Readiness, Activity, and Sleep Scores — and their contributors — are rated on a scale of 0-100.
- 85-100: Optimal
- 70-84: Good
- 60-69: Fair
- 0-59: Pay Attention
An 85 or higher may be a sign that you are ready to take on new challenges. Scores below 70 indicate that you may benefit from prioritizing rest and recovery in the indicated areas.
What is the crown icon?
On days where your Readiness, Sleep, or Activity Score is 85 or higher, you'll see a crown icon in the following places:
- Near your Readiness, Sleep, or Activity Score on the Home tab
- Beside your score in the Readiness, Sleep, or Activity tab
- Above the corresponding day in the calendar view (accessed by selecting "Today " at the top of the app)
How the New Sleep Staging Algorithm Affects Your Sleep Score
In May 2023, Oura began rolling out a new sleep staging algorithm for the Oura Ring Gen3. This new algorithm was developed to take advantage of the Gen3 ring's extra sensors and increased memory capacity in order to provide even more refined sleep stage detection.
Sleep stages play an important factor in your "Previous night" and "Sleep balance" contributors, so the new sleep staging algorithm may temporarily impact your Readiness and Sleep Scores. Changes to your scores will be most noticeable up to two weeks after the launch of the new algorithm, and will stabilize over the following two months as Oura recalibrates your baselines. Around 1% of Gen3 users may see a 7-9 point drop in their scores during this period, though for a majority of Oura members the changes will be less sizable.
How to Improve Your Sleep Score
It’s helpful to keep in mind that your body knows what it needs and will provide you with the signs needed to reach proper balance. Your Sleep Score is designed to serve as a reminder of those needs. If you find yourself scoring below 70, it may be time to focus your attention on gaining momentum toward the 85 range.
- Set aside enough time for sleep. For example, in order to reach the recommended 7-9 hours of total sleep per night, this may require you give yourself an 8-10 hour window from the time you get into bed to the time you'd like to wake-up in the morning. This buffer will account for latency (i.e. the time it takes you to fall asleep), awake time, and any brief disturbances during the night—all of which don't count toward your total sleep time. *Note that your total sleep time is the number one most impactful contributor in helping you achieve optimal rest, and a higher Sleep Score as a result.
- Cut off screen-time, and artificial light at least an hour before bed. You can also dim, or shut off a handful of the primary lights in your home and, or bedroom in this hour before bed. If you have to use a device near your bedtime, you can offset some of its stimulating effects by dimming the screen or wearing blue light glasses. Reversely, try to expose yourself to (preferably) natural light first thing in the morning upon waking. This absence of harsh light near your bedtime, and presence of direct light soon after waking helps to establish strong sleep and wake patterns, regulated by your body's internal clock (i.e. circadian rhythm).
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time, no matter the day of the week. Regularity is key. It will anchor your sleep, naturally improving quantity and quality. This is because your circadian rhythm expects regularity, and responds best under consistent conditions.
- Limit strenuous exercise, heavy meals, and alcohol consumption ~3 hours prior to your bedtime. Foods high in sugar and low in fiber consumed in the evening hours may result in more frequent wake-ups throughout the night, and lower quantities of deep sleep. This is because sugar naturally increases your metabolic rate and body temperature, making it more challenging for your body to mellow and remain in a restful state.
- Avoid caffeine consumption past 2pm. Even some decaffeinated versions of beverages that naturally contain caffeine (e.g. decaf coffee or decaf green tea) still have slight traces of caffeine, so you may want to consider limiting your consumption of these in the later evening hours as well.
- Create a nighttime routine that helps you relax and unwind before getting into bed, such as taking a hot shower/bath, reading a book, doing some light yoga, stretching, or practicing mindfulness. This will permit your body and mind to adapt a sleep ritual of sorts, allowing you to enter a "powering down" mode prior to hitting your pillow.
- Set aside 5 minutes in the ~2 hours that precede your bedtime to write down all your currently active thoughts, concerns, to-do items for the next day, etc.
- Cool down your sleep environment. The optimal temperature for sleep has been noted to fall around 67°F / 18°C. Your body needs to slightly drop its core temperature by around 2-3°F / 1°C in order to initiate sleep, and keep you at rest throughout the night. You can accelerate this process by taking a warm bath or shower in the hour or two before bed. This will naturally draw blood from your core to the surface of your skin, allowing for heat from the body to be evacuated.
- Avoid partaking in activities other than sleeping and general restful practices in your bed. Some examples include, but are not limited to watching TV, working, or eating. Engaging in these activities in bed can build associations in the brain that digress from being in this space and sleeping, which can make it more difficult to fall and stay asleep in that environment.
For more information on your Sleep Score, please visit The Pulse.