Unguided sessions are part of Oura's suite of mindfulness and meditation features. An ever-growing library of guided meditation programs, sleep stories, and other multimedia can be accessed through the Explore content.
How Unguided Sessions Work
Unguided sessions provide a timer and an optional soundscape for use during your meditation practice. When you start an unguided session, all of the sensors in your Oura Ring activate on a continuous cycle. This provides biofeedback insights at the end of each session so that you can see the benefits of your mindfulness routine.
- 1-2 minute sessions will show your lowest resting heart rate (RHR)
- 3-5 minute sessions will display your lowest RHR and your average heart rate variability (HRV)
- 5+ minute sessions will show RHR, HRV, and skin temperature trends
Lower RHR values, higher HRV, and slightly increased skin temperature variation are generally indicators of positive effect on your body. (Increased skin temperature variation may be a sign of relaxation response activation: as your heart rate lowers and your blood vessels open up as a result, more blood circulates through your skin, leading to a slight increase in body temperature).
Unguided sessions have been shown to be useful in managing stress and anxiety, relaxing before bed, and releasing body tension, among many other beneficial uses.
How to Use Unguided Sessions
To use an Unguided Session:
- Tap the + in the lower right-hand corner of your Home tab. You must be on the current day
- Select Unguided session
- Select your desired session time. Open-ended sessions will run until you manually stop them, up to a maximum of 180 minutes
- Unguided sessions come without voice instruction, but you can select an optional soundscape from the eight provided background sounds, adjust its volume, and toggle the session end chime on or off
- Press "Start"
- You can end timed sessions at any point by selecting "End early." Open-ended sessions must be stopped by manually selecting "End session"
- Select an answer to the "How do you feel?" questionnaire
- View session results. You can send this data to Apple Health or Google Fit if you've enabled sharing with third-party apps
- Previous sessions can be viewed from the app's Home tab (under "Activities") or by selecting the history icon on a new Unguided session card
- Sessions can be deleted by selecting "Delete session" at the bottom of a Session details card
Things to Keep in Mind
- Try to remain still during unguided sessions. Excess movement can interfere with the ring sensors' ability to take accurate measurements, and may result in incomplete data.
- You may need to charge your ring more frequently because unguided sessions use all of your ring's sensors continuously. Check out our article on ring battery health for quick tips on when to charge your ring for optimal daily battery performance.
- Your ring and app do not need to be connected during a session. To see your post-session data, simply sync your ring and app upon completion.
You can use a separate audio app while taking an unguided session. Simply start a session without a soundscape, then launch an audio app of your choice. Make sure you do not force quit your Oura App, or your session will not be recorded.