A Guide to Your Readiness Contributors

With 8 contributors playing a role in determining your Readiness Score each day, we understand that it can be challenging to understand what they all mean—and not just literally, but for you individually as well.

In this guide, we walk you through each of the Readiness contributors, explaining what they are and how they’re measured. We then provide a general framework to keep in mind while looking at your contributors on a daily basis.

Note that for Readiness insights, your own personal averages are taken into account. When you start using Oura, it takes up to 2 weeks for the app to learn your average values for all recovery metrics listed below. Once average ranges are established, your daily readings will be evaluated against them.

*keep in mind that “long-term” refers to personal data collected over the past ~2-months

Your Readiness Contributors 

1. Body Temperature

Definition & Measurement

The change in your body temperature from last night compared to your average, long-term* nighttime body temperature.

Remember This

The app asks you to pay attention if your body temperature is elevated beyond a healthy range. Note that for long-term averages, anywhere between 95.9 - 99.3 F° is considered normal. Personal deviations between -2.7 and +1.1 F° are the maximum limits that Oura considers to be “normal”. This means that your nighttime body temperature can be 2.7 F° below your average or 1.1 F° above your average without an impact on your Readiness Score.

2. Previous Night

Definition & Measurement

The Previous Night contributor puts into consideration how much your sleep from last night is impacting your Readiness today. This contributor consists of your Sleep Score from last night and is compared with both your long-term* average Sleep Score and Oura’s recommendations (7-9 hours of sleep per night).

Remember This

Note that 85 is the cut-off score for optimal sleep quality that can boost your readiness. The Previous Night contributor is meant to guide you toward a Sleep Score of 85 on a regular basis. A low Previous Night score is a sign to pay attention and place greater emphasis on your sleep for the following night.

3. HRV Balance

Definition & Measurement

HRV Balance identifies how well your body has been recovering “lately,” meaning over the past 14 days. HRV Balance compares your average HRV over the past 14 days against your long-term* average, with the past 2-5 days having more significance. This means that HRV insights that have occurred closer to the current date will have a greater impact on your HRV Balance in comparison to insights that occurred over a week ago.

Remember This

HRV Balance takes a long-term view on your stress and recovery. This contributor is meant to reflect how your day-to-day patterns of stress and recovery have balanced out over the past 2 weeks.

4. Sleep Balance

Definition & Measurement

This contributor compares how well you’ve been sleeping in the past 14 days against your long-term* average, with the past 2-5 nights of sleep weighing more heavily on your score. In other words, if you slept poorly last night, this will impact your Sleep Balance more in comparison to a poor night of sleep that occurred one week ago. This is designed to serve as a call-out for when you may need to make your sleep for the upcoming night more of an immediate priority before sleep debt begins to accumulate.

Remember This

You’ll be asked to pay attention to your Sleep Balance if you’re sleeping less than you normally do or less than the recommended average for someone your age. For context, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that the average adult sleep between 7-9 hours per night to promote optimal health.

5. Previous Day Activity

Definition & Measurement

This contributor is designed to answer the question, “How have my activities from yesterday impacted my Readiness for today?” In other words, how did the strain I put on my body yesterday impact the way I feel today? Previous Day Activity combines all your activities and sedentary (inactive) time from yesterday and compares them with your long-term* averages and recommended daily amounts of physical movement.

Remember This

Your Readiness Score will decrease if you were very inactive yesterday, specifically for more than 9 hours; it will also decrease if you partake in vigorous activity or high activity loads. Although it is important to note that challenging exercise will likely improve the breadth of your Readiness in the future as you build cardiovascular fitness and increase your capacity to perform.

Your Readiness Score will increase if you don’t do anything vigorous, but don’t remain completely inactive either. In other words, if you do something that gets your body moving, without placing too much strain on yourself.

6. Activity Balance

Definition & Measurement

This contributor is meant to answer the question, “How much load has my body been under based on my recent activity levels?” Activity Balance compares your average activity levels over the past 14 days (with the past 2-5 days holding more weight) to your long-term* activity levels over the past ~2 months.

Remember This

Activity Balance divides physical load into 4 zones, based on activity levels in the past 2 weeks:

Underload: you’ve been reaching 0-50% of your long-term* activity levels (you’re not pushing yourself enough)

Recovery load: you’ve been reaching 50-100% of your long-term* activity levels (you’re in balance with what your body is accustomed to)

Training load: you’ve been reaching 100-150% of your long-term* activity levels (you’re challenging yourself)

Overload: you’ve been reaching over 150% of your long-term* activity levels (you’re overworking your body)

Keeping these in mind can help you consider what may be bringing your Activity Balance down, allowing you to act accordingly to gain movement in a positive direction. Lower Activity Balance scores will lower your Readiness because you’re either pushing too hard or not hard enough. This permits you to bring into question if it’s overload, training load or underload that’s diminishing your Activity Balance.

The general idea is that you want to see movement between these zones. The goal is not to stabilize Activity Balance—if you see variety, then you’re doing well.

7. Resting Heart Rate

Definition & Measurement

Your resting heart rate (RHR) is calculated by taking your lowest average heart rate from the previous night (determined by 10-minute segments picked up by your Oura Ring) and comparing it against your long-term* average.

Remember This

Average resting heart rates between 40-90 BPM (beats per minute) are considered to be normal. Individual variation is usually between 3-5 BPM above or below your average. You’ll see minimizations in your RHR contributor score if you get an average RHR from the previous night that’s 3-5 BPM higher (sign of excess stress on the body) than usual or 10-15 BPM lower (sign of lethargy and limited nervous system stimulation) than usual. The best way to find balance is to stay within 0-10 BPMs below your average. This is evidence that your body is recovering normally and that you’re in an optimal state to perform for the day.

The goal of this contributor is to guide you in noticing higher than usual or exceptionally low nighttime heart rates.

8. Recovery Index

Definition & Measurement

This contributor is designed to answer the question, “Did my body have enough time to recharge last night?” Recovery index is the amount of time you’ve slept after your resting heart rate (RHR) has stabilized. Heart rate stabilization occurs once you’ve reached an RHR that is within 3 BPM of your lowest heart rate of the night. The length of time after heart rate stabilization is compared with your long-term* average and Oura’s recommendation, which is at least 5 hours. This time period is otherwise known as “recharge minutes”.

Remember This

A night with heavy recharge minutes is a good sign you’re prepared to challenge yourself in the upcoming day. This will lead to a boost in your Readiness Score.

This contributor score is meant to guide you toward a lifestyle where your RHR stabilizes during the first half of the night. The earlier your RHR can reach a low point during the night, the more recharge minutes you’re likely to gain, which sets you up to take on the day with sufficient energy. Note that if your RHR doesn’t reach a low until the second half or toward the end of the night (aka, the pattern on your RHR graph reflects a consistent downward slope), your recharge minutes will be extremely low—leading to a low Readiness Score.

To learn more about your Readiness Score check out this article.

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