A Guide to Your Readiness Contributors

Your Readiness Score consists of eight contributors that blend with one another to provide you with an indication of how ready you are to take on the day.

In this guide, we walk you through each of the Readiness contributors, explaining what they are and how they’re measured. We then offer a general framework and, or considerations to keep in mind while reflecting on your contributors, so you can get the most out of each.

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 Icon_Temperature.png

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 (35.5 - 37.4°C) is considered normal. However, knowing that we are all unique beings, you may indeed fall outside of this range. This is why Oura measures body temperature continuously to determine your personal baseline and any accepted deviations from your average. Daily fluctuations in your body temperature are typical, but when they extend beyond your normal range, you’ll see a decrease in your Readiness Score.

Check out our article on Body Temperature, if you're interested in learning more about this contributor. 

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 few 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. By tracking your HRV balance, you may be able to observe the negative effects of prolonged stressors, such as overtraining or illness, and the positive effects of recovery-based activities and rest. Longer term (~2 month) changes in HRV balance can also reflect adjustments in your overall fitness, stress resilience, and, or recovery capabilities over the course of time.  

You're also likely to receive HRV balance insights on your Home tab from time to time, depending on where your contributor value is at. These insights can inform you of ideal days to engage in challenging, light or limited activity, in an effort to help you boost or take advantage of your current HRV balance score. 

*Please note that this contributor is not the same as the HRV rating (pay attention, good, or optimal) shown in Trends, which reflects your average HRV over the past 7 days in comparison to your ~2 month average. 

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 few 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. Having 5-8 hours or less of inactivity throughout each day will have a positive effect on your Activity and Readiness Scores. We generally advise users to keep this in mind when considering getting enough daily movement. Your Readiness Score will also decrease if you partake in vigorous activity or high activity loads. However, 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 few days holding more weight) to your long-term* activity levels over the past ~2 months.

Remember This

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 whether it’s a training overload or underload that’s diminishing your Activity Balance. The general idea is that you want to see movement between different areas of training intensity and recovery. The goal is not to stabilize Activity Balance—if you see variety, then you’re doing well.

7. Resting Heart Rate Icon_Heart.png

Definition & Measurement

Your resting heart rate (RHR) is calculated by taking your lowest average heart rate from the previous night and comparing it against your long-term* average.

Remember This

Average resting heart rates between 40-100 BPM (beats per minute) are considered to be normal. Individual variation is usually between 3-5 BPM above or below your average, however this can certainly differ based on your personal markers. Generally speaking, you may 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. For most individuals, the best way to find balance is to stay within 0-10 BPMs below your average. This tends to be 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—according to your personal baseline and normal ranges.

8. Recovery Index Icon_Stopwatch.png

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 6 hours. You can generally think of the hours after RHR has stabilized as your body’s “recharging 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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