Moment sessions are a great way to explore how different practices, like meditation or breathing techniques, impact your body. While scientific research can help inspire ideas for you to investigate, the frontier of health is discovering your body’s unique patterns for yourself.

To further promote personal discovery, Oura has added skin temperature variation to Moment. So take a Moment, and let the exploration begin!

What’s New?

With Moment sessions lasting 5 minutes or longer, you now have access to a limited daytime skin temperature variation trend line.

Keep in mind that temperature is a complex measurement and should be interpreted carefully:

  • During Moment, Oura does not currently provide any values associated with your skin temperature variation to encourage you to monitor your trend line rather than focus on the numbers. In contrast, on your Readiness tab, you will see that Oura does provide a value for your nighttime temperature change relative to your average, baseline temperature.
  • Oura’s temperature measurement represents your skin temperature which, while related to core temperature, is not the same. Skin temperature varies more widely than core which makes it a unique and valuable tool for seeing how your body reacts over time.

Before interpreting your temperature, you can read more about skin temperature vs. core here. 

How Can You Use This Feature?

When used together with other session data, skin temperature variation can help you see how relaxed your body was during your Moment session.

Skin temperature is highly sensitive and can be impacted by factors outside your control (genetics, hormones, etc.) as well as factors that you can control (prior activities, workouts, cold or hot drinks, food, caffeine, etc.). It’s important to interpret your temperature changes with that context in mind.

Here are some patterns to look for:

An upward trend: Stress engages your fight-or-flight system which reprioritizes blood flood to your core to support your vital organs. When you’re relaxed, your fight-or-flight decreases activity, restoring more even blood flow to your extremities. As a result, if you relax during your session, you may see your hands get warmer and your skin temperature variation graph point upwards.
A relatively flat line: If your hands are already warm or your relaxation level remains unchanged, you may see a stable line throughout your session. This is neither a good nor a bad sign but merely more information that your body is fluctuating during your Moment.
A downward trend: If something interferes with your relaxation or your hands get colder during the session, your skin temperature variation graph may point downward.
An interrupted pattern: If you have a sudden response to something like a sound in your environment or shift in your relaxation mindset, you may see a sharp interruption in your trend.

How Is The Oura Community Using This data?

Oura’s Science Team ran an experiment with masters students from the University of Oulu where 10 Oura Ring users were exposed to a series of relaxing or stress-inducing stimuli. The researchers found a clear pattern of temperature changes in response to stress and relaxation:

  • Skin temperature increased during relaxing meditation for 81% of subjects
  • Skin temperature decreased during the stress of performing mental calculations for 88% of subjects

They noted that short delays (1-2 min) in skin temperature changes occurred as they switched between tasks and that environmental factors (like room temperature) could alter responses.

Below is an example of one participant who went through a series of tasks that showed a clear pattern of increasing temperature during relaxation (meditation) and decreasing temperature during stressors (loud noise, putting their non-ring hand in cold water, and mental calculations).

Citation: Honkanen, T. Measuring the Effects of Cognitive Stress and Relaxation Using a Wearable Smart Ring.

Individual users have also shared insights from their Moment sessions.

The following are true stories taken from users who chose to share their experiences. We’ve changed their names to respect their privacy.

I Explored The Impact of My Meditation Practice

“I began meditating recently. At first, I couldn’t shake the impatience I felt during my guided sessions. But after a week of practicing, I noticed a significant change in my sleep quality. On top of that, I noticed an interesting increase in my skin temperature at the end of my practice.What a cool feature! I’ve begun recommending the practice to friends, family. Simply a game-changer!” – Derek

I Tested If Float Tanks Work For Me

“I just started doing float tanks this year – the sensory deprivation epsom salt tanks. I try to clear my mind when I’m in there and I thought this Moment was really interesting.You can tell right at the start that I dropped into ‘the zone’ mentally: my heart rate lowered and my temperature rose. Partway through tho, my excitement got the better of me and I lost a bit of focus. You can see the struggle in my heart rate and HRV but my temperature remained relatively stable.I’m interested to see what happens after a few months of these!” – Carla

 

 


Oura ring products and services are not medical devices, and are not intended to mitigate, prevent, treat, cure or diagnose any disease or condition. Oura’s insights are suggestions based upon your data, and shouldn’t be substituted for medical advice or prevent you from taking a holistic view on your overall health. If you have any concerns about your health, please consult your doctor