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Oura Ring vs. RISE App: Which One to Choose?

RISE and Oura Ring track sleep, but in different ways. RISE focuses on the key metric of sleep debt, whereas Oura tracks multiple metrics, but not sleep debt.
Published
2023-12-19
Updated
14 MINS
Written by
Jeff Kahn, M.S., Rise Science Co-Founder
Reviewed by
Chester Wu, MD, Rise Science Medical Reviewer
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We bring sleep research out of the lab and into your life. Every post begins with peer-reviewed studies — not third-party sources — to make sure we only share advice that can be defended to a room full of sleep scientists.
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We regularly update our articles to explain the latest research and shifts in scientific consensus in a simple and actionable way.
Oura Ring vs RISE app

Oura Ring vs. RISE App

  • Both the RISE app and Oura Ring track your sleep, but you’ll get very different metrics.
  • RISE focuses on your sleep debt and your circadian rhythm (the two biggest factors affecting your daily energy and performance) and helps you improve these metrics to feel better each day. Oura Ring dives into details like sleep efficiency, sleep stages, and heart rate, but not sleep debt or circadian rhythm. 
  • As a ring, Oura may be more accurate at tracking how much sleep you got, but RISE works out how much sleep you uniquely need.
  • RISE predicts when your energy will rise and fall each day based on your circadian rhythm and gives you an Energy Potential score based on your sleep debt. Oura gives you a Readiness score based on factors like your resting heart rate and sleep patterns. 
  • Both RISE and Oura provide insights and guides to improve your sleep. RISE tells you when to do 20+ good sleep behaviors at the right time for your circadian rhythm to make them more effective. 
  • Use the RISE app to focus on metrics that are proven to improve your sleep and energy, and Oura Ring to track health metrics like your workouts and your fertility. 
  • Use RISE and Oura together to get the best of both.

Both the RISE app and Oura Ring can track your sleep. But can they help you sleep better each night and feel and perform better each day? 

Below, we’ll lay out what each sleep tracker does to help you decide. 

Oura Ring vs. RISE App Sleep Debt Tracking  

The RISE app tracks your sleep debt. Oura Ring doesn’t track your sleep debt. 

Sleep debt is the amount of sleep you owe your body. Most sleep scientists agree sleep debt is the most important factor determining how you feel and function each day — more than sleep quality, number of sleep cycles, or time spent in different sleep stages (more on those soon). 

If you’re looking for more energy, better focus, less brain fog, improved athletic performance, clearer skin, or a more stable mood, sleep debt is the metric to work on. Reducing sleep debt as much as possible is key to reaching your full potential.

Does the RISE App Track Sleep Debt? 

Yes, RISE tracks sleep debt over your last 14 nights and gives you a clear number front and center in the app. You can check your sleep debt (and other RISE data) on your Apple Watch, iPad, or a widget on your iPhone home screen. 

RISE app screenshot showing how much sleep debt you have
The RISE app tracks your sleep debt.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can view their sleep debt here.

How Does the RISE App Track Sleep Debt? 

RISE tracks sleep debt by measuring how much sleep you get and comparing it to your sleep need — the genetically determined amount of sleep you need

RISE doesn’t compare your sleep data against the generic seven to nine hours of sleep guideline. This guideline is based on self-reported data (which can be inaccurate) and data showing how much sleep people get, not what they need. 

Instead, RISE uses a year’s worth of your phone use data and proprietary sleep-science-based models to work out your unique sleep need down to the minute. 

RISE can use motion-based sleep detection to track when you fall asleep, wake up in the night, and wake up each morning. You’ll then see how much sleep you get each night, and you can add any naps you take during the day. RISE can also use data from Oura Ring, another sleep tracking app like Sleep Cycle, or another wearable device, like Fitbit or Garmin.

Sleep debt is calculated by subtracting the amount of sleep you get from the amount you need. But not all nights of sleep are equal. 

We put more weight on last night’s sleep — 15% per the RISE algorithm — as last night has the biggest impact on how you feel and perform today. Then 85% of your sleep debt comes from the previous 13 nights of sleep, with more recent nights having more weighting. 

All this gives you a scientific sleep debt measure boiled down into one simple number. 

You can learn more about sleep debt here.

Don’t settle for a tracker that compares the sleep you get to generic guidelines. When we looked at the sleep needs of 1.95 million RISE users aged 24 and over, we found it ranged from five hours to 11 hours 30 minutes. 

The RISE app can tell you how much sleep you need.
How much sleep RISE users need.

Does the RISE App Help You Catch Up on Sleep?  

Yes, the RISE app helps you catch up on sleep by showing you the best times to get more sleep and helping you fall asleep so you actually get this extra shut-eye. 

You can lower your sleep debt by oversleeping your sleep need. As well as being a sleep calculator, RISE guides you through 20+ sleep habits that help you fall asleep faster and wake up less often in the night. You’ll get personalized recommendations for when to do these habits based on your own body clock. 

RISE will also show you the best time for you to go to bed, wake up, and take a nap to help you catch up on sleep. All this will help to boost your energy, health, and performance. 

Learn how to use RISE as a personal energy tracker here.

The RISE app helps users get more sleep and energy.

Does Oura Ring Track Sleep Debt?

No, Oura Ring doesn’t track sleep debt. Instead, you’ll get an Oura Sleep Score on a scale of one to 100, which you can view in the Oura app. 

This score is based on metrics like your heart rate, body temperature, and how long you spend in each sleep stage (more on whether or not that’s a useful measure to track soon). 

To help determine the score, the device also tracks metrics like: 

  • Total sleep time 
  • How much this sleep varies over time 
  • Your average sleep duration over the last 14 nights

This is then compared against an estimate of how much sleep a person your age needs. This estimate is based on general guidelines, which provide a seven-to-nine-hour range. As mentioned, these guidelines are based on how much sleep people say they typically get, not what they need. They also suggest older adults need less sleep than younger adults, but that may not be the case. Sleep is just harder to come by as we age. 

Oura suggests how you could improve your sleep — by giving you a recommended bedtime, for example. You’ll see how any changes you make impact Oura’s Sleep Score but not your sleep debt (Oura’s Sleep Score is made up of multiple metrics). 

Instead of focusing on sleep debt, Oura gives you other sleep data, including sleep efficiency (how long you spend asleep in bed), restfulness (how much you toss and turn), and your nightly heart rate variability (HRV, the amount of time between heartbeats). 

This data is interesting, but having one sleep debt number to focus on may be more useful — low sleep debt makes the biggest difference to how you feel and function.

Focusing on multiple metrics also has the potential to be overwhelming. For some, it could lead to orthosomnia, which is when you become obsessed with perfecting sleep tracker data. This can be particularly demoralizing if you’re trying to perfect scores that require guesswork to change and may ultimately not improve the daytime metrics that matter to you. 

With RISE, you can just focus on sleep debt.

We’ve covered more on sleep debt tracking apps here, including why RISE is the most accurate.

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Oura Ring vs. RISE App Sleep Quality Tracking 

Neither Oura Ring or the RISE app track your sleep quality, per se. 

Sleep quality is what most people think of when they think about tracking their sleep. But in sleep science, there’s actually no set definition for sleep quality

Sleep quality means different things to different sleepers. You may think of sleep quality as sleeping soundly through the night, while your partner doesn’t care about restless sleep as long as they fall asleep fast.

For this reason and others we’ll get into, it’s ultimately not a helpful metric. 

Does RISE Track Your Sleep Quality? 

No, RISE doesn’t track your sleep quality. We show you the metric that matters and the one you have the most control over: sleep debt. 

Sleep debt is the better metric to focus on if you want to improve your days.

The good news is metrics typically used to determine sleep quality — like time awake at night or regularity of sleep — are also reflected in sleep debt. The more time you’re awake at night, the less sleep you likely get. And the more regular your sleep schedule, the more likely you get enough sleep. 

However, you can track your sleep quality yourself in RISE to track how you feel about your sleep. The app can send you a reminder 90 minutes after you wake up asking you to rate your sleep quality. 

Why track how you feel about your sleep? How you feel about your sleep may give you more insight into your daily energy levels than a poorly defined metric like sleep quality. Research from 2021 shows how you feel about your sleep may be a more significant predictor of how tired you feel than sleep duration. And 2023 research found how well you felt you slept may make a bigger difference to your well-being the next day than how you actually slept.  

Why 90 minutes? We all experience sleep inertia, or grogginess, when we first wake up. By waiting 90 minutes, you’ll have time to shake off this grogginess and more accurately assess how you feel. 

You can learn more about sleep tracking and the problems with sleep quality as a metric here.

Does Oura Track Your Sleep Quality? 

No, Oura doesn’t track your sleep quality. Instead, Oura tracks your Oura Sleep Score, which combines metrics like total sleep time, heart rate, and time spent in different sleep stages. 

Scientific research doesn’t usually include sleep stages in measures of sleep quality (unless the study is focusing on that). Time spent in different sleep stages is hard to track outside of a sleep lab, after all (more on this soon). 

The Oura Sleep Score evaluates your sleep on a scale from 0-100. Oura says scores above 85 are optimal, 70-84 good, and below 70 suggests the need for lifestyle changes to improve sleep. 

Whereas sleep debt is an objective, scientifically agreed upon metric that directly impacts your health and wellbeing, there’s less indication an abstracted sleep score does the same. 

In that way, a sleep score may introduce problems common to a sleep quality rating – those of the placebo and nocebo effects. Research shows that if you're told you had better sleep quality, you're more likely to perform well, even if you slept badly. The opposite is also true. You’re more likely to perform poorly if you're told you slept poorly — even when you slept well.

Oura Ring vs. RISE App Sleep Stages Tracking

Oura Ring tracks sleep stages. The RISE app doesn’t track sleep stages. 

It’s interesting to see how long you spend in deep, light, and REM sleep each night. But, it’s not helpful to know. 

You can’t control how your brain moves through sleep stages, and stressing over sleep will only make it harder to get. 

Research from Dr. Jamie Zeitzer — co-director of the Center for Sleep and Circadian Sciences at Stanford University and one of our advisors — and others shows sleep staging variables are only weakly linked to subjective sleep quality.

Plus, even if it were helpful, research shows sleep stage tracking by wearable devices isn’t that accurate.

A 2022 study found four wearable devices (including the second-generation Oura Ring) could track when you’re awake and asleep, but they weren’t accurate at tracking sleep stages. Other 2022 studies have similar findings. Even in a sleep lab, experts only agree on test results about 80% of the time!

What’s more, the amount of time you need in light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep can change from night to night and it’ll all depend on how much sleep you need individually (not on generic guidelines) and how much sleep debt you have. 

To illustrate, you spend about 10% to 25% of your sleep time in deep sleep. That means if you need eight hours of sleep, you could need 48 minutes to two hours of deep sleep — quite a range. 

Focus on getting enough sleep overall and your brain will take care of the rest. 

Learn more about why you shouldn’t worry too much about time spent in deep sleep and REM sleep here.

Oura Ring vs. RISE App Circadian Rhythm Tracking 

Both the RISE app and Oura Ring track your circadian rhythm.

Your circadian rhythm is your body’s roughly 24-hour internal clock. Along with sleep debt, how in sync you are with your circadian rhythm is the other main factor determining how you feel and function each day.

Oura uses circadian rhythm tracking in its Body Clock feature — a 24-hour color-coded clock face that shows how your sleep aligns with your optimal sleep window, determined by their estimate of your chronotype. Accurate assessment requires data from at least 30 significant sleep sessions over 90 days, consistent ring usage, and avoiding disruptions like travel across more than one time zone.

To predict the timing of your circadian rhythm, RISE uses your inferred light exposure, recent sleep times, and algorithms built on the SAFTE model, developed by the US Department of Transportation and the Department of Defense.

All of the science happens in the background of the RISE app, and you’ll get a simple visual of what your energy levels will look like each day. RISE tells you, down to the minute, when your energy is expected to rise and fall, and you’ll get conveniently timed reminders so you can be one step ahead.

With this data, you can:

  • See how your sleep affects your energy levels (which is what most of us really want to improve). RISE gives you a Energy Potential score on a scale of zero to 100, which is directly tied to your sleep debt. Lower your sleep debt to increase how much energy you have each day. This is similar to Oura’s Readiness Score, which predicts how ready you are to take on tough tasks or whether you need more rest. However, instead of focusing on sleep debt, many metrics go into your Readiness Score, including resting heart rate, body temperature, recent activity levels, and sleep patterns. 
  • See when your body naturally wants to go to sleep and wake up. Syncing up with these times will help you fall asleep faster, get enough sleep, and have more energy each day.
  • Know exactly when you’ll have energy peaks and dips during the day, so when you’ll be more productive and when you’re better off taking a break or doing easier tasks (RISE can predict the future as well as tracking the present!). This can help you make the most of the energy you do have, even if you can’t get enough sleep right now.
  • Shift your circadian rhythm to become a morning person, get over jet lag, reset your sleep schedule if you do shift work, or for daylight saving time
  • Regularize the timing of your circadian rhythm, which will make a real difference to your energy and mental and physical health.
  • Know exactly when to do 20+ sleep hygiene behaviors. Doing these habits at the right time for you can make them more effective, helping you fall and stay asleep more easily. 

You can learn more about how RISE predicts your circadian rhythm here, including how it calculates your Melatonin Window, which is your ideal biological bedtime.

RISE app screenshot showing your energy peak and dips
The RISE app predicts your circadian rhythm each day.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can see their circadian rhythm on the Energy screen here

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Oura Ring vs. RISE App Cost 

The ring itself costs $299 or $349 USD, depending on which design you go for. 

A monthly subscription costs $5.99 a month. This gives you access to all of the sleep, activity, and health data tracked by Oura. 

Does RISE have a monthly subscription? 

No, RISE doesn’t have a monthly subscription. RISE has a yearly subscription that costs $69.99, which is equivalent to $5.83 a month

For $69.99, you’ll get access to all of RISE’s features, no additional membership required. 

You can try RISE for free for seven days. You’ll find out your sleep need, how much sleep debt you have, and see your energy predictions across the day. Plus, you’ll have several days to see how timed sleep hygiene reminders and relaxing sleep content can improve your sleep and energy before the free trial ends.

Is Oura Worth it Without a Subscription? 

You can get an Oura Ring without a subscription. Without a subscription, you’ll get limited data — just Oura’s daily scores. On the Oura app, there’s a free library of sleep content, including soothing sounds, guided meditations, and sleep stories. 

Does RISE Work With Oura Ring?

Yes, RISE works with Oura Ring. 

RISE will pull your sleep tracking data from Oura to calculate your sleep debt number. You can then use RISE’s personalized reminders and Oura’s extensive library of content and see whether any changes you make impact your sleep debt and energy levels.

Plus, you can check other metrics, like sleep stages, if you wish, with Oura, or use Oura for its additional health tracking features, like tracking workouts or heart rate monitoring.

Oura Ring vs. RISE App Reviews 

Here’s a taste of what users love about using RISE and Oura Ring together. 

  • “I’m very pleased with this app, it’s worth every penny and it works seamlessly with Apple Health, and all the data it collects from my Oura Ring. I would definitely recommend giving RISE a try if you take your health and sleep seriously and would like to have a little bit more information about your energy levels.” Read the review.
  • “I’ve been using Oura for almost two years now and it does not give as much insight into my energy levels as RISE. The RISE interface is much simpler, the calendar integration is amazing, the sleep schedule suggestions and no caffeine/late meal notifications are quite useful. Might not be as many stats as Oura, but much more useful, applicable, hands-on and easy to follow instructions.” Read the review
  • “Doing wonders for my sleep. Pulling data from Oura through Apple Health makes it easier to understand.” Read the review.  

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Oura Ring vs. RISE App Other Features

Here’s a quick-fire list of some of the other features you might be interested in. 

RISE: 

  • 20+ sleep hygiene reminders (like when to drink your final cup of coffee or avoid blue light) all timed to your circadian rhythm daily. These custom-timed notifications make them much more useful than anything else generically positioned as improving your sleep.
  • Guided relaxation and breathing exercises. 
  • Calendar integration, so you can see when your energy peaks and dips will be and schedule your day to match.  
  • A smart alarm clock that tells you if your wake-up time will add to your sleep debt and wakes you up gently each morning. 

Oura Ring: 

  • Guided meditations, sleep sounds, and sleep stories. 
  • May be able to detect early signs of illnesses like COVID
  • Tracks blood oxygen levels, which could tell you if you’re having breathing disturbances at night — although don’t rely on a smart ring (or any wearable or sleep app for that matter) to detect sleep apnea, talk to a healthcare provider. 
  • Stress, exercise, menstrual cycle, and fertility tracking.

And here are some quick-fire pros and cons to consider: 

  • Device charging: As it’s an app on your phone, which you already charge, you don’t have to worry about RISE’s battery life. You’ll need to charge your Oura Ring. 
  • Wearing something extra: With RISE, you don’t need to use a wearable (unless you choose to use one). You may prefer to take off your Oura Ring when weight lifting, showering, or washing the car. On the other hand, a ring can more accurately track how much sleep you get to help calculate your sleep debt number on RISE.
  • How you prefer to sleep: You don’t need to sleep with your phone in your bed for RISE to work, but you do need to sleep with a ring on to get Oura data. On the flip side, you need your phone nearby to get sleep data from RISE (either on your nightstand or on your mattress). You can pair it with an Oura Ring if you’d prefer to sleep with your phone outside of the bedroom.

RISE App vs. Oura Ring: The Final Verdict

If you want to sleep better, have more energy, and improve your overall well-being, choose a tracker that helps you lower your sleep debt and keep it low.

Oura Ring tracks over 20 metrics like overnight oxygen saturation, heart rate, and body temperature. The RISE app is an Oura Ring alternative that focuses on metrics like sleep debt and circadian rhythm. Those who want extra data can combine the two.

If RISE is in your sleep tracking mix, you could get a good night’s sleep sooner than you think. We found 80% of RISE users get better sleep and more energy within five days!

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About Rise
Rise is the only app that unlocks the real-world benefits of better sleep.

Instead of just promising a better night, we use 100 years of sleep science to help you pay down sleep debt and take advantage of your circadian rhythm to be your best.

Over the past decade, we've helped professional athletes, startups, and Fortune 500s improve their sleep to measurably win more in the real-world scenarios that matter most.

Rise Science is backed by True Ventures, Freestyle Capital, and High Alpha; investors behind category winners Fitbit, Peloton, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

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