7 unexpected health benefits of your smart ring or smartwatch

Whether you use an Apple Watch or an Oura Ring, your smart ring or smartwatch may also have a slew of unexpected health benefits that go far beyond step counting.


From tracking your workouts to features that encourage you to be more active, devices like the Apple Watch and Oura Ring can help foster solid fitness habits. However, these devices can also track a lot of other metrics that allow you to get a bird’s-eye view of different aspects of your health. As such, they can also help you cultivate other, healthier habits.

Here are just a few lasting lifestyle changes and unusual health benefits of an Oura Ring or Apple Watch, as reported by those who achieved them with the help of their smart ring or smartwatch.

Drinking less

People drinking wine

One of the biggest impacts that Oura Ring or Apple Watch users report is a natural reduction in the amount of alcohol they consume. Now, these smart rings and smartwatches don’t automatically track your drinking — but they do track health data that can hint at a night out at the bar.

Alcohol can cause your resting heart rate and your heart rate variability to act erratically. These are two metrics most smart wearables can track, and for anyone who reviews their own health data, it’s an obvious sign that alcohol maybe isn’t the healthiest option.

Many people also report their overall sleep quality on Oura Ring decreasing when they’ve had a few drinks before bed. Now, you don’t need to cut out alcohol completely, just be mindful about your consumption and always drink responsibly.

Getting higher quality sleep

Oura Ring Sleep

Another health aspect that many people report improving is sleep quality. The Apple Watch and Oura Ring both track sleep quality, and the latter device can even track shorter amounts of sleep, such as daytime sleep and naps.

Mostly, the benefit to sleep comes in the form of data. With a smart device, many people get insights into their sleep that they would never otherwise have. If you see your sleep quality is generally poor, you’re probably more likely to make changes, after all.

With helpful reminders and other rest-focused features, better sleep quality and sleep hygiene is a sure if unexpected benefit of your smartwatch or smart ring.

Traveling healthier

Man traveling at airport

If you’re someone who travels a lot for work or play, you’re probably well-aware of the effect that it has on your body. However, smart wearables can actually help you quantify why you feel so bad when you’re on the road.

Many users report the data showing the havoc that traveling can cause, from terrible sleep to skyrocketing stress and heart rate levels. And this isn’t even taking into account the very real effects of jet lag for longer distance travel.

The key is to do something productive with this data, such as taking time to stay hydrated at the airport or in the car, exercising or taking walks while you’re away from home, and finding time to practice mindfulness.

Timing when you eat

People eating food

Many users also report other lifestyle changes spurred by sleep quality data, such as avoiding caffeine too close to bed or avoiding eating late-night treats or tracks — especially those that are heavy or high in sodium.

However, some users report that just avoiding late-night snacks is one part of it. As an unexpected health benefit of your smart ring or smartwatch, you can actually time when you eat that tasty treat for the least amount of impact on your body.

One user, for example, said that their Oura Ring tracked no major difference in heart rate when they ate a sweet dessert with dinner instead of an hour after dinner.

Managing stress easier

Apple Watch Mindfulness

Stress is one of the most destructive things for our bodies. And yet, the research shows that nearly half of adults are frequently stressed. Luckily, your Oura Ring or Apple Watch can help.

These devices, and especially the Oura Ring, can help you track your actual stress levels throughout the day — which can differ from your perceived stress levels. Both the Apple Watch and Oura Ring also offer stress-management tools, such as meditation and mindfulness reminders.

Some users have even reported gleaning insights into how different “rest” activities affect their stress. For example, at least one user said that their “zone out” time binging a show after work was actually not as restful as it seemed!

Recovering better

Oura Readiness Score

When it comes to physical activity, the way you recover can be just as important as the way you work out. This is one of the most impactful health benefits of the Oura Ring — your “readiness score,” which tracks your body’s energy levels and if you should focus on recovery or exercise.

The Oura Ring can help you track how much effort your should put into your workouts each day. Over time, you can even see how some choices — such as staying up late or eating junk food — can affect your body’s ability to perform.

Although the Apple Watch does not currently have an alternative to Oura’s Readiness Score, there are some third-party options that can help you better understand your recovery.

Detecting illnesses quicker

A sick man

One unexpected benefit of any smart wearable that can track heart rate is possibly being able to detect infectious diseases earlier than usual. One study, for example, found that slight differences in heart rate variability accurately predicted the onset of COVID-19 up to seven days before a confirmed test.

Although these devices are not designed to predict disease onset, researchers are exploring the possibility that wearables could detect respiratory infections. Until the science shakes out, however, you can use the data from an Oura Ring or Apple Watch to take better care of yourself.

For example, if you’re living your typical lifestyle but notice weird changes in your heart rate, you may want to take steps to prioritize rest and fluids. If the trend continues, consider calling in sick to work and booking an appointment with a medical professional.

What health benefits are you seeing?

Do keep in mind that these are just some examples of unexpected health benefits experienced by smartwatch and smart ring owners. It’s totally possible that you’ll experience your own unique and unusual wellness benefits!



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