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Which Garmin Watches Track Rem Sleep

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How To Ensure Your Sleep Tracking Is Accurate

Tutorial Sleep Tracking Widget on Garmin Watch

If youve been wanting to learn more about your sleep, you are probably super stoked about the sleep tracking. But to make sure that youre getting the most accurate information, youll want to do several things.

Put your watch on two hours before bed. This will give the watch heart rate data before you fall asleep, hopefully making it more accurate at determining when you fall asleep.

In order to make sure the heart rate tracking is accurate, make sure the watch is snug on your wrist, but not tight. You dont want to be uncomfortable when you sleep. Wear it every night to get into the habit. Youll get inaccurate sleep data if you leave it charging overnight.

Finally, if you own more than one Garmin, set the watch you want to wear at night as your preferred tracker in the Garmin Connect app. Incidentally, youll also have to make sure the app is up-to-date and that you have a valid birth date saved in the User Settings.

Why Is This Blog About How Does Garmin Measure Rem Sleep Important

As discussed on how Garmin measures REM sleep, it uses a combination of certain sensors such as the accelerometer and the Heart Rate optical sensor to track sleep cycles. However, remember that it is important to make sure your devices heart rate monitor is on, and the device fits comfortably, not too tight or too loose to get the best readings.

Moreover, we have talked about how REM sleep is very important because it stimulates areas of the brain that helps us consolidate learning, memories and is also associated with the increased production of proteins. However, Garmin tracks other sleep cycle stages that we go through during the night that are also very important and contribute to our overall health.

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How Does Garmin Measure Deep Sleep

If you would like to know how Garmin measures deep sleep, here we have the answer. Garmin uses Advanced Sleep Monitoring and this feature works employing an optical heart rate sensor on the device to measure Heart Rate Variability. Simply put, it is the time measured between each heartbeat and when combined with the accelerometer readings, it allows you to determine when you have fallen asleep when you wake up and the stage you are in.

But, what is the importance of measuring deep sleep? This stage is regarded as one of the most important stages of the sleep cycle since it helps the body recover and boosts your immune system, among other things. During deep sleep, your breathing, heartbeat, brain activity and body temperature reach their lowest levels. Moreover, your muscles are extremely relaxed and it becomes difficult to wake you up.

Garmin has seen the importance to measure deep sleep so it has introduced sleep cycles and levels when sleeping:

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Tracking Can Also Help You Stick To Your Health Goals Or Resolutions

Rather than only focussing on a big health goal such as losing 20 kilos, tracking gives you small daily goals towards improved health.

You feel more successful when goals are broken down into smaller bite-size chunks.

On the other hand, if you have a tendency toward perfectionism, not achieving the 8 hours sleep dictated by your tracker could produce more anxiety which in turn affects your sleep.

People pursuing the “quantified self,” says Baron, referring to data-driven obsessions, rely on the daily acquisition of data to enhance their mental and physical life. But, she adds, “some people do take it too far, and that can be stressful.”

The bottom line is if you feel your fitness tracker is improving your quality of life then keep wearing it. But if you think you may suffer from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnoea or snoring, dont take the data to heart. An in-home sleep study will provide the accurate results your health deserves.


  • Rush University Medical Center. “Sleep trackers can prompt sleep problems: Journal article sees potential for unintended effects in their use.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2017.
  • de Zambotti M, Baker FC, Colrain IM. Validation of sleep-tracking technology compared with polysomnography in adolescents, Sleep, 2015, vol. 38
  • Dalva Poyares, Camila Hirotsu, Sergio Tufik Fitness Tracker to Assess Sleep: Beyond the Market, Sleep, Volume 38, Issue 9, 1 September 2015, Pages 13511352

Setting Up Garmin Instinct Sleep Tracking

Catching zzz

The Garmin Instinct uses the heart rate and movement sensors to detect when youve gone to sleep. Its also possible to manually set your normal sleep hours in your Garmin Connect account settings. However, since Garmin Instinct features what Garmin calls Advanced Sleep Monitoring, this manual setting isnt necessary.

Sleep detection starts automatically, so long as youve been wearing your watch long enough before going to sleep. Garmin detects the lower than daytime baseline heart rate as your sleep pattern. However, manually configuring your sleep and wake times will make sleep tracking more accurate.

You will need to go into your watchs settings and make sure the heart rate monitor is turned on for this to work. Youll find this setting under Sensors & Accessories, select Wrist Heart Rate, and ensure the Auto setting is enabled.

Youll want to make sure the watch isnt loose so that the sensor on the back of the watch can get an accurate heart rate reading during the night. Youll also want to make sure that youve entered a birth date in your Garmin Connect user settings. This helps Garmin accurately estimate your sleeping heart rate based on your age.

Also, ensure that the During Sleep option is disabled in the Battery Saver settings on your watch. This will ensure the watch wont turn off the heart rate sensors during the night.

To do this, hold the MENU button , scroll down to Settings, and use the GPS button to select it.

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Theupcoming Spo2 Feature Of Fitbit:

It has been announced that the upcoming versions of the Fitbit wearables, will have the SpO2 feature which will change the way we look at fitness wearables. As it will become a sleep diagnostician.

It is good news for people suffering from sleep apnea as the SpO2 feature enables the watch to know the concentration of oxygen in the blood, which might get a little low due to sleep apnea.

How Does Garmin Sleep Tracking Work

In the past, Garmin devices used movement tracked by motion sensing accelerometers and heart rate, using the built-in optical heart rate sensor, to analyse your sleep.

Read this: Best sleep trackers compared

But Advanced Sleep Monitoring now also factors in heart rate variability the time between each heartbeat to better measure your time awake and time spent in each sleep stage.

In order to assess whether youre awake reading, asleep or up for a 3am toilet break, and which stage of sleep youre in while you slumber, Garmin uses a combination of analysis of photoplethysmography and actigraphy data. That takes into account the following:

  • Changes in heart rate your heart rate data is more erratic in REM sleep and lower in non-REM sleep, for example.
  • Changes in heart rate variability a rise in HRV can indicate your body is in a stressful situation even when youre asleep.
  • Movement spotted by the accelerometer.

Your sleep clock is triggered to start when you get into bed and your heart rate drops to the levels the watch knows you sleep at. Based on your HRV this becomes more accurate the longer you wear the watch.

Other things that might affect the accuracy include stress, sleepwalking or if youve drunk alcohol, where your heart rate is raised and youre potentially moving a lot.

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While Reliability Is Questionable Fitness Trackers Can Be A Useful Guide

Countless studies have varied in their results of fitness tracker reliability but for the most part, the consensus is that actigraphy is generally accurate enough to track sleep in healthy adults with normal sleep patterns. Its just not as accurate as an in-home sleep study using a polysomnogram to monitor brain activity.

Well, it all comes down to psychology. Maybe you give yourself a pat on the back after your fitness tracker tells you youve had 8 hours sleep .

And thats a good thing. Even before wearable technology was invented, it was well known that tracking anything related to your health made you more aware of your choices. When you count steps, you tend to do more steps. When you write down your calories, you tend to be more conscious of what youre eating.

Oura Ring : The Best Sleep Tacking Ring

Sleep Study! Polar Garmin Fitbit Suunto Sleep Review Initial Idea for CrossFit training CF-Tracking

If a fitness tracker is too uncomfortable for you, a ring might be a better choice. The Oura Ring 2 is a small, comfortable tracker and offers a multitude of sensors without looking any different from a regular piece of jewelry.

It has an infrared heart rate monitor, a gyroscope, an accelerometer, and not one but three temperature sensors. That allows the Oura Ring 2 to measure changes in your skin color, detect when you fall asleep, and how much time you spend in each sleep stage. It is one of the most accurate sleep trackers out there, but even the Oura Ring 2 sometimes struggles with daytime naps.

The information you get on the companion app is plentiful. You not only see how much youve slept, but how restorative your rest was, what your resting heart rate was throughout the night, how many times youve woken up, and more.

The inclusion of a temperature sensor is particularly useful since it tracks your body temperature during the night. This can help you see if you rest better at lower or higher temperatures and adjust your AC accordingly.

Check out our full review to learn more about the Oura Ring 2.

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How Does My Garmin Watch Know Im Sleeping

The optical heart rate sensor is responsible for measuring heart rate and HRV granted you activate the sensor 2 hours before you go to sleep. The HRV works in tandem with the devices accelerometer to accurately gauge when you fall asleep, the level of sleep you progress through while sleeping, and when you wake up.

How To Use Garmin Instinct Sleep Tracking

The Garmin Instinct smartwatch includes advanced GPS sensors that let hikers, runners, and nature adventurers track where they are even far off of the cellular grid.

The Garmin Instinct smartwatch is one of the more popular choices for outdoor enthusiasts. This is because it includes advanced GPS sensors that let hikers, runners, and nature adventurers track where they are even far off the cellular grid.

However, it also has a list of sensors and functions that make it an excellent smartwatch for tracking your health. The sleep tracking sensors and software are a large part of that.

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Do Garmin Devices Track Sleep

There are many devices across various Garmin series that feature advanced sleep monitoring . With the Garmin sleep tracking widget, you dont have to be an expert in sleep and its various phases as these clever tools do all the hard work for you.

Your Garmin sleep tracking device will analyze your heart rate variability during sleep. Additionally, your respiratory rate, how this compares to your heart rate variability, and your body movements and muscle activity during nap time are also recorded and scored upon waking.

Your device achieves this by immediately detecting which sleep phase you are currently at from light sleep to deep sleep, rem sleep, or even if you are awake without realizing it.

The sleep tracking device on your wrist watch will tell you the overall sleep quality in each phase. It does this by using a scoring system that uses scientific standards concerning the best type and amount of sleep based on your overall health statistics such as your age, gender, activity levels, etc.

Philips Smartsleep Deep Sleep Headband

Thursday Tech Tidbit: Garmin Rolls Out Sleep Cycle Details ...

The best sleep tracker for deeper sleep

Reasons to avoid

Another forehead-mounted sleep tracker, the Philips SmartSleep Deep Sleep Headband is designed specifically for people who typically find themselves sleeping for less than six hours, and get poor quality sleep.

It’s larger than the Muse S, but is entirely self-contained, with no detachable control unit. Attach the two self-adhesive sensors before settling down, and the band will monitor your sleep stages and movement. It’s specifically intended to extend REM sleep, and uses quiet audio tones when it detects that you’ve entered this stage to prolong it.

It’s not a medical device, and isn’t intended to treat medically diagnosed insomnia, but the Deep Sleep Headband is certainly worth a shot if you’ve been struggling to get enough good quality rest lately.

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How Is Deep Sleep Measured

Sleep researchers usually measure deep sleep with the use of polysomnography or PSG, normally in a lab setting. This is known to be the Gold Standard for measuring sleep and researchers seem to agree that PSG is the best way to measure sleep. However, if we refer to a wearable device such as a smartwatch, it usually employs the heart rate optical sensor to detect changes in heart rate to determine sleep cycle stages.

The Best Sleep Trackers You Can Buy In 2021

Getting a good nights sleep is one of the most important factors in being healthy and happy. If youre feeling tired lately or feel like youre not getting enough shut-eye, a sleep tracker might be exactly what you need. Weve rounded up the best sleep trackers to help you out.

See also:The best fitness trackers from Fitbit, Garmin, Xiaomi, and more

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How Accurate Are Sleep Trackers

Each sleep tracker is unique, and the accuracy varies based on the design and technology. For most consumers, sleep trackers can help promote general wellbeing and better sleep hygiene. How accurate they are is somewhat undecided within the scientific community, though more sophisticated hardware and software could provide reliable feedback. It should also be noted that a sleep tracker is not a replacement for medical evaluation, especially for older patients and those with chronic medical conditions.

Technology has come a long way in the last few years. While there is a lack of supporting evidence for the widespread accuracy of trackers, research so far is promising. For instance, some data suggests that a multi-sensor tracker can provide insight that is fairly close to that of a polysomnography test.

To find the most accurate sleep tracker, shoppers may want to look for manufacturer information on how the device was validated. Many trackers are compared directly against lab-based sleep tests, which are the gold standard in sleep monitoring. These options may be more accurate than those that undergo less extensive testing.

Digging Into Your Data: What Garmin Sleep Reveals

Quick Tips: Garmin’s New On-Watch Sleep Tracking Widgets

Each morning you get a full, nightly readout that reveals how much sleep you got in total, along with a breakdown of the time spent in different sleep stages: Deep, Light and REM and also the duration of any periods where youre awake.

The sleep stages

Light Sleep: Eye movements and muscle activity start to slow down as the body prepares for deep sleep.

Deep Sleep: Restoration mode where eye and muscle movements stop completely, heart rate and breathing slow, and the body goes into recovery, building bone and muscle, and boosting your immune system.

REM Sleep: The dream stage where the brain is almost as active as when youre awake. REM sleep is important for forming memories, processing information and resetting.

In the app, you can add a widget to get your most recent sleep time displayed on your My Day screen. You can get the full sleep breakdown by hitting More and then tapping into your Health Stats. This is also the best place to review your sleep data in the web tools.

Your data is presented in a timeline that shows you when you fall asleep and when you wake up rather than when you get into and out of bed. If you know theres an error here, you can manually edit these times in the Garmin Connect app and on the Garmin Connect web tools.

Garmin uses sleep data for its new Body Battery feature

Get your next Garmin fix

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Garmin Health Announces Sleep Study Results

Garmin announced Advanced Sleep Monitoring, an enhanced capability to more accurately identify sleep stages, last June. Developed against truth data generated by a clinical device, the feature is the result of a sleep study by Garmin Health conducted under the supervision of Dr. Suzanne Stevens, Director of the University of Kansas Medical Center Sleep Medicine Clinic with certifications by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Sleep Medicine.

Dr. Stevens presented the details of the study on May 7th at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. The poster presentation covered study design, results, and the conclusion that Garmin wearables that support Advanced Sleep Monitoring present a valid method to estimate sleep stages. For consumers, this results in invaluable insights regarding their sleep hygiene and how their sleep patterns may be affecting their overall health. For researchers, the results indicate Garmin sleep tracking wearables may be suitable for longitudinal studies where monitoring participant activity and sleep patterns are desired endpoints.

Garmin Health provides enterprise solutions that leverage Garmin wearables and the high-quality sensor data they produce for use in the corporate wellness, population health, and patient monitoring markets. Contact us to request more information about how to build your own innovative experience or research study.

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