Do Garmin Watches Have Accurate Sleep Tracking? (We Checked)

If you’ve recently started a new fitness regime, or are an avid fitness guru you may find that fitness wearables are a great way to track your fitness goals.

And a brand like Garmin is right at the top of the ‘fitness chain’.

If you are in the market for a Garmin wearable and wondering if it will track your sleep accurately, this article looks to answer that question.

Everything You Need To Know About Accurate Sleep Tracking SmartWatches:

Wearable sleep trackers are popular, but research shows that they aren’t always accurate in terms of sleep stages, total sleep time, total wake time, and sleep efficiency. Sleep trackers can be helpful in identifying trends and patterns in your sleep data, and may indicate underlying sleep issues.

How Accurate is the Sleep Tracking on Garmin Watches?

Several Garmin watches with optical heart rate sensors contain a feature called Advanced Sleep Monitoring (ASM) which makes the accuracy of sleep tracking much higher.

When you wear the watch while sleeping, you can track your sleep data in Garmin Connect thanks to ASM.

Most of Garmin’s more modern watches and fitness trackers include an optical heart rate sensor. This is significant because Garmin uses heart rate and heart rate variability (the pause between each heartbeat) in conjunction with the device’s accelerometer to determine when you’re sleeping.

This method also allows Garmin devices to determine your sleep stage and when you wake up.

For Garmin devices that lack heart rate sensors, sleep is still monitored using the accelerometer, but the resulting sleep-tracking data is less granular.

If you are having problems with sleep tracking, read my article here with steps to get your Garmin watch back on track. (Pun intended).

Garmin devices that support Advanced Sleep Monitoring:

  • Approach S62
  • D2 Air, Air X10, Charlie, Delta series, and Mach 1
  • Descent G1 series and Mk 1
  • Enduro series
  • Epix Gen 2
  • Fenix 5, 5 Plus series, 6, and 7
  • Forerunner 45 series, 55, 245 series, 255 series, 645 series, 745, 935, 945, 945 LTE, 955, and 955 Solar
  • Swim 2
  • Instinct, Instinct 2, and Instinct Crossover
  • Lily
  • MARQ Collection
  • Quatix 5 and 6 series
  • Tactix 7 series, Charlie, and Delta series
  • Venu original, 2, 2 Plus, and Sq series
  • Vivoactive 3 and 4 series
  • Vivomove Trend, Luxe, Sport, Style, HR and 3 series
  • Vivosmart 3, 4, and 5
  • Vivosport

Can Garmin Watches Track Sleep Without a Phone?

All Garmin watches have the capacity to independently track sleep data, which means that the watch can gather and store sleep-tracking information without the use of an attached phone.

I love that my Garmin watch will automatically identify when I go to sleep and wake up.

To assess sleep stages and patterns, the watch combines movement detection and heart rate tracking. 

Certain Garmin watches also track blood oxygen saturation levels while you sleep using pulse oximetry, which can provide you with further information about your breathing and sleep quality.

You can examine your sleep information right on the watch after you wake up in the morning.

Depending on the model, the watch may show data on various aspects of sleep, including duration, stages, scores, and advice for bettering sleep patterns.

Garmin watches include the option to sync sleep data with the Garmin Connect app on your phone in addition to displaying sleep data on the watch itself.

Please also check out our article about Garmin watch charging problems – with solutions. 

Are Apple Watches or Garmin Watches more Accurate for Sleep Tracking?

Many fitness and health functions are available on both the Apple Watch and Garmin devices. 

All iterations of these wearables can track a variety of workouts and sleep, as well as your heart rate, steps, and calories burned.

Garmin often offers more thorough sleep cycle analysis and nighttime SpO2 readings, whereas Apple Watch focuses more on creating a bedtime habit and daily sleep goal. 

But, as of watchOS 9, Apple Watch sleep tracking also tracks your baseline skin temperature sensor and nighttime respiration rate in addition to displaying your sleep stages.

Having said that, studies have shown that the Apple Watch is more accurate when it comes to sleep tracking, particularly when detecting when a user is asleep versus awake.

This is most probably due to the Apple Watch’s usage of various sensors and algorithms throughout the night to identify motion and heart rate variability.

That said, you should also read our article about why we’d buy Garmin over Apple watch.

Please note – it’s crucial to remember that both watches are consumer-grade gadgets and shouldn’t be used in place of expert medical advice or diagnosis. 

It’s best to speak with a healthcare provider if you have any worries about your sleeping habits or sleep quality.

What Smartwatches Have the Most Precise Sleep Tracking?

Sleep is a difficult companion to find. There is a large segment of the market for sleep products because research shows that one-third of adults in the US don’t get enough sleep.

It comes as no surprise that a lack of sleep can cause health problems. 

With snore tracking, mediation features, and recovery scores, the finest sleep trackers let you understand how you sleep.

We’ve listed a few of the best sleep-tracking wearables below:

Garmin Vivosmart 5

The Vivosmart 5 from Garmin is a fitness band with extensive sleep-tracking capabilities. 

It is designed to wear around your wrist and is equipped with sophisticated sensors that can properly track your movement to ascertain how long you spent in light, deep or REM (Rapid Eye Motion) sleep. 

Also, the Vivosmart 5 contains a pulse oxygen sensor, which according to Vivosmart can determine how quickly your body is absorbing oxygen.

You can quickly access all of this information on the Garmin Connect app for iOS and Android when you wake up.

On a pie chart, the overall quantity of sleep you received is depicted along with a breakdown of how much time you spent in each stage of sleep. When you were in each cycle and whether you had disturbed sleep are displayed in a bar graph. 

Apple Watch Series 8

With the introduction of the Sleep app, Apple significantly improved the most recent Apple Watch, making it one of the best smartwatches for tracking sleep.

You can now monitor the various phases of sleep to see how much REM or deep sleep you get each night. 

The Apple Watch can track your sleep by observing your movement coupled with information from its heart rate sensor, just like Garmin’s Vivofit.

The Health app on your iPhone allows you to view your wrist temperature, heart rate, and respiration rate as you sleep.

Check your sleep history to see how long, how much of it was peaceful, and how much of it was restless. 

Also, the app will let you know when you had the “best sleep” of the night (longest streak of restful sleep). After using it for a while, the Sleep app may provide you with greater insights into your sleep patterns, like how long you typically sleep, and how much sleep you get on average each night.

Fitbit Sense 2

The Fitbit Sense features a relative SpO2 sensor in conjunction with a tri-wavelength HR sensor to unlock Estimated Oxygen Variation as you sleep. 

Large variations in this indicator of blood oxygen levels may indicate diseases like sleep apnea.

It records your heart rate throughout the night, the length of time you spent in each stage of sleep, the number of times you toss and turn, and other factors to create a Sleep Score. 

Users of Fitbit Premium can get a breakdown of the formula used to determine that score in more detail.

With Fitbit Sleep Stages, you can monitor your light, deep, REM, and waking periods every day and compare how you did with the previous month and people your age.

Additionally, the Fitbit Sense has an overall focus on health and also accurately track calories.

Withings ScanWatch

It took a while for the Withings ScanWatch to be approved for its ECG-based heart rate monitoring, but now that it is, it has cemented its position as the best hybrid smartwatch for sleep tracking.

It may record how long you slept as well as how much time you spend in the important deep, light, and waking stages. 

Moreover, the length, depth, regularity of bedtimes, and interruptions will be scored. But, there is a strange omission—you cannot examine statistics for the REM sleep state.

The ScanWatch has a heart rate sensor, which allows it to track average sleep heart rate. 

It also has a SpO2 sensor, which tracks breathing irregularities and may be used to spot sleep apnea symptoms.

Using a scale with colored categories, such sleep disruptions are rated.

Do All Garmin Watches Track Your Sleep?

The majority of Garmin watches do have sleep monitoring capabilities, but it’s crucial to remember that not all of them do. 

Generally speaking, Garmin watches advertised as fitness trackers or smartwatches are more likely to have sleep-tracking features than those made expressly for sports like golf or hiking.

You can check the product specs of a particular Garmin watch on the Garmin website or refer to the user manual to find out if it supports sleep monitoring. 

In order to access sleep tracking functions on some Garmin watches, you may also need to download an additional software or widget.


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