Best daily deals

Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

Everything you need to know about Garmin's sleep tracking features

Use Garmin's Advanced Sleep Monitoring to get better sleep overnight.
By
October 18, 2022
garmin venu 2 review sleep tracking sleep score
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Like most smartwatches and fitness tracking brands, Garmin tracks sleep time and quality throughout the night. Although its system was pretty simplistic before 2018, the company has since built more features into its sleep tracking product. Now called Advanced Sleep Monitoring, the system tracks a slew of metrics to help you monitor and improve your sleep. Below is everything you need to know about Garmin’s sleep tracking tech.

The best: Garmin smartwatches | Garmin running watches

How does Garmin track sleep?

Garmin’s sleep tracking system is now called Advanced Sleep Monitoring. It features on most of its more modern watches and fitness trackers with an optical heart rate sensor. This is important as Garmin uses both heart rate and heart rate variability — the pause between each heartbeat — alongside the device’s accelerometer to understand when you’re sleeping. This method also allows Garmin devices to determine what sleep stage you’re in and what time you wake from your slumber.

Sleep is still monitored using the accelerometer for Garmin devices that lack heart rate sensors, but the resultant sleep tracking data is less granular.

Advanced Sleep Monitoring: Supported devices

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus on the wrist showing sleep tracking metrics
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

A host of Garmin’s smartwatches and fitness trackers support Advanced Sleep Monitoring. These include:

  • 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 and Instinct 2
  • 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 HR and 3 series
  • Vivosmart 3, 4, and 5
  • Vivosport

What does Garmin’s Advanced Sleep Monitoring track?

Garmin venu 2 review garmin connect sleep tracking on phone in hand
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Like most companies in the wearable space, Garmin breaks down your sleep spells into understandable chunks. Each sleep spell is different, and the company explains to its users how these differ and why.

In essence, Garmin’s Advanced Sleep Monitoring provides sleep insights by surveying the following metrics:

Sleep stages

You’ve likely heard of sleep stages before. As we sleep, our bodies fluctuate between several distinct sleep stages. Although there’s plenty of debate about how many stages there are, Garmin keeps tabs on four: awake spells, REM, light sleep, and deep sleep. Each stage marks a change in heart rate, restlessness, and heart rate variability. Your Garmin watch makes a note of how long you spend in each during each sleep, and how long you should be spending in each.

For instance, Garmin recommends spending between 17-35% of total sleep within the deep sleep stage. This stage is important for restoring body tissue, improving bodily immune health, and preparing the mind for the following day.

Garmin also provides tips on how to lengthen sleep stage spells and potential issues if you don’t get enough of a particular sleep type. All in all, this information allows you to adjust your sleeping patterns where necessary.

Sleep score

Garmin also provides an all-encompassing sleep score on the back of sleep stages. Unlike the often confusing sleep stage metric, Garmin’s sleep score considers your sleep duration, average stress during sleep, total time spent in specific sleep stages, the amount of time you were awake, and overall restlessness, and reduces it to a single number.

Sleep scores span between 1-100 and can be understood as follows:

  • Below 60: Poor
  • 60-79: Fair
  • 80-89: Good
  • 90-100: Excellent

Garmin won’t just rate your sleep but will also provide contextual information after each slumber. For instance, if you get a Fair rating, you may get tips on how and where to improve your sleep. Additionally, a breakdown also provides a better idea of why your sleep score was lower or higher.

See also: Everything you need to know about Fitbit’s Sleep Score

Pulse ox

Garmin uses its devices’ SpO2 sensor to keep track of oxygen saturation in the blood minute by minute as you sleep. This is a pretty important metric, as a slow oxygen saturation figure could indicate problematic sleep issues, like sleep apnea. Of course, this metric depends on whether your device has an SpO2 sensor.

Sometimes, your watch may not monitor blood oxygen throughout the night. Garmin notes that the Lily, Vivosmart 4, and Vivomove 3 and 3S will only monitor SpO2 across four hours of the sleep range you’ve specified in Garmin Connect.

Respiration rate

Finally, alongside pulse ox readings, Garmin also keeps tabs on how many breaths you take per minute while sleeping. Again, this metric may also be used to understand potential sleep issues. Some Garmin devices, like the Approach S62, do not monitor respiration rate while asleep.

Notably, according to Garmin, the normal respiration rate of an adult is 12-20 breaths per minute.

Body Battery

garmin venu review body battery

Although not a part of Garmin’s Advanced Sleep Monitoring kit, Body Battery directly relies on sleep metrics to inform its figures. Therefore, it’s another great way to understand how your sleep the night before will affect your day.

Body Battery is Garmin’s way of gauging a user’s energy reserves for a given day. Like the sleep score, the Body Battery score is provided as a number between 1 (low energy) and 100 (maximum energy).

Based on our experiences with Garmin devices in the past, the Body Battery feature is remarkably accurate. You can read more about it below.

More reading: Our comprehensive Garmin Body Battery guide

How to view your sleep data

While you can spot-check your sleep data on your Garmin watch, we find it easier to gloss current and historic information directly from Garmin Connect on your phone.

To find your sleep data on Garmin Connect:

The Garmin Connect App depicts a user's sleep data, including their sleep stages.
  • Open the Garmin Connect app on your phone.
  • Tap the Menu button at the top left of the screen on Android or top-right on iOS.
  • Select Health Stats.
  • Tap on Sleep.
  • Here you can view Stages, Pulse Ox, and Respiration stats by tapping on their respective tabs.

To view your sleep score

The Garmin Connect App depicts a user's Sleep Score as 63, or Fair.
  • Open the Garmin Connect app.
  • Tap the Menu button at the top left of the screen on Android or top-right on iOS.
  • Select Health Stats.
  • Tap on Sleep Score.
  • Here you can view your overall sleep stats, drill down into sleep stages, and more.

Getting the best out of Garmin’s sleep tracking feature

A woman sleeps in bed while she wears the Garmin Lily Sport Edition smart watch on her left wrist.
Lily Katz / Android Authority

To get the best out of Garmin’s Advanced Sleep Monitoring smarts, you’ll need to be aware of the following:

  • Garmin suggests wearing your watch at least two hours before you plan to sleep. This allows the device to garner baseline readings when you’re awake.
  • Be sure to set your sleep time in Garmin Connect.
    • To do this, open the Garmin Connect app on your phone, tap the Menu icon in the top left, then select Settings > User Settings. Edit Bed Time and Wake Time.
  • You’ll also need to enable heart rate tracking.
  • Double-check that Battery Saver is disabled during sleep.
    • To do this, press and hold UP or MENU on your watch, head to Settings > Power Manager > Battery Saver > Edit > Activity Tracking.
  • Importantly, you should also wear your Garmin watch snugly but not too tight on your wrist. Ensure that it’s just below your wrist bone as well.
  • Annoyingly, Garmin does not include daytime naps in your sleep statistics. It’s one of the glaring omissions from Garmin’s sleep tracking suite. Be aware of this if you expect to see these in your sleep log.

FAQs

Based on our experience, Garmin’s sleep tracking is largely accurate. But be aware that no device is truly 100% accurate.

A sleep score between 80-89 is considered “good.”

Double check if your birth date is saved and correct in Garmin Connect. Open Garmin Connect, select the three-line menu button, tap Settings > User Settings. Add your details here.

Additionally, be sure to set the correct Sleep and Wake Window times in Garmin Connect, too. Open Garmin Connect, select the three-line menu button, tap Settings > User Settings > Select Bed Time or Wake Time, set a time then tap OK.