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Garmin Shows Off New On-Device Sleep Tracking Widgets

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On the list of things that I didn’t think would be all that exciting, I’d put forth ‘Widget that shows my sleep from last night’. Turns out, I was wrong.

This past weekend I had put a couple of random Instagram stories up, demonstrating supporting evidence that on a day my sleep was crap my ride was also crap. And then on a day my sleep was good, my ride was also good. However, I used a new Garmin Fenix 6 sleep widget to demonstrate this, since frankly…it was pretty looking.

Turns out an overwhelming number of you were interested in this. As in, flooded my Instagram DM box about it. So naturally, I decided to write a post on it instead. Oh, and a video. All you need to know in about 5 minutes!

But if videos aren’t your thing, just keep scrollin’.

The Details:

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Ok, my goal here isn’t to write too much. Likely, I won’t succeed. Also, since I know you’ll ask – that’s the $14 Garmin watch charger stand. I’ve been using it since last year after the other watch charging puck thing y’all went crazy for.

In any case, Garmin has released a public beta firmware update for the Fenix 6 series (all of them, and the MARQ series), that brings sleep functionality from previously being an app/cloud function/calculation to being an on-watch calculation. As such, you can now also see your sleep metrics on the watch. The update brings some other widget-related tweaks that are largely user interface related. They’re nice too, but I’ll skip them for now.

(I’m not going to do a step-by-step on how to install the beta update, because those steps are already here. As always, if you’re not comfortable with beta software, then I’d wait till this magically shows up on your wrist as part of a normal update. Of course, given nobody is doing any races right now – it’s probably as good a time as any to try new things out. Also, if you do run into bugs, there’s a special e-mail address to report them, or the forum thread.)

Got your firmware all updated? Good.

Now, go to sleep.

Seriously.

You need to get one night’s sleep for the data to show up, it’s not going to pull in last night’s sleep for you.

Ok, with that done, here’s what you’ve got from the mini widget roll:

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You can then press to open it and get a summary of your night’s sleep:

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This includes five things:

– Sleep time (not time in bed, but actually asleep)
– Sleep score (rating your sleep from 0-100)
– Sleep quality level (self-explanatory)
– A timeline of your sleep stages (Awake/Light/REM/Deep)
– A short elevator pitch descriptor of last night’s sleep

Next though, you can press down within this widget to get more details, which includes the timeline for the night in terms of sleep stages:

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Press down again and you get roughly the same set of data, just visualized differently with the exact times in each sleep stage. As always, I have no meaningful way to validate these exact sleep stages, so, like all wearables we’ll basically just have to go along with it for now. About the only one I can validate is ‘awake’ time, and in this night’s sleep – that seems accurate.

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And finally, we get a bit of that elevator pitch again, though with a slightly different twist:

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As usual, all this data ends up on Garmin Connect (web) and Garmin Connect Mobile (smartphone app):

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However, behind the scenes there’s actually a substantial change. See, up until this point all of the sleep calculations occurred on Garmin Connect (the web platform), using Garmin in-house calculations. But with this change, the company has shifted all of this onto Firstbeat for the different components. So, on a watch like the Fenix 6, Garmin leverages (pre-sleep) 18 different components from Firstbeat. For example, VO2Max calculations are one component, Training Load is another, Body Battery another, and so on. The exact names that Garmin uses marketing/branding-wise can vary from how Firstbeat licenses the underlying modules.

For sleep now, they’re specifically leveraging multiple components out of what Firstbeat dubs their ‘Firstbeat Sleep Solution’, which includes three core components:

Sleep Detection Component: This is where Garmin gets the time you fell asleep and woke up, as well as the sleep stage detection (Awake/Light/REM/Deep)

Sleep Analysis Component: This takes the Sleep Detection bits, and then analyzes the components to determine a sleep score and a small text explanation. Additionally, the ‘restorative quality’ (e.g. good/fair/etc), is based upon HRV. HRV is also used to determine/show the Stress & Body Battery bits elsewhere in the watch (also FirstBeat features).

Sleep Coaching feature: This will, in certain cases, give you an additional insight tip following certain sleep events. For example, if there were high levels of stress, the unit might say “High Stress levels from the previous day impacted your sleep”. Note that this isn’t an every day thing at this point, but only triggered in certain events.

Note that there are other standalone features that Garmin isn’t leveraging. For example, there’s the Sleep Quality Assessment module. But Garmin is basically getting that data from the Sleep Analysis feature, whereas the Sleep Quality module is used by Suunto for the Suunto 3/5/9 watches.

All of this is somewhat setting the stage for deeper insights, at least in the eyes of Firstbeat and how they market the sleep suite of products. The idea that you could take all this underlying sleep data and then give *specific* training focused recommendations based on that sleep. In other words, if you got three hours of crappy sleep from a redeye flight or screaming babies, it’d say ‘Skip the run tonight’, or ‘Make the run a bit easier’ or such. You can see a rough demo of that concept on the Firstbeat site. The pieces missing today though are specific training recommendations from that.

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So what’s the ramification of this change? Usually, I’d say that having Firstbeat metrics is typically better than homebrew metrics, since Firstbeat has far more experience in this realm, and often does actual validations of their metrics (and publishes whitepapers). Whereas most times wearable companies spitball the data and hope it works.

However, in the case of Garmin, that’s a bit different. For them, they’ve got almost a decade of sleep data across what is likely now 20+ million sleep-tracking devices out in the wild. As such, only a handful of companies would have larger sleep datasets than Garmin. Namely Fitbit with over 100 million devices shipped and 28 million users, and then more recently Xiaomi/Samsung/Huawei. Apple doesn’t track sleep. And as Garmin’s fitness sales continue to accelerate, that’ll only increase.

In the Garmin forums, they’ve noted that they’re interested in feedback (good or bad) on peoples’ experiences. In my case over the last 4-5 days, it seems mostly a wash. But the challenge Garmin will face is simply a game of numbers at scale. If even just 1% of let’s say 10 million active users have a weird sleep data going forward, it’ll mean 100,000 people have bad experiences. [That 10 million number comes from last April 2019 when Garmin noted 10 million CIQ devices in the market, which means they have even more sleep capable devices that aren’t CIQ capable.]

Of course, Garmin is mitigating that, not just through the beta, but by minimizing the devices supported. Rather than rolling this back across nearly a decade of devices, it’s just focusing on its most recent ones – specifically the Fenix 6 right now.

But, what about others? I asked Garmin just that. Right now the plan is for it to come to all Garmin Fenix 6 & MARQ variants (beta already for that here), and then by the end of the year the Forerunner 945 will also get it. Hopefully we’ll see it expand more broadly than that. Given Polar has it on their $199 Polar Ignite, I’d think this would fit well on anything in the Venu & Vivoactive lineup, plus of course the Forerunner 245 series.

Wrap-Up:

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Now, what Garmin is doing here is hardly new. But is in line with trends. We saw Polar last summer really start to nail the on-screen sleep widget realm with the Polar Ignite (they had it prior, but not with as much detail), which they then carried into other watches like the Polar Grit X more recently. We also saw Fitbit do the same too, bringing sleep metrics to the wrist. And undoubtedly neither of these are the first to do so either of course. They’re just some of the higher profile ones that have refined it.

I don’t think this widget is make or break for anyone in terms of deciding what device to buy. But, like most of the features that Garmin adds – it’s ‘one more thing’. It’s fundamentally why their sales have boomed: It’s hard to compete with death by a thousand cuts.

I’ll probably only glance at it occasionally, though, with the widget glances it’s sorta the perfect scenario for it. And like countless other features on a Garmin, you may never use them. But that’s OK (as long as they don’t break something else). As your most favorite feature is someone else’s ‘Don’t care’, and vice versa. Which again, is why it’s so hard to break into this category with any meaningful sales.

In any event – if you’re the type that wants to live on the edge, go forth and download the beta and give it a whirl. There’s already been one updated firmware version since Thursday, and undoubtedly we’ll see more. There’s no hard and fast rule on how long things stay in public beta for Garmin. By the time it hits pubic beta, it’s already been tested internally at Garmin for usually months. So sometimes public beta lasts a week or so to validate nothing blows up, and sometimes public beta lasts months with numerous iterations.

With that – thanks for reading!

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135 Comments

  1. JimC

    What’s the charging cradle you’ve got for the watch? I presume that would be compatible with a Fenix 5?

    • jww

      Surely JimC is joking. 🙂

      The Amazon product listing is super entertaining. I love Chinese marketing copy.

      “Multi Occasions Application”
      “We highly recommend one at office, one at home”

    • pat

      don’t forget the “PREMIUM ALUMINUM MATETIAL “…

    • In Jim’s defense, I didn’t have the link in there in the first mins the post went live, and then I realized Jim’s question would common so I added them in a couple mins later. 🙂

    • JimC

      Lol, I’m not as stupid as I feared!

    • Ian Marchant

      You link to Amazon.com shows it as unavailable.

      This one is on Amazon.co.uk –> link to amzn.to

      (I think it linked through your Amazon link ok)

    • Ahh yes, the automatic go-fixing of Amazon links. It kinda works for major products (like a Garmin), but usually craps out for smaller unknown products. In some cases I can manually override, but that’s only when I’ve created a product database entry for it (either an obvious one like you see in the comparison tool, or unlisted non-uniform ones that I use for random products (e.g. AirPods).

      Based on the number of people that noticed and picked up this little charging cradle in the US in the last three days, I should probably just spend a few mins on it and write up a proper post!

  2. Bikeman

    My Vivoactive 3 & HR are both bad @ sleep tracking. I picked up an Amazfit GTR for $149. that does everything the new Garmin widget does and it’s reasonably accurate. It’s not a serious activity tracker but I don’t need it to be. I have other devices for that.

    • Dmitry Pupkov

      So, Ray, when are you going to make Amazfit revenue (I’m joking, since I’ve seen your reply a week ago #sadpandasmile)

    • Arnold

      Ha ha ha, don’t mention wanting Amazfit reviews, apparently people never ask for them, but do want reviews of obscure Casio watches

    • Again, I’m not opposed to, I’m just saying that aside from a handful of people in the last 7 days (likely due to the Timex review being based atop it), there’s been virtually no interest in comments.

      Don’t take my word for it, this demonstrates it super clearly: link to trends.google.com

    • Dmitry Pupkov

      Putting aside Casio (because this name is way much wider than just a multisports watch) and Garmin (who is definitely number one in multisport), as you can see other vendors (Amazfit, Suunto, Polar, Coros) share a totally different story link to trends.google.com

      Even in the US, Amazfit is number two after Suunto with more requests than Polar / Coros link to trends.google.com

      It’s interesting that Amazfit is #1 In Nebraska with both Suunto, Coros, and Polar lagging behind.

    • I think on the US graph you might have mixed up reading the colors. Amazfit is #3 after Polar/Suunto, but yes, above COROS. Generally Amazfit trends at about half the load of Polar/Suunto, minus dates Amazfit launches products, like CES, so you see spikes here and there (which skews averages).

      Globally is tougher, as I don’t honestly see much traffic from many of the countries that don’t have high English speaking rates (e.g. much of South America).

      Still, again, not opposed to it – and may tackle some under their new branding as of this week. Though honestly, I think that’s a horrible mistake at this point (while Amazfit as a brand name was also kinda so-so, I think the newer one – Zepp to be used for app and the health side – isn’t any better, and is so forgettable I had to go look it up again right now).

    • Also, on Nebraska – it is super crazy interesting as to how/why there are such broad brush strokes of why different regions in the US skew towards one of those four brands (Suunto/COROS/AmazFit/Polar) over the other. Meaning, it’s definitely not random.

      Like, why is *everything* around the Great Lakes skewing Polar, while there’s a huge band across the South skewing Suunto?

      I do at least understand the entire Rocky Mountain/Cascades region skewing Suunto – given the mountains, though in California, you can see the impact of Polar and more mainstream wear likely pulling that back to them.

      And then…yes…Nebraska. There must be some amazballs sales rep for Amazfit in Nebraska that has somehow landed display end caps at every Best Buy store in the state…on every aisle.

      But I’d really love to know why. It’s such an odd data point. My guess though, is it might just be such a lot data point, that even the slightest bit tweaks it one way or the other. If you pull open the state stats, Lincoln shows just Polar/Suunto, Amazfit/COROS don’t even register above 0%. Yet in Omaha…well, wait a second – Amazfit loses there too.

      So…actually, I think Google Trends has a bug. If you pull open the state stats for Nebraska, Amazfit still is the lowest of the four on average for the whole state. As it is for the geo-metric listings lower down.

      link to trends.google.com

      Thus, in short, like a bad Election Night poll news channel, I don’t think Amazfit wins any states – despite Google saying it does on some pages but not on others.

  3. jww

    Awesome. I have long wondered why this widget hadn’t existed.

    The reasons to bother launching the Connect app are dwindling.

    That’s a hellova Deep Sleep ratio D.C.R. Hang onto that!

  4. tudor

    any word if / when this will be brought to the 945? 🙂

  5. Mihai

    Did they also change sleep tracking to identify sleep during the day?

    • Sadly still no nap support. 🙁

    • Benedikt

      There once was nap support, until they introduced automatic tracking. Not shure if that was still on Fenix 2 ore done with Fenix 3?

    • Dennis

      DC
      When i take a nap, I edit sleep “wake time” on my Venu. It seems to add the nap time fairly accurately to my total sleep as then displayed on my garmin connect screen. However, the the display of the time i’m awake may be 12 -19 hrs.
      Wonder if garmin knows this?….. and therefore currently does not add nap-time as it once did on some of their watches.

  6. Volker

    Last nigth I was sitting between 2.00am and 3.15am next to the bed of my daughter (she is a little bit ill and was awake), but my device sleep is showing, that I have slept at this time…

    And my sleep time on the device started at 8.26pm, but I was watching tv and went to bed at 10pm.
    But this was the first time, my device was way off.

    Supplement:

    my body battery in gcm shows me:

    “During sleep, your body battery reserves increased by 14 points. Great! you should be ready for an active day.”

    My device sleep widget shows me:

    ” you did not get enough deep sleep. This may impact your energy level for today”.

    Isn’t there a conflict between my body battery and my on device sleep?

  7. Bob

    Garmin sleep tracking sucks but more importantly, what kind of person wears their Fenix to bed?

    • John

      I started wearing a Fenix 5s to be when I was having thyroid problems and wanted to monitor my HR 24/7, I’ve never noticed it and still wear it now after I’m back to normal.

      It’s a shame this feature doesn’t look to be coming to the Fenix 5 series if Im’ reading the article correctly.

    • No issues wearing to bed. I find it a bit more difficult to get used to with the larger Fenix editions (like the X series, or even the older non-X series). But with the Fenix series getting smaller and lighter, it’s easier.

    • Pavel Vishnyakov

      I wear my Fenix 6X 24 hours (except showers and some 2hrs every week when it’s charging). Initially it felt a bit cumbersome, but after a few weeks I stopped noticing it.

  8. David

    Ray, how do you manage to sleep with a Fenix 6? I would love to have the sleep metrics but I find the watch too uncomfortable to wear while sleeping. I wish garmin had a simple thin band (like whoop, but more accurate) to track sleep alone.

  9. Solomon B

    Hey Ray,

    Thanks for the great content as always, and i’m glad others took it on themselves to ask you questions about this feature because I almost did the same. My question for you goes broadly to how it seems as though Garmin is changing their approach to the top-level Forerunner (945). With my 935 it seemed as though most things that came to the Fenix 5 made their way to the 935 and they were on a very similar development timeline. It seemed like this was going to be true for the most recent generation as well with Garmin promising that video workouts and other new features that were being added to the Fenix 6 would also be added to the 945. But that’s not happened and it seems like the 245 and 945 are now the ones in lock step. The Fenix most recent SW is almost double the 945 (although I recognize that’s a crude way to approach this).

    I absolutely understand that you get what you buy (kudos to Garmin for continually updating watches) and so that’s not what’s mildly annoying me. It’s the fact that Garmin said something (we will bring these features to the 945) and then hasn’t. Is there a hardware limitation that means that the 945 is no just a Fenix P or is your sense that it’s a business decision to justify why someone should buy a Fenix over the 945?

    • In talking to Garmin about this over the last year (the difference between Fenix 6 & FR945), the main focus for the FR945 team is ensuring that the features added to it hit that ‘market’ more squarely to who is buying the watch.

      Namely that Garmin sees the Fenix series as a bit more broad in audience. For example a golfer is more likely to buy a Fenix 6 than a FR945. And mostly, they aren’t wrong about that (I know, there will always be exceptions – especially here perhaps).

      As far as which side of the house gets new features first (such as this sleep tracking), it’s honestly a toss-up. You’ll remember that some of the PerfPro pieces last year as well as a number of other things hit the FR945 series first, and then Fenix 6 when it came out.

      When I’ve asked about feature disparity, the answer is usually along the lines of ‘We’ve got features in the pipeline we want, and ultimately picking which features from one side or the other to take means that some other feature gets dropped’.

      Still, Garmin is and always has been focused on software segmented to a given product timeframe. Sure, products receive *FAR* more updates in new features their counterparts from most other companies (though, we often forget that). But at the same time, an example like this does rightly frustrate a Fenix 5+ owner who is wondering why they don’t get the new features, just like Apple trickles down everything to their watches.

      Of course, that’s a much bigger can of worms, and realistically way too often people try and compare Garmin vs Apple on Why This/Why that, and skip over all the meat of the fact that they’re different watches that do indeed target different audiences (even if there’s also substantial overlap in certain areas).

    • Solomon B

      Hey Ray,

      Thanks for the incredibly thorough and nuanced response as this has been something that’s bugged me for a while. Your point about the market segment issue was both a lightbulb and frustrating. I have no issues with indoor climbing, the new MTB features, and even power management going to the Fenix because that all meshed with the persona in my mind of who buys a Fenix versus a Forerunner. It’s the workouts piece that I (as presumably the target of the 945) find baffling. It reminds me of your coverage of Polar and Fitspark and their justification (at the time) for why it wasn’t coming to the Vantage. Yes, I follow running and cycling training plans, but being able to do mobility and other work at home (especially now) would be HUGE.

      Anyway, rant over. This post was a nice reminder that I’ve not yet become a supporter so I’ll go ahead and do that now.

    • Eli

      I can understand different priorities of features being added to units. The problem I have is when features aren’t coming. With the fenix5 and 935 they did keep at feature parity, just with delays on when it got there. And from a software perspective they were the same hardware so wasn’t hard to do. It makes sense that the fenix 5 doesn’t get features that are new to the fenix 6 as they are different hardware. It also makes sense the 945 has more functionality then the cheaper 245.

      But would be nice for garmin to be more clear about a generation of devices that are expected to stay at feature parity. Especially when the devices are the same cost.

  10. Mark

    Ray, I know it doesn’t track everything that the Whoop band does, but since they both make exercise recommendations (IIRC) can you still make a comparison between the two?

    I’d love to have some kind of sleep/energy feedback, but I, like others, have had poor luck with Garmin’s own sleep tracking. Reading in bed or on the sofa, or watching TV in the living room will make it think I’m sleeping- both in the evening and morning.

    Now, you’ve said you haven’t had any issues, so it’s hard to tell from your experience if the Firstbeat algorithms are any better for my case. As it is, since Garmin is licensing this technology presumably on a per device basis, I doubt that it’ll trickle down to my 935, so I doubt I’ll find out anytime soon whether or not this would work for me.

    I do have hope that since it’s not using Garmin’s sleep tracking, so maybe it would work for me, but since I don’t even have the body battery on my watch, I doubt this will trickle down to me. Maybe my next watch when this one dies…

    • In the case of Garmin, there actually isn’t any dependency or tie to ‘how your day is going’ from a training load recommendation standpoint.

      Think of that as a seperate highway in the Garmin world. There’s a highway of workout data, and then a highway of Body Battery/sleep/etc data (based atop HRV). Those two highways today never meet from a recommendations standpoint. At no point does Garmin ever say ‘Hey, your sleep was bad – workout less’. Whoop does that, even if badly (really badly).

      What you see from that Firstbeat screenshot is where they basically want Garmin to go, and the specific offering they’re pitching to Garmin longer term: Let us use that underlying data to drive training-specific recommendations.

      As far as comparing Whoop vs Garmin, I almost included those screenshots today in the post actually (for sleep). What’s funny is that at first glance they were only a minute apart on sleep. But in reality, they were vastly different. One caught that I went back to sleep for a short bit this morning (Whoop), but inversely missed the time I was actually asleep earlier. Garmin missed that short nap (like 20 mins of crappy sleep as the baby played loudly in the crib across the room), because Garmin doesn’t support naps.

      Still, Garmin vs Whoop likely later in the week (if for no other reason so that I can stop wearing the Whoop strap).

    • JJS

      It’s not only that this two highways will never meet, I have the feeling that all of these metrics don’t *look at each other*! 30 years ago I did my training with a simple watch only showing me time and lap times. Then I got a polar and I added HR to this; a huge step! Then GPS came in – I added pace to the metrics. And so on…
      Today I get VO2max, RHR, TrainingEffect, BreathFrequency, RunningDynamics, Sleep, Stress, BodyBattery and so on… But no big picture! All these pieces don’t fit together. Recovery says *rest for 2 days*, bodybattery says *don’t be lacy*, RHR stays constant at 49, HFV-Stress says *overtrained*. So what to do with all of this? Pick what you like and feel fine?
      I think it’s time to pack all this together to give me understandable interpretation of it. But all I see is another metric coming up that makes the whole system an overloaded and useless kitchen!

    • Johannes

      What I do when recovery status says rest for more than 24hours, but the next morning my Body Battery tells me I am at 100 points, I first check when I hit the 100 points, or am I about at 90 and try to recover from 5 (I never got less then 5 of Body Battery, maybe less means koma, or dead, who would care).
      Then I do a endurance ride, if I am at 80 or below Body Battery maximum 4hours else 200km and more, I love long endurance rides.
      I can just talk from my cycling experience, but your body also needs sometimes the stress, or less fueled glykogen stores and train on a little bit damaged legs etc. In the short term it feels hard, but in the long term you get common with that. Typically my training weekend is some kind of that, saturday mountain intervals (with mtb or road) and sunday is a long endurance ride, due to I live in the middle of the alps, I try to hit the clims to get from one valley to the next not to hard. But for me these rides have to be easy, no time for let legs do the talking etc.

    • Dan G

      JJS I couldn’t agree more. It seems bizarre that this hasn’t all been joined up.

      Most would just shout “feel!” at you but tbh that just doesn’t work for many, if not all, people. If it did we’d all be training perfectly…

    • Dan G

      Actually I think Ray might be wrong here; the Firstbeat Body Resources metric does indeed bring together sleep, physical activity, stress, and recovery, via HRV.

      “At no point does Garmin ever say ‘Hey, your sleep was bad – workout less’” — according to Firtbeat, Garmins with Body Resources do:

      link to firstbeat.com

    • It’s close, but it’s not doing that last part yet – the ‘Workout less” – it doesn’t actually say that. It simply shows you Body Resources (or Body Battery), and leaves it up to you at this point.

      FirstBeat does have things that get very close to that, but Garmin isn’t actually leveraging those modules yet. Right now it’s a lot of beating around the bush.

  11. cycloscott

    Will it be looking at the training load from Garmin Connect, or only from the device itself?

    Reason being… I don’t wear a watch when I’m on my bike, because that’s what Edge devices are for. So the Fenix will not have HR data for those events. Without reaching out for that data, the calculations will be woefully inaccurate for recovery.

    • (I just posted a comment a second after yours about this a bit more right above yours…)

      But, in short, there’s actually no sleep-driven dependency on training load in the Garmin ecosystem today. As far as training load sync in general, yes, it’ll pull down that from an Edge device assuming the Physio TrueUp option is checked on both devices (and, assuming the moon phases, tidal patterns, and apple pies are finished baking, among all sorts of other random variables).

    • Dan G

      Why not broadcast your HR from your watch to your Edge? Works perfectly for me

  12. Someone

    Now please bring this to the vivoactive 4. The sleep tracking is atrociously bad. Like it notices I walk around but thinks I am sleeping bad.

  13. Nate Fryer

    This is the exact reason I ended my Whoop subscription. Knew it was a matter of time before garmin would step up their sleep software.

  14. My Garmin Venu’s sleep tracking is absolute garbage compared to my old Fitbit Ionic. Fingers crossed that these updates are also brought to the Venu and that they do a better job than Garmin’s own algorithms.

    • Paul H

      Ya been wearing Fenix 6 and Fitbit to bed for over 6 months. Garmin’s accuracy is pretty pathetic and over counts actual sleep by about 20%! Happy to see they are trying to improve this, but they have a long long way to go.

  15. I assume this type of tracking isn’t coming to the Vivosmart 4? I prefer to keep my 945 dedicated to training. I wear fairly nice watches the rest of my day and my Vivosmart for all day tracking. I’d really like better sleep tracking from it and I feel like vs users are a prime target for that sort of thing. I’d happily upgrade to a new version if it took that actually.

  16. Heiko

    So your night was 05h18min, Ray? This might finally explain how you are able to fit so much stuff in your day!

  17. Graham J Tobin

    DC will it be coming to Fenix 5? Perhaps start an article with full compatibility. I read it looking for “coming soon retrospectively”. 🙁 Marq and 945.

    Overall sleep detection is poor in Fenix as once I sit watching TV, after kids have gone to bed it thinks I am asleep. 🤔 A low hr perhaps?
    I often have to edit it and it is frustrating I cant add naps during the day.

    • No, it won’t be coming to anything except the Fenix 6, MARQ, and FR945.

      Garmin says that they may consider other devices down the road, but nothing concrete at this time.

      I agree, I wish there was a nap function.

    • Nicholas Brown

      I visited link to garmin.com and asked them to also backport this new sleep feature to the Fenix5+. I encourage others to also do the same. The more people that ask, the more they’ll realise that they should provide updated software to older devices.

      I also asked that they backport the Backcountry Skiing mode found in the Fenix6 to the Fenix5+, though I’ll not be holding my breath.

      I’m increasingly of the view that Garmin basically abandon older devices, part from software bug fixes, once they release newer devices. 🙁

    • Dan G

      1. I never understand why people don’t see this as reasonable and normal
      2. Name a fitness wearable manufacturer which does (no, not Apple)

  18. Neil Jones

    I’ve been running the beta on my MARQ for the last 4 nights and I have to say I’m pretty impressed at how well it’s nailed it (not just times, but quality of sleep and how I’ve felt the next day). Garmin finally seems to have gone from the suckiest sleep tracking on any mainstream fitness tracker to something that’s on par with the other functionality of the Fenix/MARQ series. I guess we have to wait for the beta to develop into production before we see this properly supported on GC and GCM? (and even then it may take a while given the apparent lack of coordination between the product devs and the GC devs)

  19. David

    Hey Ray

    Any idea why my Garmins might be giving me crazy sleep data? The classic “is it me / something I’m doing” question or “they all do that sir”.

    Had a 935 and now a 945. Tends to have me sleeping from hours before I go to bed (let alone to sleep), waking 30mins to 2 hours after I actually wake (although does seem to pick up waking up in the middle of the night for a bathroom trip just fine!) and then shows that I get maybe 5 mins (often none) of deep sleep, a few hours of REM sleep and the rest is light. Would love to be able to try and spot sleep patterns and training patterns post sleep but it’s impossible wen the data is so wonky (or at least the only thing I can tell whether it’s wonky or not – time asleep and waking – is wonky).

    Cheers

    • Chris

      My forerunner 245 does the same thing. I have to edit the sleep and wake time on most days. Hard to believe the other data, when the simple stuff isn’t correct (assuming simple…).

    • Neil Jones

      It’s not just you. This is what all my Garmin’s have ever done (prior to this Beta). Sometimes, they even get it right when you check first thing in the morning, but when you look again later in the day, Garmin Connect has decided to change it to something that’s hours out.

    • David

      Thanks @Chris & @NeilJ – good to know it’s not just me. Maybe we are all doing the same wrong thing or maybe …

  20. Stephen Gunn

    I recently “upgraded” from a Forerunner 230 to a Fenix 5+. The 230 made a decent fist of measuring sleep, giving stats that seemed highly believable. On the other hand, the 5+ seems lousy, totally ignoring any sleep you get before having to later get up for a quick call of nat, for example. I would hope that Garmin might trickle this new functionality down to the 5+ as a shortcut towards realising the quality that the 230 gave in this respect.

  21. Benedikt

    I still see adds as a supporter?

    One big thing Garmin brought back after years: you can finally again override automatic sleep detection and tell it you are going to sleep. If you are working 9-5, it is enough to tell the watch when you usually sleep. If youvare doing shifts, the last years were bad. Once there was a button to start and it got removed, was not funny.

  22. Benedikt

    Forgot to write: I bet 5€ it will not come to the FR945, like map themes and workout videos.

  23. Vikino

    Mmm.wish this for my D2 Delta PX…

  24. Chris

    Feels like a response to Whoop getting traction. Way too many people in my circle asking me about it lately. Thankfully sending them your review saves me a lot of time.

    Also, have you looked at Sleep Cycle on iOS? Garmin needs to. It’s more accurate for my sleep times, and does a way better job of presenting the data.

    • Pavel Vishnyakov

      From my experience of simultaneously using 4 sleep trackers (Native Garmin, Apple Watch with AutoSleep, Withings Sleep device and Sleep Cycle) I’d say Sleep Cycle is the least accurate of all (which can be explained considering that it’s running on the phone that is next to my bed). Also, I remember their watch app being the least reliable when it was first rolled out about a year ago. Might be better now, but I have enough data and don’t want to install it on my watch. Phone app is rock solid though – there were crashes in the years I’m using it but it’s been a while.

  25. John

    Great article!

    Unfortunately I have a perfectly good Fenix 3 HR, so I will never see this functionality,

    Unless…………………………. my FAVORITE sports technology blogger calls up Clever Training and convinces them that now would be a good time to give away a Fenix 6.

    Of course then I would need to win!

  26. Frank

    Fenix 5x plus support would be great too ….

  27. Steve Y

    Any idea if the sleep tracking through the widget affects battery power, as opposed as through the app? What about sleep tracking in general- is it a big battery suck?

    Out of curiosity, I wonder if any of you have any ideas about the specific science of sleep tracking through a watch and how it detects deep sleep vs REM, etc. I assume a combination of HR and movement.

    • Neil Jones

      I’ve just finished Night 5 on this beta on my MARQ and battery consumption seems comparable to normal

  28. CG

    Defining sleep stages (REM, light, deep etc) is difficult even using multi channel EEG and highly trained technicians, if it could be done accurately with actigraphy (how much you move – which Garmin can measure) and heart rate (also measureable) then we would do it in medicine as it would be cheaper and easier. I doubt the REM bit is very helpful. Also, why measure something if you can’t change it?

    • Neil Jones

      I don’t think it’s about changing the sleep you’ve just had, it’s about adaptation – if you’ve had a poor quality sleep for the last 2 nights, maybe get an early night tonight or try to work out what factor might be responsible for that. And also how to train; it’s quite possible to feel fine after a poor nights sleep but as soon as you get out on a run or ride you feel drained – so maybe those are the days to avoid the high load training. Ray also comments that on his poor sleep days his performance has been worse (maybe without him even realised at the time, i.e. RPE is the same), so when you look back at your historical activity date, it could be useful to see that the reason why you performed so much better/worse last time you ran a route was linked to sleep quality. Like most of the data spewed out from these watches, I think the majority of users aren’t in a position to make optimum use of it, but I do still think it has relevancy beyond just a gimmick.

    • Adam

      Right, just to add on to what you said above – listened to a podcast with Matthew Walker, who is a neuroscientist who specializes in sleep research. He was saying the only “useful” application of sleep tracking data from all these sleep trackers is to look at the trend over time to establish your own “baseline”. Like you may not actually be getting, for example, 15% deep sleep or REM last night, but how much deep or REM sleep you get tonight relative to last night’s (or relative to last week’s, etc) data is useful to see if you’re sleeping better or worse than last night.

  29. Hi Ray, when you say Fenix 6 , MarQ does the update also include the Quatix 6? I believe it is the same firmware plus some marine features. In general Quatix 6 is always omitted in the comms even by Garmin. Would be awesome to see you doing a video on the Quatix 6 – there is absolutely nothing on YouTube (other than Garmin posts) and a one two people doing a rather bad review. I know a lot if the functions are the same but the Man Over Board (GPS point) Sail Race timer etc. are nowhere to be found in any reviews. Cheers love your channel

  30. Andreas

    If I install the beta on my fenix 6, does it automatically update to the stable version once it’s releases?

  31. Tommy

    Installed blast night. Just woke up. The wake up and go to sleep detection bis much better. It used to always away overshoot.

    It seems to think my quality is worse than before the upgrade. Basically all light sleep!

    Score of 74 for 7 hours and 30 mins sleep

  32. Naadir Jeewa

    It’d be great if Garmin would commit to a guarantee of updates for a 24 month period on devices, like Android phone manufacturers have mostly conceded. Right now, seems a bit unclear how long you can expect updated software for a device you just purchased.

  33. Paul Bartlett

    Hi Ray, thanks for your insights on Garmin beta approach, and model segments. I noticed that beyond segments Garmin seems to be moving to the smartphone obcelessence model. For example the Edge 1000 used to be the top model but with the 1030 launch no longer is, while the CIQ software moved from version 2 to version 3. The Edge 1000 is stuck on CIQ version 2, which means missing out on new Ant+ device features. This is inconsistent with customers investment in quality devices with a long service life, and nothing like the smartphone rationale that a new feature required new hardware. Ant+ is just software.
    Please let Garmin know that the smartphone obcelessence model is wrong, or at least destroys customer relationship.

    • Graham J Tobin

      Agree with Paul. They should reduce models and support all. I just got the 520+, only because it was on sale. No serious difference from 520.
      I don’t expect as much support as if I had spent 4 x amount on the 1000 but I expect good support. That’s why I bought Garmin.
      If I had bought the 1000 only to get the 1030 Trump me I would be disappointed. If they can’t support devices don’t release them.

      Likewise people – don’t buy an item if you don’t have all the features you want. If you need ant+ wait till an update confirms availability or the model comes out with it. Garmin is good at adding features later. But not required to. As stock prices increase they may get more greedy and stock providing updates as long to force more fear of missing out and increase turn over. Well done to the guy with the Fenix 3. 😁

    • Jon S

      In fairness, the Edge 1000 is now a 6 year old device, and some of the limitations are hardware rather software. Garmin are generally pretty good about delivering updates to devices throughout their life-cycle (in fact a greater criticism of them might be that they release unfinished products and leave too much of the software fixing and refinement until after people have bought them).

      The legacy devices still work in the same way they did when they were released. How long do you think it’s realistic for them to keep developing new firmware and software updates for after release?

      I recently sold my 6 year old Edge 1000 for a decent price and stumped up the (relatively modest) difference for an Edge 1030. The Edge 1000 was still offering everything it had when I bought it, plus lots of new features it had picked up along the way.

    • usr

      With watches, perhaps, but they are so much of a vanity market that I wouldn’t read anything into it wrt other fitness devices.

      Even last week Garmin still sent out a bugfix release for the Edge 1000, and that’s within two weeks of a certain date inferrable from FCC applications that Ray won’t talk about. Going forward Garmin will likely have only one mainline model of Edge (if you ignore the non-navigation 1×0 and maybe the explore), available in different screen sizes and button configurations (if they even stick to that, I’d love to have touch+buttons)

    • Yeah, its tough. I think I’d roughly divide devices into a few camps:

      A) Those that probably should receive certain feature updates (like the Fenix 5+)
      B) Those that realistically have more than fairly been updated (like the Edge 1000).

      Using the above mentioned Edge 1000, it’s astonishing to look at all the updates its received in the last 6 years. This is the list: link to www8.garmin.com

      And that doesn’t include the more recent 2020 updates, including the ones just 12 days ago. Let’s be honest – there’s no other bike GPS on the market (perhaps ever) that’s received as many feature updates as the Edge 1000 has over those 6 years. It’s actually kinda astonishing.

      Now, in terms of Connect IQ, the Edge 1000 is pretty challenging. It was the first Garmin Edge device to get Connect IQ, basically upon launch of Connect IQ as a platform. Back then in those days it was three people with an idea for a platform that was largely shunned within Garmin executive management. It was sorta seen as ‘Aww…that’s cute’. These days, it’s a totally different story (mostly).

      But that matters because back then they had no idea where the platform would take things. So everything was super limited hardware wise. That changed of course (mostly), but that takes new hardware and time.

      Now, I’ve long said I’d like to see Garmin adopt a specific policy on firmware updates with features – such as 24 months. I think 24 months is reasonable, save of course specific hardware-driven updates. Just my two cents.

      (And again, as noted earlier, comparisons to Apple Watch updates just aren’t valid here from a business standpoint. Apple locks you into their ecosystem via phones. You can’t have an Apple Watch without an Apple phone. So they know you’ll eventually update your phone, and since they’ve locked one half of that equation, they know you’ll also probably update your watch. A far better example would be Wahoo’s ELEMNT/BOLT/ROAM updates, though realistically those updates have slowed to a trickle in the last 12-14 months, and a bulk of those earlier on were primarily catching up with Garmin).

    • Eli

      There should also be groupings of devices and features should be added to that group. Garmin has mostly done this, but the problem is that mostly really isn’t good enough.

      For example For the edge units 530, 830, 1030 is logical group where a feature that comes to the 830 should be sure to come to the 1030 and maybe the 530. Outside of hardware restrictions and licencing restrictions they have basically done this. Other groupings are the 935 and the different variations of the fenix 5 and the 945 with the different variations of the fenix 6,

      Make it easy for someone to know that if they get something they won’t regret not getting another device in the group only cause they bought the wrong one. Spending $550 on a 945 is not a cheap purchase.

    • Paul Bartlett

      Edge units 530, 830, 1030 are on ÇIQ 3 so are a group for IQ apps.
      So far as I can tell the difference is supported Ant+ protocol features, i.e software, not hardware as wireless is the same, and the external devices have the new hardware.
      Hard to believe that Edge 1000 can’t process Ant+ data that 530 can. Seems like a marketing decision… Poor.

    • Paul Bartlett

      Hi Ray, thanks for your thoughtful response.
      Since Edge 1000 was available new within the last two years and has the build quality to be serviceable for much longer, I’d suggest that 24 months is much too short. Commendable thought the 2 year hardware warranty is, it’s likely going to work much longer. So generic smartphone obsolescence is not appropriate.
      Since the Edge is the hub, keeping it working with new products is key to Garmin revenue and profitability.
      In my own case all these product sales have depended on it; Speed/Cadence x3, HRM x2, Varia Radar Light, Varia Vision, Power meter, Vector 3 Pedals, Shimano DI2 Wireless, Out front mounts x2, Topo Maps. So that’s a fair chunk of cash that only makes sense with long term support.
      For sure I would accept limited numbers of IQ apps, just not old CIQ 2.
      Ride safe, stay safe.

    • Bikeman

      The Edge 1000 was sold new two years ago at a steep discount. They weren’t “new units,” they were the leftovers when the 1030 came out and replaced it. I expect a new 1030 sometime this year. Get ready for the steep discounts on the leftover 1030’s. It’s already been down to $399, so $299. is my guess based on what the 1000 sold for two years ago.

    • Karl

      The 1030 Plus was already listed on Garmin websites (since removed) and screenshots of those pages were saved and are easily found via a search, so yeah that’s coming soon.

      Not really a rumour anymore when Garmin messes up and posts it before official announcement. And even less so when it is there long enough for people to save it and then share it via an open Google drive link.
      This isn’t the first time Garmin did this, which makes one wonder who is managing their product announcements and website.

    • usr

      [Eli] “There should also be groupings of devices and features should be added to that group”

      830 and 530 were already released together and their firmware is updated in lockstep. This hasn’t been the case with earlier units. I fully expect that this scheme will be extended to the “1000” form factor so that in the future there is only one enthusiast cycling product available with different screen configurations. This will take the guesswork out of feature updates, a new cycling feature will either come to the whole family or will remain a secret until the next iteration of the whole family is revealed.

      Feature updates will likely become less that way, at least for the “10×0” lines, because with round-robin standalone releases the most recent “10×0” was usually updated to include all (possible) release innovations of the smaller lines, whereas the smaller units would only sometimes get a release feature of the 10×0. It mostly depends on what release cadence Garmin is aiming for, do they want to get faster in hopes for upgrade dollars or do they want to get slower to save on retooling and logistics and keep their units competetive via software.

    • Paul Bartlett

      Hi Karl, no doubt the distribution and dealer network will be hoping to shift their stock before many notice.
      Hard to tell how compelling two hours more battery life really is…
      Varies by product but I guess adding Plus shows its minor evolution not a big step.
      If there was a 1040 coming with Varia Radar and 360° Camera integration to post close passes to YT etc in near real time, I could get excited.
      As you suggest, product launches in other sectors are embargoed so that no one publication gets unfair access or can claim exclusive.

  34. Michael Bosilovich

    I didn’t quite see what is really different with the on board sleep versus the app/web sleep. And my concern would be overloading the processing power to the point that battery life is significantly less. I have 935, and charge every 7 to 8 days depending on how much i use GPS. My apple watch friends are envious and considering Garmin for that reason. How did your battery life change after the beta update?

    • No change in battery life. The processing power is all the same, it’s still doing all the same behind the scenes tracking.

      The only difference is that at some point in the morning it takes a couple seconds to calculate your sleep and display it on a widget when requested (just like any other widget data).

  35. inSyt

    This opens up the door for ‘smart’ alarms on Garmin devices?

  36. Tim Wils

    So, if I wear a Fenix 6 during the day and a Vivoactive 4 during the night – assuming both devices collect the same info on movement, bpm, hrv etc and both devices support Physio TrueUp – will the sleep data from the Vivoactive be handled by Firstbeat, shown on Garmin Connect web/app and pushed back to my Fenix 6 to show the additional info like sleep score etc in the widget? Or is the Firstbeat treatment exclusive to data collected directly by the Fenix 6?

  37. Karl

    Ray, is this something users of 935 and other older watches could expect to ever see?

  38. So only on the 6 models? I have the 5s Saphire

  39. Ivan

    As usual, no garmin functions update on fenix 5 or fenix 5 plus series expected…

  40. Ben

    After the update, sleep tracking is now extremely inaccurate for me. It was working very well for years (F5s, now on Fenix 6S Pro).

    But now – with Firstbeat doing the calculations – it tells me I am awake for 3-4 hours every night, although I sleep like a baby.

    As a result, my sleep duration went down from about 8h/ night to about 4h/ night. So sad.

  41. Phi

    Damnit descent misses out…

  42. Karl Brumund

    I would argue that Garmin has much more of an ecosystem than you are admitting.
    We get a watch, then realize we need a HR chest band. Oh look, HRM-RUN, let’s get that cause it gives me running dynamics. Or maybe I bought something else, but then I buy the Garmin Pod to get the running dynamics.
    Hey, my watch sucks on the bike. Buy an Edge. Cause we want our Edge and watch to integrate into the same database (eco-system if you like). And sensors. Good chance we’ll pick up the Garmin ones. Maybe not, but that’s a minor point. Oh Varia radar. Get that (seriously, get that…awesome detection of what’s coming up behind you). Hey the new Varia is even better. Cha-ching!
    We keep buying Garmin because it all just works together. Isn’t that why you buy into an eco-system, because it will all just work?
    Well mostly, except the bits that just confuse us. Then we come to dcrainmaker.com, hear Ray complain and add our own complaints. Like running dynamics. What do we do with those? Or hearing others have conflicting metrics and no idea which are right (see other post here on that). If you’re going to give us a metric, make it meaningful and make sure we know why it is. That’s what drives us to look elsewhere and buy $competitor.
    I see supporting a device longer via new features/upgrades doesn’t reduce your sales, but just entrenches your customer further into your ecosystem. But you need to have that ecosystem be complete and all work together. Otherwise, $competitor starts to look interesting and people start sampling there.
    The Apple analogy is very apt here. For us, all our (too damn many) iDevices and Macs just work together. One of these (mac) is 8 years old. Guess what we keep buying? We don’t upgrade everything all the time, but we also don’t buy anything else (Garmin excepted, sorry Apple Watch).
    Then there is the referral/marketing that happens. Kids need a phone: iPhone. Kids need a laptop: Macbook Pro. Watch for my son getting fit: Garmin. Wasn’t even a second thought on what we’d buy.
    When somebody asks us about these, we’re fervent supporters of things that work for us. We feel Apple gets this, but we are not so sure Garmin does.
    Especially if it seems that a feature (like this one) isn’t deployed to existing devices in hopes those customers will buy $shiny_new_thing. Just be careful with that Garmin, we might just buy $shiny_new_thing from $competitor.

  43. BobbyB

    DC – thanks for a thorough review once again. I’ve been a Garmin user for quite a while and I feel that while the new sleep widget is a step in the right direction, Garmin is so far behind in this area. I recently started using a Whoop at my wife’s suggestion, and its sleep metrics and subsequent recovery metrics are far superior. Like you mentioned, bad sleep equates to a bad ride…with the Whoop you can see why this is the case. Your sleep directly impacts your recovery from the previous days strain. In short, if I have a massive day of riding, working out, strain etc., even a good nights sleep will not do much for recovery as down time is needed. If you haven’t checked it out, I would recommend you do so; however, it does require 30 days of start up to build personal data on your sleep, health, etc. metrics.

  44. Greg Bassett

    Probably not the best place to post this question but it’s related to the QIBOX charging stand. How does the stand rotate to accomodate the watch so that the orientation of the watch is correct? On my 945 the charge port is on the left when looking at the watch, but the stands charge plug is on the bottom.

  45. Sam

    Can HRV and RHR be viewed as a single number? Been looking for a watch that can compete with Oura and Whoop. Don’t need two wearables.

  46. Guillermo Guerini

    After reading some comments, I’m glad I’m not the only one. My 945 sleep tracking is just bad. It can’t differentiate between when I’m reading in bed while I’m slightly sitting and when I’m actually sleeping. And in the morning, when i wake up I always get my hrm strap to measure my HRV and then I meditate sitting in bed. The watch still thinks I’m sleeping.

    Meanwhile my WOOP 2.0 is always spot on to the minute. I check the time I turn off my kindle every night and compare the time in the morning. It’s incredible how precise it is.

    Now, unless Garmin fixes their algorithm, all these news features are useless.

  47. iFlyer

    Thanks for the update Ray.
    One advantage of the on-watch sleep widget for me: I spend a lot of time on airplanes. Until now sleep data is one of the few items captured by my Fenix watch that I care about but cannot view offline (I use 3rd party apps to view activities offline). I think I’ll find this useful. Unfortunately I won’t be attempting the beta because I am currently MacOS/iOS only. On a side note, I was glad to read that Garmin has indicated this will come to the FR945 as I am seriously considering returning my Fenix 6x Sapphire for the 945 due to blue-screen, mushy buttons and wacky GPS tracks when running. It does not feel nearly as premium as my Fenix 5X sapphire and truly feel that I have overpaid even with the current sale prices.

  48. Euan Brennan

    My widget just says no data recorded

  49. It will be interesting to see if they can monitor for sleep apnea. This could also be useful for folks going to altitude. Say from sea level to skiing or hiking in the mountains. Or high altitude treking and climbing.

    • Vandana Shiva

      Not possible.

      For true/accurate/useful sleep apnea detection you need:

      1. True ECG proxy (Garmin lacks the sensor)
      2. True EEG proxy (same)
      3. 24/7 noise-sensitive mic calibrated to your breathing patterns and placed near your mouth/nose

      Ain’t going to happen. Don’t wait.

      If you have or suspect sleep apnea, get it treated now! (proper jaw muscles exercises, learning nose breathing, night-time mouth taping, side sleeping, inclined bed, proper pillow, C-PAP if needed).

  50. Bob

    I wish Garmin would pay some attention to numerous battery life complaints on the 945 with the 4.40 firmware update. On my 945, battery life went from 12-15%/day to 30%/day.

  51. Karl Bedingfield

    I’ve been using this for a few days now and am confused.

    I sleep very light and toss and turn most nights. Is this deemed as light sleep? I feel half awake most of the night.

    Last night I went to the toilet too and it says I was not awake AT ALL?

    Any comments?

    • Vandana Shiva

      You just realized how bad wrist based sleep tracking can be.

      1. Don’t recognize awake but not moving
      2. Don’t recognize deep/light/REM sleep architecture properly
      3. Don’t always even recognize waking up and standing up
      4. Don’t recognize naps

      People need to stop believing in the marketing BS that these companies spout and require 3rd party validated, published, scientific PSG laboratory measurement comparison.

      In this test, Garmin would utterly and totally fall on it’s face.

      You could just as well roll a dice to determine your sleep quality.

  52. Andrei K.

    One of the things that has bothered me with basically all the sleep-tracking apps (including the Garmin one) is that they do tend struggle a lot with naps. This is pretty relevant for people who tend to compensate the short night’s sleep with naps and is relevant with flights spanning multiple time zones.

    I’d really like Garmin/Firstbeat to finally address that issue in the latest release.

    • Vandana Shiva

      Not possible with Garmin’s current sensors and sensor placement and battery budget.

      If you want TRUE sleep tracking, you need to get a Oura or a DREEM headband.

      NONE of the wrist based ones are accurate enough to be useful.

    • Andrei K.

      To be honest, even before we get into the tracking itself, I would love to see a support within the apps to actually add the sleeping time that is not a single monolythic block.

  53. Johan Swanepoel

    Is there a Fenix 6 plus coming in August 2020?

  54. Vandana Shiva

    As long as Garmin doesn’t:

    1. Use continuous PRV/HRV throughout the night
    2. Use a skin temperature sensor
    3. …or in the future, use a true ECG proxy

    It’s sleep tracking and especially the architecture part will be a total hit & miss and you will have NO way of knowing, whether previous night’s tracking was little of or a lot off (unless of course, you are very deeply tuned into your own personal sleep cycles and architecture).

    Oura is still the gold standard for sleep tracking and even at its best, Oura can be 40%-60% Off.

    Imagine how bad Garmin is with much less sensors (no temp), much worse sensor placement and sub-par HRV measurement….

    • It depends on whether you care about sleep cycle data though. I’d argue most don’t. I’d argue most simply want basic sleep tracking of time asleep or not.

      And by and large, most wearables can do that pretty well. It’s rare for me that a wearable doesn’t correctly nail the time I fell asleep with the time I woke up. Frankly. none of the other data inside really matters to me. Partially, because as you noted it’s off. And partially, because it’s not super actionable for a lot of people.

    • Ben

      For me, ever since the upgrade, sleep tracking has become virtually useless. Every night, I am apparently awake for 3-4h out of 8h in bed.

      So ever since the upgrade my Fenix 6 S Pro fails at this very basic level, i.e. simply recording my actual sleep time (let alone sleep stages).

      I have been in touch with Firstbeat, and to be fair they have been very responsive and are looking into this. Will see if they are able to tweak their algorithm.

  55. Ryan Ravinsky

    Any idea if they plan to include any PulseOx data into the sleep function? This could potentially greatly affect sleep score at altitude or give insight into congenital sleep issues.

  56. Benny G

    Hello – I enjoyed your post very much. I have one question…do you know if these Garmin updates include tracking if I take a nap during the day? My current Garmin watch only tracks the sleep I get at night. But sometimes my sleep is broken, meaning I’ll sleep for three hours, up for a couple of hours, then get three or more hours. But it only tracks the first sleep session.

    Hope my question makes sense. Thanks for your feedback.

  57. Mike

    Isn’t that stress=77 on the high side?

    • I find it to be semi-variable for point in time bits. Especially if I was moving around to get a specific shot. Usually I find it reasonably accurate for trending.

  58. Jason Wilson

    I have recently upgraded to the 10 beta and have also recently started wearing my watch in the proper recommended location above the wrist bone and a few notches tighter. The result has been far more accurate readings both during runs and also during sleep at night. At first, it took a bit to get used to, but the result is well worth it.

    Question – Do you think with the new Sleep widget data, along with Body Battery will be a true competitor or alternative to Whoop or Oura? I am very interested in the data from Oura or Whoop but don’t want another gadget to have to wear.

    What are peoples opinions, please share.

    • It’s hard to say. I’d argue Garmin’s underlying data is already far more accurate than Whoop’s (my Whoop review shows that over and over again). However, what Whoop does a better job at is making the sleep data trends understandable.

  59. Chris

    Is there a list of devices that have this feature? What about the Instinct Solar?