Home » Garmin

How Does Garmin Track Sleep? Everything You Need to Know


Garmin has transitioned its smartwatches from simplistic pedometers to advanced smartwatches. With the introduction of Advanced Sleep Monitoring, these smartwatches can help you to understand and improve your sleep’s quality over time. But how does Garmin track sleep?

Garmin tracks sleep using a combination of heart rate, heart rate variability, and movement. With the integrated accelerometer, the Garmin watch can determine whether you’re asleep, in what stage you’re in, and whether you’re already awake.

Smartwatches without the optical heart rate sensor use the accelerometer to monitor your sleep. However, you’re going to get less sleep details because of less sub dividable data.

What is Garmin’s Advanced Sleep Monitoring?

Garmin smartwatches with optical heart rate sensors feature the Advanced Sleep Monitoring (ASM).

If you wear the watch to sleep, the ASM feature will track your stats and show the information in the Garmin Connect app.

Here are the metrics that the Advanced Sleep Monitoring tracks:

1. Garmin Sleep Stages

Like smartwatches and fitness trackers garnering for the same audience, the Garmin watch series monitor sleep in three stages.

You’ll get stats for Light, Deep, and REM sleep.

  • Light Sleep: In Garmin, light sleep is the change between waking and sleeping, when the movement of muscles in the body starts to slow down and invite deep sleep.
  • Deep Sleep: Your brain slows down and your muscle movements stop. Then, your body enters slow breathing and your heart rate slows down. It’s here that you restore lost energy for the next day and repair worn out tissues.
  • REM (Rapid Eye Movement) Sleep: Your eyes move randomly while closed and your heart rate, breath, blood pressure, and brain activities begin to increase. You even have dreams and it becomes difficult for your legs and muscles to move, but that’s usually temporarily.

2. Garmin Sleep Score

The Garmin Sleep Score is such an important metric to have as part of the ASM algorithm because it helps you to know how well you sleep every night.

Garmin gives the score based on a scale of 0 to 100, and a higher score signifies means your body rested enough and is ready for the next day’s activities.

Equally, a lower sleep score means you didn’t get enough sleep the previous night, so you’re unlikely going to be productive throughout the day.

What’s more?

You get additional insight into factors that are likely to interfere with the quality of your sleep, so you can make the necessary adjustments to improve how well you sleep every night. 

3. Body Battery

The Garmin Body Battery combines heart rate variability, activities, and stress to calculate how much energy your body reserves.

Advanced Sleep Monitoring makes it easy for you to know your score and allow you to determine whether you need more sleep every night to improve your Body Battery score.

Which are the Best Garmin Watches for Sleep Tracking?

The following is a list of the best Garmin watches with the Advanced Sleep Monitoring technology:

  • Garmin Venu Plus 2
  • Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
  • Garmin Venu Sq
  • Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE
  • Garmin Venu 2S
  • Garmin Fenix 6S (6S Pro)

REM vs Deep Sleep on Garmin: What’s the Difference?

It’s easy to confuse REM and deep sleep on your Garmin watch to mean the same thing.

But these two stages are completely different.

 REM SleepDeep Sleep
FocusThe focus is on the changes associated in your brain.The focus is on the changes in your body.
MovementYou get rapid eye movements with your eyes fully closed.There’s no rapid eye movement in this sleep stage.
CommencementYour body enters REM sleep stage 90 minutes after falling asleep.Your body enters deep sleep stage 45 minutes after falling asleep.

How to Get More Deep Sleep on Garmin

Sometimes referred to as the “slow-wave” sleep, deep sleep is the stage where your body restores your energy, so you wake up feeling refreshed and ready for a new day.

However, deep sleep decrease as you age, and that’s usually because your body is fully developed.

So how can you achieve more deep sleep on your Garmin watch?

1. Avoid Caffeinated Drinks 7 Hours Before Bedtime

I have a confession to make:

I love coffee. You can think of me as some sort of an addict who just can’t go a day without taking a mug.

And I’m sure I’m not in this alone.

While caffeine doesn’t pose any threat to your health, it’s sure going to make it impossible for you to get enough sleep.

I understand how hard it can be to quit drinking coffee or tea. But it’s best to avoid caffeinated drinks at least 7 hours before bedtime to get more deep sleep. 

2. Consume More Fiber

Apart from helping you lose weight, consuming a healthy diet can have a positive impact on your sleep. 

A study by the AASM suggests that consuming food rich in fiber results in more time in the deep sleep stage.

So, make sure you consume enough fiber alongside other important foods.

3. Listen to White and Pink Music

Playing sounds will lure you to sleep and keep you in that state, especially if you’re in an environment surrounded by noise.

In action, the white and pink music blocks away external noise, making it possible for you to sleep for a long time, which is a great way to get more deep sleep on Garmin.

4. Use an Eye Mask to Block Light

I’d like to assume that you turn off lights immediately you go to sleep.

However, this may not always be possible if you’re sharing a room with the loved ones who prefer to keep lights on throughout the night – or who go to bed late.

In such a case, using a black mask to keep away light from the eyes can go a long way to improve your daily sleep and contribute towards your deep sleep on your Garmin device.

Combine the eye mask with the white and pink music, and you’re more than likely to sleep like a toddler. 

5. Workout Everyday

Do you find yourself getting less sleep even without using the Garmin watch for tracking? It’s likely you aren’t putting your body to enough workout.

Studies shows a strong correlation between sedentary lifestyle and insomnia, with longer sedentary time equating to poor sleep quality regardless of sex.

In this respect, having sweat running down your body is a mean to get your body to fall asleep fast and stay in deep sleep for long.

Working out especially in the evening will make your body feel exhausted and craving for rest, hence a good way to record more deep sleep on your Garmin watch.

How to View Sleep Data on Garmin

To see your sleep data on Garmin: 

  • Launch the Garmin Connect app on your phone.
  • Open the Menu.
  • Select Health Stats.
  • Tap Sleep.

You should see a detailed insight into your sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Does Garmin Measure Deep Sleep?

It is very simple.

Garmin uses an optical heart rate sensor and HRV (Heart Rate Variability) to determine when you wake up, fall asleep, as well as your current sleep stage.

2. How Much Deep Sleep is Normal on Garmin?

Typically, 10% to 20% of our every night’s sleep is deep sleep.

A grown-up should get at least 8 straight hours of sleep. In these 8 hours, only 1 to 2 hours is the normal deep sleep on Garmin.

3. What is a Good Sleep Score for Garmin?

Garmin calculates sleep scores on a scale of 0 to 100. It is within this range that you get a summary of your sleep.  

Here is how Garmin divides the score:

 ScoreLowest ValueHighest ValueRange
1.Poor0590 to 59
2.Fair607960 to 79
3.Good808980 to 89
4.Excellent9010090 to 100

4. Is Garmin Sleep Tracking Accurate?

Garmin watches are not 100% when it comes to sleep tracking.

Light, deep, and REM sleep stages have an accuracy of a round 69%, with wake stats having an accuracy value of 73% most of the time.

It’s important that you treat the sleep data that you get from the watch as estimate rather than conclusive.

And despite not being 100% reliable, the stats that you get can still go a long way to help you develop better sleeping habits.

Related Reading

Photo of author

Michael Jonathan

Michael Jonathan is the brainchild of Apelo Studio. He loves talking about wearable devices, and he is passionate about helping you push your wearable device to its limits. His creativity and ability to tear electric components apart and put them back together makes him an incredible troubleshooter and blogger.

4 thoughts on “How Does Garmin Track Sleep? Everything You Need to Know”

Leave a Comment