A number of Garmin fitness trackers and smartwatches are benefitting from upgraded sleep tracking in Garmin Connect.
Essential reading: Top 10 gadgets for advanced sleep monitoring
Owners of the Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 645 (as well as their Music variants), Forerunner 935, Vivosport, Vivosmart 3 and Vivomove HR will notice their sleep statistic in the smartphone app have changed. Not just in presentation, but also in accuracy and the level of detail. Other wearables such as those in the Fenix range are not currently included, but will be in the near future.
Previously, Garmin wearables only used movement and heart rate to analyze sleep. The company’s latest update now slaps heart rate variability data to this, i.e. the length of time between a user’s heart beat.
This allows for more more accuracy when capturing the data. The charts and graphs in Garmin Connect now not only show how long you spent in light and deep sleep, but also in REM sleep. Awake time is also shown, along with a separate graph on movement.
Each sleep stage is important, but for different reasons. Light sleep typically accounts for over a half of your kip time. It is important for memory, learning, and letting your body recover from the day. The remainder is split relatively equally between Deep sleep and Rapid Eye Movement (REM). The first promotes a healthy immune system and muscle growth, while the second is important for mental recovery and memory formation. REM is when most dreaming occurs.
During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. The way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping. Better sleep starts by knowing what’s happening at night.
This is certainly a welcome update, one that makes Garmin wearables even more useful. And its not just current and future data that will be more accurate and more detailed. The company has applied the new algorithms to historical data, too.
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