Garmin is about to shake up sleep tracking – here's what it means for you

Person wearing sports watch waking up in bed and rubbing eyes
(Image credit: Getty)

Garmin could be about to shake up sleep tracking, offering personalized advice to help you strike a better balance between work and recovery. The news comes from the5krunner via reliable leaker JohnW, who supplied the first early images of the Garmin Instinct 2X well ahead of its official launch.

According to JohnW, the biggest update will be a new feature called Sleep Coaching, which will assess your sleep against a personal baseline rather than typical recommended figures. It will likely take a couple of weeks for your watch to build up a picture of your typical sleep patterns, after which it will be able to inform you about any deviations, whether you're sleeping significantly more or less than usual, suffering disturbed sleep, or getting decreased sleep quality.

This sounds very similar to how Garmin currently analyzes heart rate variability (HRV), keeping tabs on typical values and reporting any changes that could indicate something amiss like increased need for recovery after a heavy workout load, or buildup of fatigue over time.

Sleep coaching won't just take into account the time you spend in bed, either. It will also factor in your short and long-term workout history, and HRV to adjust your sleep recommendations. Check out the5krunner for more details.

Forty winks

Perhaps most excitingly, it looks like Sleep Coaching will finally allow your watch to track naps during the day. This is something many Garmin watch owners (myself included) have been wanting for years. After all, lots of athletes incorporate brief naps into their training and recovery schedules, so it doesn't make sense that their sports watches should only be able to handle a single chunk of rest at night.

I've also heard from watch owners who practice polyphasic sleep every day, with longer naps and a shorter sleeping period at night. For them, Garmin's current approach doesn't work at all.

According to JohnW, the new Sleep Coaching tool will be able to analyze sleep in 10-minute blocks, which presumably means it will be able to detect naps lasting 10 minutes or more. This is the same as Amazfit watches, which add these naps to your total sleep score and factor them in when calculating recovery metrics.

There's no word yet on when Sleep Coaching will be arriving, or which watches it will be compatible with. Many software features (like the new Hill Score and Endurance Score metrics) are debuted with new watches, so it's possible that it might appear when the long-awaited Garmin Venu 3 finally makes an appearance. It would certainly make sense for a watch that's designed around overall wellness rather than serious sports training.

We'll just have to wait and see, but I'll keep my ear to the ground and update you as soon as there's any further information.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.