Some Garmin users have noticed an interesting new category in the Garmin Connect mobile app: sleep events. At the moment this only includes a sleep blood oxygen (SpO2) widget, but it seems likely there'll be more to it than that.
As Marko Maslakovic of Gadgets & Wearables explains, the new widget will likely inform you if your SpO2 drops particularly low during the night. Fluctuations are normal, but a very low reading could be an early signal of a health problem like sleep apnea – a condition where you stop breathing briefly overnight, disturbing your sleep and leaving you exhausted in the morning. At its worst, it can have a terrible effect on quality of life.
Garmin watches aren't medical devices and can't be used to treat or diagnose any conditions, but a warning about low oxygen saturation could be a useful starting point for a conversation with your doctor. Fitbit devices have offered a similar function for several years now, and are even able to generate a PDF report that you can share with your GP.
So what other sleep events could your Garmin watch count? Your device already keeps a tally of 'restless moments' and 'awakenings' during the night, factoring these into your sleep score, so it stands to reason that these could also be counted recorded as events. Garmin's new Sleep Coaching tool could then give you personalized feedback to help reduce the number of these incidents.
At the moment, Garmin suggests that good sleep should involve no more than one awakening longer than five minutes each night, and five or fewer restless moments per hour.
Garmin could also take a leaf from Fitbit's book and monitor snoring. Only a couple of Garmin watches currently have microphones (the Garmin Venu 2 Plus and Venu 3), but I've got my fingers crossed that mics will be coming to several more devices in 2024, possibly including the long-awaited Fenix 8 and Epix (Gen 3). A device with a microphone can detect whether you or your partner is snoring overnight, and possibly pick up ambient noise in your bedroom that could be disturbing you.
I'll be keeping a close eye on my own phone for any changes, and will bring you more details as soon as they emerge.
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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.