More accurate sleep data?! Awake is not 'light sleep', dreaming without rem-sleep, back-to-bed is also sleep.

I have been awake about half the night for years. I check on the clock regularly to know when I was awake, just to have an idea of how much energy I have the next day. (I have ME/CVS and long-covid, so this is important to me).

  • Unfortunatly most of my time awake is registered as 'light sleep'.
  • I had 4 dreams and no recorded rem-sleep. (dreams only occur in rem-sleep).
  • I got up halfway the night and 1 hour later went back to bed. All within my set sleep-time. But it only registered the first half of the night as sleep. The is no 'resume to sleep' button.

How to get more accurate sleep data? 

I shaved the hair on my wrist just to make sure hair is not preventing accurate readings.

This is really disappointing. The sleep and body-battery data is the whole reason I bought this device. 

Garmin Vivosmart4 Smart Activity tracker

  • To register awake time you need to have increased movements, typically that you get out of bed and move around. Just being awake in bed lying still will not register as awake time.

  • @e7andy

    and yet Garmin makes the disstinction between ligth sleep, deep sleep and rem-sleep. All of them are lying totally still in bed.

  • Yes. Those stages are harder to understand how they are logged. I don't trust those stages. During REM sleep the voluntary muscles of the body are paralyzed, but I still see that movements are logged during REM. Even more movements than during light sleep which I find a bit odd.

    Awake time is easy to see by checking the movement graph. It is very clear that awake is based on movements. There seems to be some other variable that can be counted as awake time as well, but it is harder to see what it can be and it is rare that awake time is logged for any other variable than the least for me.

  • During REM sleep the voluntary muscles of the body are paralyzed, but I still see that movements are logged during REM.

    I am one of those fortunate users, for whom it seems to work fairly fine. The REM, deep sleep and awake times match the reality, as far as I can tell, and the recorded movement is also rather in coherence with the sleep stages. See an example below. There is some movement at the beginning of the middle night REM, but then it drops to zero. I think it is credible. The high movement at waking up is consistent with the reality too - I had dreams when waking up, and were indeed moving. The short wake-up time and high movement, in the late morning, also fits the time I went to the toilet.

    In fact, the motion during REM is not unusual - have a look for example at the document REM sleep behavior disorder

    And there are plenty of other sleep disorders that may cause a havoc in the sleep detection. I consider myself lucky I sleep well, and also do not have any issues with the sleep analysis, but I realize that in the moment there are some sleep disorders involved, the diagnostics may land in troubles too.

    If the sleep detection consistently fails, and you suspect some sleep issues, perhaps you can consider conducing polysomnography at a sleep clinic.

  • I do have severe problems sleeping (ME/CVS). Never considered that that might be the thing messing up the readings.....


  • I too find this issue incredibly frustrating. My new Garmin watch is an upgrade in all respects to my Fitbit apart from sleep recording which the Fitbit did superbly. So if Fitbit can do it using basically the same data collection techniques then Garmin can do it too. 

  • I understand they record the difference between the stages by analysing changes in pulse primarily with a secondary analysis of movement. 

  • Relatively new to these forums. I've posted a couple times so far. I am seeing similar issues with my Instinct. I really want to like this watch and I really want it to work. But dealing with issues daily doesn't bode well.

    My main concern is that for the last few nights, I wake up and check my sleep and both it and heart rate have no data. I know the data are there because after reconnecting device it shows up. In one case, it didn't so I had to add a manual sleep cycle. What was weird is that it showed light sleep as manual data but it also showed some wake time and a little deep sleep. That night's data had no REM.

    I think my main problem is the heart rate sensor isn't working that well. Maybe a connection problem adds to this. Alongside this sleep data issue, I'm also facing the problem of it not tracking my high heart rate times. Even after warming up, I can work hard (150+ bpm) and the watch shows 120 at best. I'm checking pulse manually for this test.

    So sad cause this watch and software has so much potential.

  • I've been testing a setting that seems to be working on my phone... My watch was originally working with intelligent battery monitoring, but then after Garmin's update about 10 days ago, it broke. Now I've turned off optimization under settings and it's working pretty well (4 days of pretty good sleep data)...
    OnePlus 7T (Android 11)
    Settings > Battery > Battery optimization > Connect > Don't optimize
  • Now I've turned off optimization under settings and it's working pretty well (4 days of pretty good sleep data)...

    I am sorry to disappoint you, but there is absolutely no relation between the battery optimization on your phone, and the sleep data. The data is collected by the watch, and the Garmin Connect app does not play any role in it. Neither in the sleep data collection, not in the sleep data processing. The only thing the battery optimization may influence is the Bluetooth connectivity (hence inability to sync the data completely), but that's not at all the topic of this thread.