There’s been lots of new release in the smart and fitness orientated wearable and watch market.
I am just wondering what success anyone has had monitoring sleep from the wrist based systems available. I am generally an big Garmin fan and I use Garmin connect for lots of other fitness/weight/and nutrition tracking. I am looking at the new Garmin Venu. I like the fact it syncs to the Garmin platform which will allow me to have a central location for all my data…
What wrist based options are y’all using and loving? Not really looking at the Whoop strap, as I want the watch capabilities… Thanks
I have found a succession of garmin devices to appear to do what they claim to do. I don’t find the data particularly actionable or useful though.
Without diving too deep into too long of a discussion: I personally feel like watches from 5+ years ago contained all the ‘actionable’ data that you can pretty much use. At this point, I think they’re adding in a lot of ‘features’ to up the back of box, without really changing what you use. I know, I know, some people out there use anything new, but in terms of actionable data, most of it is pretty much packed into a Fenix 3 or Ambit 3.
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This is good to hear you’re thoughts. Thanks. Can you briefly describe what data you are referring to as “actionable”?
Not trying to be snarky or pedantic: stuff that changes the actions you take.
For instance, a sleep tracker or 24hr HRM doesn’t really change what I do. An Ambit 3 might not be able to tell me my 24hr RHR, and a new watch can, but it doesn’t give me much more info than a “Huh, neat.” I’m not changing what I do to chase that number, it’s just reporting something that’s a byproduct of everything else I do. I already know how much sleep I get because I go to bed at X and wake up at Y. A colorful graph doesn’t change how tired I am or am not.
Same for training load. I understand the concept in theory, but who are these people who are adjusting training because of what the watch says? It’s cool to see the watch say “Peaking” or whatever, but this is likely a result of the plan you’re on. I guess I don’t see the Venn overlap between people who are spending 450-700 dollars on high end sports watches and yet aren’t on some sort of progressive plan. Again, I’m sure there are people who are, but big picture?
In terms of actionable data, basically all the standard metrics (pace/power/time/etc etc.)
This isn’t to say watches haven’t improved. Better battery live, better GPS accuracy (or not…), optical HR (when it works, or just as a rough estimate), these are all improvements to the experience for sure. I’m not here to advocate people go buy 5 year old watches. Moreso, just to say… I think a lot of these features are added in because you have to tout what’s “new,” and you can’t make pace, distance, and time ‘new.’ Just my 2c.
I use an apple watch and two different sleep apps. Auto Sleep and Pillow.
I think that this has helped me with my sleep tracking and ultimately my sleep.
Far and away the biggest help for my sleep was a cooling mattress pad.
I read a post on here about Ooler and I think that Nate mentioned it in a podcast recently, but I didn’t want to spend that kind of money to test something, so I bought a similar product but not as fancy on Amazon for $170 and it has improved my sleep quality 100%. I went from 0-5 minutes of rem sleep per night to 3-4 hours.
This is what I got, I see that it’s $150 now. No doubt there are some nicer options and I may end up with one eventually, now that I have proven that the concept works for me, but I think this is a pretty good option for the money. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KPMPVLM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Those are good points. Thanks. I am interested in the sleep data that integrates into Garmin Connect, like I said. I’m interested in following the trends and seeing where I can improve. I do drill down into the data, because I’m a data geek, and enjoy seeing what works and what does not. My schedule and lifestyle is very dynamic, as many peoples are, and if anything the placebo effect helps me. When I know I am setting a goal of improving sleep, diet, or what other metric field I am following, I then change my actions throughout the day. At least, that is my goal.
If it works for you, then get it! That’s all that matters, really: that the gear supports and improves you.
Wow! That’s a crazy awesome improvement in sleep. I heard Nate mention the “Ooler”, and didn’t really give it a second thought. Great review on the concept
Look at the Polar Vantage M/V and Ignite. They have been taughted as Whoop killers on the facebook group: Fitness Trackers for Human Performance Tuning & Analysis.
My understanding is that Garmin is lacking on the recovery/sleeping side of things and just try to do too many things. (Too many bells and whistles)
I just picked up the Polar Vantage M about a month ago and I am thoroughly impressed. I also have the QS Emfit for sleep monitoring and they both track very well with each other. So, I am a fan.
The big take away is this - you want something consistent to pick up on trends and I stress trends. For me, if one or all of them say I am toast one day and should rest - I will go off how I feel first. If the trend continues 2 or 3 days within the next few days, then it is a good indicator I need to adjust, more sleep, or not workout a day to see how my body reacts.
They are great tools for me and help me to not over train and help me see how to increase the quality of my rest and recovery.
Let me know if you have any questions.
That’s great…I am going to take a look. Those are exactly the things I would like to track. I like the data offered on the Whoop strap, but I want a watch, and I am definitely not a fan of monthly subscriptions. Feels like I’d be paying for it forever…
yeah - that was me too. I orginally looked at Whoop, but the reviews didnt back up the claims and the monthly subscription was a turn off. I really like how the Polar gives me the data I am looking for by pulling in all activities (sleep, training, recovery, sitting, walking, calories, etc.) and correlates into charts I can quickly see and understand or geek out on where I am at and how I am doing. I follow my nightly recharge and training load charts the most.
Joined the group…thanks for the referral!
Yes it was really crazy and I can tell a giant difference in the way I fell. My FTP improvements had been really slow, but in the last four weeks I have gained the exact same number of watts, (11) that I gained the previous six months and I credit most of that to improved sleep.
Just a warning though it may take a little while to get dialed in. The first couple of nights I almost froze to death. lol
I have the Garmin Vivoactive 3, which gives overall sleep + breaks down sleep into light sleep, deep sleep, REM, etc. My feeling is that the overall sleep number is pretty accurate, but I don’t trust the break down. The newer Vivoactive 4 which also has a SPO2 sensor, might do a better job on overall sleep tracking / breaking down sleep into phases.
For an interesting listen, the Sigma Nutrition podcast just had an episode on sleep - 312: Allison Brager – Sleep Architecture, Chronotypes & Rescuing Performance. In it, Dr. Brager says that Whoop & Oura Ring do a good job of tracking sleep phases. In this podcast, Dr. Brager came across as a pretty straight shooter, but I’d never heard of her till listening to this.
I’ve been using my Apple Watch together with AutoSleep app to track my sleep patterns over the past 2.5 years. I think it is great and gives you an idea (or confirmation rather) just how tired or over-undertrained you are.
For instance, when I was fairly fit and and rested, my HR during the sleep would dip down to low 40s. It would also climb to high 50s or even low 60s just before my rest week.
Interestingly enough, alcohol (even one beer) made a massive difference in resting HR as it would stay quite high regardless of my fitness.
That’s really great to hear because I have been looking at the Vivian active 4 and the new Venu, so I like it.
I’m a fireman and I work lots of overtime…meaning, when I’m at work my sleep often sucks, and training around poor sleep has it’s obvious challenges. I would really like to know how much REM, or deep sleep I’m getting. Thanks again
Oh man, I have to say, drinking does my training no good at all. I stopped drinking alcohol just over one year ago, and my fitness and training progress has increased more significantly then I could have imagined. Truth is I like the results of no booze on my training much more than enjoying the drink… just me.
Curious if you feel the reported low heart rates from your Vivoactive 3 are reasonable? I recently started wearing one and it occasionally reports values that are a good 6-7 bpm lower than anything I have measured at my wrist. But these low rates typically happen during naps, so I don’t have a good way to verify the readings.
I haven’t worn it overnight to measure sleep since I don’t like wearing a watch to bed. I typically gauge how well I slept by how I feel in the morning. Maybe I’ll give that a try, though.