How to utilize Garmin’s sleep score to monitor quality of sleep

We’ve always been told how important sleep is to our overall health, but an estimated one-third of adults fail to get the proper amount and quality of sleep. Garmin’s sleep score has been a recent tool that helps track, analyze, and explain your sleeping habits.

Keeping tabs on your typical sleeping patterns and habits highlights valuable information that could help you increase your overall quality of sleep. We take a look at Garmin’s sleep score and how it can be used to your advantage.

Suggested readings

What is Garmin’s sleep score? Garmin Connect app Sleep Score tile

Garmin’s sleep tracking feature is designed to recognize when its user falls asleep, show if and when they wake up throughout the night and morning, and detect what sleep stage they are in during the night.

These sleep stages include light, deep, and REM sleep.

We won’t get into the biophysiological components of what designates a certain type of sleep stage. Still, the Garmin wearable can use metrics such as your heart rate, respiration rate, body movement, and heart rate variability – among other things – to help determine the specific sleep stages as they occur.

While Garmin’s Advanced Sleep Monitoring (ASM) is available on all Garmin watches and trackers with an optical heart rate sensor, only certain models include a sleep score.

Garmin watches that support a sleep score

Garmin’s sleep score is a lifestyle-oriented metric compatible with a handful of its advanced fitness wearables.

  • Venu 2 series (your sleep score is not a widget, but a glance)
  • Fēnix 6 and Fēnix 6 solar series
  • Descent MK2 series
  • Tactix Delta series
  • Enduro 
  • Forerunner 745 and 945 series
  • MARQ series

To get your sleep score and insights, you first need to add the sleep widget to your watch. Add the Sleep Widget via Menu > Widgets > Edit > Add and choose Sleep.

Once added, get a good night’s rest and then open up the sleep widget (or glance on the Venu 2) to see your sleep score along with some insight on your sleep quality. Garmin sleep score on watch

Garmin’s actual sleep score is a number (0-100) determined based on your overall quality of sleep.

The higher the score, the better your sleep quality was for that night.

Dive in deeper, and you also get additional information such as your total sleep time, sleep phases, bed and awakes times, and even a detailed graph of your sleep phases all on your watch!

sleep score for Garmin

The picture above shows that its wearer scored an 83 – pretty good! And its descriptor to match that score is because Garmin was able to track that they had a “long and continuous sleep.” If only that happened every night!

How is Garmin’s sleep score calculated?

As mentioned above, Garmin uses biological information (e.g., heart rate, respiratory rate, etc.) from your fitness wearable to determine a score for sleep quality.

Your nightly sleep score is derived from a combination of these categories:

  • Sleep duration
  • Average stress score
  • Total deep, light, and REM sleep
  • Awake time
  • Restlessness

Garmin’s sleep score (out of 100) is then determined and labeled by these ranges for overall sleeping quality:

  • Excellent: 90-100
  • Good: 80-89
  • Fair: 60-79
  • Poor: Below 60

How to view Garmin’s sleep score

On your Garmin watch

Garmin’s sleep score can be viewed through the Sleep widget on your compatible Garmin watch. Garmin's sleep score watch face

If you don’t see a sleep widget, you’ll need to add it. The process to add a sleep widget can be different depending on the model of fitness wearable that you have. 

See your owner’s manual for exact steps on adding the sleep widget to your Garmin watch.

In the Garmin Connect app

Garmin connect app

You can see your sleep score in more detail using the Garmin Connect app on your phone. If you don’t see this information in Garmin Connect and get the message no sleep score data, update the Garmin Connect app on our phone and update your Garmin device’s firmware, if available.

When running an older version of the app, you may only see your sleep score details on the watch itself and not in the Garmin Connect app.

How to view your sleep score in Garmin Connect

Open the Menu (top left for Android and bottom right for iOS) > Health Stats > Sleep Score

Sleep Score details in Garmin Connect app

Garmin Connect also presents some nice graphs and other details that can show your sleeping trends over time. For example, you’ll be able to see your highest, lowest, and average sleep score over a given duration. Sleep score graphs Garmin Connect

Garmin’s sleep score also breaks down each component separately so you can see how your sleep duration, stress response, REM time, etc., rank over time.

If Garmin Connect still doesn’t show your sleep score details, try reviewing your sleep score information using the Sleep Widget on your watch and then opening Garmin Connect on your phone.

Not seeing a sleep score on your Garmin watch or in Garmin Connect?

If your Garmin device or the Garmin app doesn’t show your sleep score and is a model that supports this feature, try these tips:

  • If you use more than one Garmin device, make sure you set the Garmin you wear to sleep as your preferred activity tracker.
  • Open Garmin Connect and tap the sync button to sync your data from our Garmin to Garmin Connect manually.
  • Verify that your Garmin device tracks your heart rate.
  • Make sure your birthday is listed in Garmin Connect’s Menu or More button > Settings > User Settings.
  • Set your bedtimes and wake times in Garmin Connect via the Menu or More button > Settings > User Settings > Normal Bed Time or Normal Wake Time. Input the time and press OK.
  • Update the Garmin Connect app to its latest version via the App Store or Google Play Store. 
  • Check if there is an update for your Garmin device’s firmware using Garmin Express and update your device if an update is available.
  • Make sure your Garmin is not set to battery saver mode. Go to Main Menu > Power Manager > Battery Saver > During Sleep and ensure this is not turned on.
  • Delete and reinstall the Garmin Connect app on your phone.

Final thoughts on using Garmin’s sleep score

Sleep tracking and getting a sleep score can be extremely insightful, especially if you feel like you’re lacking that refreshed feeling in the mornings.

Is it because you’re waking up six times a night? Spending most of your sleeping hours in the light sleep stage?

Perhaps you do not realize that it’s midnight before you head to bed when you’ve got to get up at 6:00 the next morning.

Garmin’s sleep score displays all of that information for you – and then some – to highlight any problem areas that need to be addressed.

Considering how important good quality sleep is for our overall health, using your fitness wearable to help track those patterns is a simple and easy way for you to make adjustments or improvements if needed.

I am an occupational therapist and kinesiologist with a long history in the health and fitness industry. Plus, I'm also an avid cyclist with a passion for writing and travel that have helped shape my interest in the fitness tech world. You can catch me in a nearby cat café planning for my next road route or bucket list destination!

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