Garmin Sleep *Coaching* – It’s official, Garmin targets Whoop
Some more info has crossed my desk from @JohnW regarding a significant new feature that is coming soon to the Garmin Ecosystem. As well as a large piece of Garmin functionality around SLEEP COACHING, we will also see some changes to nap detection and richer feedback for Garmin Body Battery.
This article delves into the new Garmin Sleep Coaching system, explaining its relevance to you and giving a broad overview of its workings based on information I highly trust. I’ll conclude by discussing why this represents a significant commercial step for Garmin.
Garmin Sleep coaching – What you will soon get
The core of the new sleep coaching regime revolves around a balanced sleep need, your current sleep need and providing sleep recommendations.
- Personalized Recommendations: Based on existing Garmin sleep metrics, individuals receive tailored feedback comparing their sleep data against a personal baseline, with an emphasis on HRV insights that evaluate stress and well-being.
- Holistic Data Integration: Garmin gathers data from varied sources such as activity tracking, HRV, and sleep monitoring. For athletes, training load data from recorded workouts is integrated, and the system evaluates a month’s worth of both recorded and passive activities to adjust sleep recommendations.
- Feedback and Habit Formation: Individuals receive feedback on sleep patterns, encouraging them to maintain consistent sleep schedules, which is scientifically shown to improve sleep quality.
- Safety and Boundaries: Recommendations on sleep duration are provided within a safe range, avoiding any extremes, with suggestions given in ten-minute intervals (10 minutes…?! hmmm)
- In-depth Analysis: The system intelligently considers daytime naps and reviews the past week’s sleep patterns, ensuring that recent changes in sleep behaviour are factored into the recommendations.
- Individual Engagement: Garmin offers structured feedback to aid understanding, underscoring the importance of routine for improved sleep quality.
Strangely, the sleep coach seems to be integrated into the existing Morning Report which obviously won’t take into account naps and training load for the day. I’ve not seen any indication of an ‘Evening Report’ that you receive prior to going to bed but I suppose it must exist as a fundamental part of sleep coaching is the time you should get to bed and how long you should plan to sleep.
I also haven’t yet seen anything about coaching on lifestyle factors that significantly impact sleeping eg room temperature, room brightness, time of last meal, alcohol consumption, ‘saucy nocturnal activities’, hydration, bed temperature, noise levels, and so on. That’s one area where Whoop Journal does well – you tag lifestyle factors to Whoop’s app and those factors are correlated to your daily sleep/workout performances eg your ‘moderate’ alcohol consumption could be statistically correlated with poor sleep – the coach would say not to drink.
Commercial & Competitive Factors
Sleep coaching most notably exists in Garmin’s competitors such as Samsung Galaxy Watch4 (four, 2021) and the Whoop band. So Garmin is playing catchup with a feature that is normally marketed as a wellness feature but also has clear benefits for athletes’ recovery.
It’s most likely that this feature is initially intended for Garmin Venu 3 and Venu 3s which will be released between September 2023 and January 2024, my bet being more towards the former date. Top-of-the-line watches like the Venu 3 usually get all the new hardware components (Elevate 5), most of the new features and usually sport a new headline feature. It’s reasonable to assume that Sleep Coaching will be the headline feature for Venu 3 before a wider rollout to Fenix 7 and FR965/955 in Q1.2023.
An alternative scenario to this feature launching on Venu 3 sees the new Garmin HRM FIT as an optical armband, targeted directly against Whoop in the run-up to Christmas with the Venu 3 then being relegated to the New Year launch window. My opinion is that such a scenario is less likely than Sleep Coaching+Venu 3 released in September.
The commercial dilemma here for Garmin is around which will sell more; a new iteration to the highly important but declining Venu product line or as a competitor to an initially smaller but potentially huge market down the line as a direct Whoop competitor. Maybe the company could do both this year but, again, my bet is on the Venu for September. Bottom Line: Garmin needs to keep the sales rolling in at proven times of the year to keep the shareholders happy, Garmin is relatively conservative.
I’m not that excited about Sleep Coaching. It’s nothing new and is very much a 2020-era feature. It will almost certainly be based on shaky statistical foundations and assumptions.
I am far more excited about sleep products like Eight Sleep which actively manage and improve sleep quality as you sleep. I am also far more excited about Garmin’s HRM FIT if it can better provide an easier-to-wear device for bed than a watch.
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