• Caffeine and Sleep: Garmin Fenix 3 Sleep Tracking

    Man Taking A Caffeine Nap At His Desk With Coffee In Hand

    After listening to a Stuff You Should Know podcast, I thought I would try a change in my caffeine habits. 

    For sleep tracking, I currently use a Garmin Fenix 3. The Garmin Fenix 3 is a sports watch and activity tracker that does everything you need and more. From dedicated triathlon training to running, step counting, and of course for this test sleep tracking. A recent update from Garmin means you do not need to tell the watch when you go to sleep. It knows! 

    What's required for this test?

    Garmin Fenix 3

    Garmin Fenix 3

    Less Coffee

    And a lot less coffee

    Caffeine Before Sleep

    It takes a regular coffee or tea drinker to know just how tough it is to cut back on the caffeine intake. I thought it would be hard but it was surprisingly easy for me. So why the test? On the podcast, they reminded me that caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours, which means that after 6 hours you still have 50% of the effect in your system. So if you have a caffeinated drink at 3pm and one at 5pm then this is essentially the same as having a full coffee at around 10pm. You may fall asleep with no problems, but your deep sleep will be affected. 

    From Garmin you get a breakdown of deep and light sleep. Plus awake time, so in theory seeing if a 2 week test will make any difference will be fairly easy to measure. 

    Is Caffeine Affecting Your Sleep?

    From my reading on the NHS and various other reputable sites, caffeine may affect your sleep, but not for everyone as everyone's body treats caffeine differently. My results from Garmin in the two weeks leading up to the test were as follows:

    Date Deep Sleep Light Sleep % of Deep Sleep
    1/5/2016 2:40:00 5:08:00 34.19%
    1/6/2016 3:03:00 4:17:00 41.59%
    1/7/2016 2:33:00 4:43:00 35.09%
    1/8/2016 3:28:00 4:16:00 44.83%
    1/9/2016 3:19:00 3:32:00 48.42%
    1/10/2016 4:22:00 6:12:00 41.32%
    1/11/2016 2:33:00 5:21:00 32.28%
    1/12/2016 2:44:00 5:32:00 33.06%
    1/13/2016 2:39:00 5:36:00 32.12%
    1/14/2016 2:26:00 5:20:00 31.33%
    1/15/2016 2:05:00 5:57:00 25.93%
    1/16/2016 3:34:00 5:14:00 40.53%
    1/17/2016 2:38:00 5:26:00 32.64%
    1/18/2016 2:59:00 4:31:00 39.78%
    1/19/2016 2:37:00 4:39:00 36.01%

    The test kicked off with the following rules. Going from 10+ cups of tea and coffee per day up until about 5pm to just one in the morning first thing. No other caffeine. Without other people to compare my stats to, I am just looking for a blame why my deep sleep is just a little over half (but very broken up through the night). 

    So bring on two weeks of sleep tracking with just one cup in the morning.

    Date Deep Sleep Light Sleep % of Deep Sleep
    1/20/2016 2:30:00 4:51:00 34.01%
    1/21/2016 3:35:00 4:42:00 43.26%
    1/22/2016 2:41:00 5:46:00 31.76%
    1/23/2016 3:02:00 4:45:00 38.97%
    1/24/2016 2:31:00 5:10:00 32.75%
    1/25/2016 2:10:00 3:39:00 37.25%
    1/26/2016 2:47:00 5:14:00 34.72%
    1/27/2016 2:26:00 4:50:00 33.49%
    1/28/2016 4:12:00 3:47:00 52.61%
    1/29/2016 2:10:00 5:01:00 30.16%
    1/30/2016 3:14:00 3:50:00 45.75%
    1/31/2016 2:51:00 6:19:00 31.09%
    2/1/2016 2:05:00 5:28:00 27.59%
    2/2/2016 2:11:00 4:01:00 35.22%

    Conclusion.... No change at all! Well at least for me there is no change. 36% of my sleep is deep sleep (according to my trusted Garmin Fenix 3)

    Sleep Data from the Garmin Fenix 3

    From the Garmin Fenix 3 via your phone or their Garmin Connect online account you let the watch know your typical sleep times (most of us have some sort of routine) and the watch will record your sleep.

    Sleep Movement Garmin Fenix 3

    The graph above is the movement during sleep. Garmin will interpret this data into deep and light sleep and that looks like the following.

    Garmin Fenix 3 Light and Deep Sleep Comparison

    Typically activity trackers that monitor your sleep will flag up just how little sleep you have. Read up on sleep and how much you should get. Then you will realise it is important and the deep sleep is what counts. In the chart above deep sleep is represented by the dark navy bars and the light sleep the light blue. Pink is awake time.

    Posted by Daniel Puddick
  • Vivosmart HR and Sleep Tracking

    Exercise is good for you. Getting enough sleep is good for you. So why not track the two?

    The new Vivosmart HR from Garmin combines these two vital indicators to paint a picture of health.

    First off, let’s review the benefits of getting some good shut eye (besides keeping you from being super cranky).

    Vivosmart HR from Garmin

    Benefits of Sleep

    • Improved memory
    • Curb Inflammation
    • Spur Creativity
    • Improve Sports Performance
    • Improve grades
    • Increase attention span
    • Regulate digestion
    • Help keep a healthy weight
    • Reduce Stress
    • Prevent traffic accidents
    • Ward off depression

    We don’t need to read the research to know we’ve had a good night's rest, when you’ve slept well you wake up energised and ready to conquer the world (or at least the day).

    Vivosmart HR Sleep Review

    As a very light sleeper, (I’m talking full on blackout blinds, eye mask and earbuds every night) I am always dubious of wearing activity trackers to bed. If it lights up in the night or accidentally vibrates, I will wake up. I’ve also found with other activity trackers that I simply find it uncomfortable to keep around my wrist while I try to sleep, particularly if it’s on the larger side.

    The Vivosmart HR is an incredible sleep monitoring tool.

    Firstly, the Vivosmart’s sleek small design means it a) suits my small wrists and b) is very comfortable. I’m able to strap up and forget it’s there. Apart from when it fires off a move alert. When it comes to bedtime, the watch still goes unnoticed and doesn’t bother or alert me whilst sleeping. The watch automatically goes onto ‘do not disturb’ mode and you are left to enjoy your slumber.

    Secondly, you don’t have to remember to set up sleep mode on this watch, like you may do with other models, as the watch automatically detects when you fall asleep and also when you wake up, so there is no extra programming required. When you set up the watch you enter in your regular sleeping and waking times which gives the watch a guideline of the hours to leave you alone, but each night is measured as it comes.

    Upon waking you can review your sleep stats via the Connect App:

    Garmin Connect Sleep

    Garmin Connect Sleep

    Here you can see the breakdown of your last night's sleep. The app reveals the total duration as well as levels of deep and light sleep. You can tell the watch is has accurate sensitivity as you can see the 10 minutes I woke up, fell out of bed and popped to the bathroom.

    Accessing this is great for planning the day's workout as you can increase or reduce intensity based on how rested your body is.

    Garmin Connect Sleep Monitoring

    Garmin Connect Sleep Monitoring

    The Connect app also traces your movement throughout the night, which is interesting, the less movement the better. Here you can see the movement matches the areas of deep and light sleep.

    The Garmin Vivosmart sleep monitoring tool is simple to use, accurate and a very useful training tool.

    To see more reviews of the Garmin Vivosmart feature see here.

    Posted by Victoria Gardner