If you want to know which sleep tracker is most accurate according to science, this guide is for you.
According to NIH, good sleep improves our brain performance, overall health, and mood. Similarly, if you are not getting good sleep, it can badly affect your health. When it comes to tracking health, medical professionals use polysomnography (PSG) systems to track sleep.
These systems are too complex for home use so the next best thing for tracking sleep is a smartwatch. In 2023, we have a wide range of smartwatches available that come with sleep-tracking options but the question is: Which one of them is the most accurate?
In this WearToTrack Guide, I’ll discuss the following topics:
- According to Science, which fitness trackers offer accurate sleep tracking?
- What do doctors use to track sleep?
- And many more!
Sleep Tracking is not an easy thing and honestly, not all smartwatches are good at it. So, in this guide, I’ll be taking help from science and will share various studies which test these popular smartwatches and tell you which ones are accurate.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Which Smartwatches And Fitness Trackers Offer Accurate Sleep Tracking According To Science?
It’s 2023 and we have many great sleep-tracking smartwatches available in the market. Many of these smartwatches claim to offer accurate sleep tracking and the good thing is that these claims are often tested by scientists.
So, in this section, I’m going to share the various studies where researchers have used various models of popular smartwatches for sleep tracking. Let’s get started.
How Accurate Is Apple Watch’s Sleep Tracking According To Science?
Apple Watch is considered one of the most accurate smartwatches for sleep tracking and it has proven to be accurate in many studies. The recent versions of the Apple Watch also come with advanced temperature sensing which offers more accurate sleep tracking.
A 2022 Study was conducted by Central Queensland University and published in MDPI compared the accuracy of the Apple Watch Series 6 against PSG and other popular smartwatches on the market which include Garmin Forerunner 245 and Polar Vantage V.
According to the study, Apple Watch Series 6 was more accurate as compared to other participants. The Apple Watch correctly identified 97% of PSG Sleep Epochs while the Polar Vantage V was 92% accurate and Oura Ring Gen 2 was 94% accurate. The only smartwatch which was more accurate than the Apple Watch was the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music which was 98% accurate.
It’s also worth noting here that this study features a 2-generation old smartwatch and the new Apple Watch 8 is more accurate and better than Apple Watch Series 6 because of new sensors and technologies.
How Accurate Is Sleep Tracking On Garmin Smartwatches?
Garmin Smartwatches are known for their accurate sleep tracking and they are considered some of the best smartwatches for tracking your sleep. The best thing about Garmin Smartwatches is that they have proven to be accurate in various third-party studies.
According to a study conducted by Central Queensland University, Garmin Forerunner 245 Music was found to be more accurate than Apple Watch Series 6 and other smartwatches in terms of sleep tracking.
In 2022 Study conducted by the University of the Bundeswehr Munich compared the Garmin Fenix 5X Plus with Versa 2 and Polar Ignite. In the study, scientists tested these smartwatches to track sleep for 120 days and Garmin was the only smartwatch with a 0% failure rate. The study also concluded that sleep tracking on all these three smartwatches was “equally best”.
How Accurate Is Sleep Tracking On Fitbit Smartwatches?
Fitbit Smartwatches and fitness trackers are considered some of the most accurate sleep trackers out there. Its fitness trackers and smartwatches have proven their efficiency in various studies when it comes to sleep tracking.
A 2021 Study which was conducted by the University of Arizona College of Medicine and published in PubMed Central studied sleep-tracking technology in consumer products. In this study, the scientists studied the Fitbit Alta HR, Garmin Fenix 5S, and Vivosmart 3 along with other smartwatches.
The study concluded that Fitbit Alta HR was the most efficient in terms of overall sleep tracking and Garmin Devices were the second best. More specifically Fitbit Alta HR was more accurate in detecting light sleep and rapid eye movement sleep while the Garmin smartwatches were better at detecting deep sleep.
Another 2021 Study by the University of Zurich concludes that Fitbit Charge 2 can provide reasonably accurate sleep tracking. The study also suggests that the accuracy of sleep trackers can be enhanced with open-source algorithms.
The Above studies are two of many scientific studies which prove the accuracy of Fitbit devices as efficient sleep trackers. It’s also worth noting here that the above studies use the older versions of the Fitbit and the new versions such as the Fitbit Sense 2, Fitbit Charge 5, and Versa 4 are way better than this tracker.
How Accurate Is Sleep Tracking On Samsung Galaxy Watches?
Samsung smartwatches are considered the best smartwatches for Android users and the latest models come with advanced sensors which offer accurate sleep tracking.
In 2020, researchers from well-known universities such as the University of California, and the University of Turku assessed the sleep-tracking accuracy of the Samsung Smartwatch and Oura Rung against a medical-grade device. The study concluded that the Galaxy Watch showed satisfactory and acceptable results.
It’s worth noting that the researchers used the Samsung Gear Sport in this study and it’s a very old generation of the Samsung Smartwatch. The latest models of Samsung Galaxy Watches such as Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 4 are way more accurate and advanced than Samsung Gear Sport.
In the above sections, I’ve shared some scientific studies which compare smartwatches and fitness trackers from well-known companies against each other and medical-grade sleep-tracking devices.
If you are interested to know about the smartwatches and fitness trackers which are currently the best in terms of sleep tracking, check this guide where I’ve shared the top 11 devices for sleep tracking.
What Devices Do Doctors Use To Track Sleep?
Polysomnography (PSG) systems are the medical-grade systems that medical professionals use to track your sleep and diagnose sleep disorders. These machines come with various sensitive instruments which allow the doctor to track your heart rate, brain activity, muscle activity, oxygen levels, respiratory rate, and eye movements.
The doctors use this data to determine various sleep factors which help them diagnose sleep disorders. Polysomnography (PSG) is considered the most accurate way of tracking sleep but due to its complex nature, it can be pretty expensive.
If doctors decide to do a polysomnography (PSG) test, a patient will have to spend time in the clinic or hospital and will have to wear all the sensors throughout the night. In the morning, doctors will then use the collected data to determine if a patient has a sleep disorder and if they need any treatment.
Do Smartwatches Offer Accurate Sleep Tracking?
Smartwatches are not as good as medical-grade sleep trackers but they are the next best thing for tracking sleep. Many research studies have shown that smartwatches these days are more capable of general sleep tracking and they are getting better with time.
Modern smartwatches come with advanced sensors which can track your sleep with great accuracy and share detailed sleep insights with minimal deviation.
So, you can surely use your smartwatch for general sleep tracking. However, if you want the accuracy of medical-grade devices, I’d recommend that you consult your doctor and get a device that is medically approved.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
Can Apple Watch Detect Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a very common sleep disorder and more than 30 million people suffer from it in the USA but only 6 million are diagnosed. When it comes to detecting it, the Apple Watch can show certain parameters which may indicate that you have sleep apnea but the Apple Watch can’t properly diagnose it.
Can Samsung Galaxy Watch Diagnose Sleep Apnea?
Like Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch can also track your sleep and it can track metrics such as oxygen saturation which may help you diagnose Sleep Apnea. However, the Galaxy watch lacks a dedicated feature that can detect Sleep Apnea.
Can Fitbits Detect Sleep Apnea?
Fitbit Smartwatches come with advanced sleep tracking and they track factors such as oxygen saturation and heart rate which experts can analyze to diagnose Sleep Apnea. But, it can’t diagnose Sleep Apnea on its own. So, if you see any irregularity, show your sleep tracking details to the doctor and if your doctor thinks that you might have it, they will conduct a PSG test to confirm it.
Sleep Tracking in smartwatches is a very important feature that can tell you a lot about your overall sleep quality. Many modern smartwatches these days offer accurate sleep tracking and can also detect sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea.
While smartwatches are not as good as medical-grade devices such as polysomnography (PSG) systems, they are surely the next best thing, and they come at a very reasonable price.
I hope that you found this guide helpful and if you are interested in getting an accurate smartwatch for Fitness Tracker, check this guide where I’ve shared the Best Fitness Tracker For Boxing, MMA, Jiu-Jitsu And Kickboxing in 2024.
As a professional trainer and a gadget lover, I’ve spent a lot of money and time buying wearable activity trackers, smartwatches, and gadgets, and checking them out. My site is focused on helping you with your activity tracking and smart technology journey. I try to provide the most helpful updated content on this subject. Hopefully, you will love my blogs and be a regular around here.