Assessing the performance of a commercial multisensory sleep tracker

PLoS One. 2020 Dec 11;15(12):e0243214. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0243214. eCollection 2020.


Wearable sleep technology allows for a less intruding sleep assessment than PSG, especially in long-term sleep monitoring. Though such devices are less accurate than PSG, sleep trackers may still provide valuable information. This study aimed to validate a commercial sleep tracker, Garmin Vivosmart 4 (GV4), against polysomnography (PSG) and to evaluate intra-device reliability (GV4 vs. GV4). Eighteen able-bodied adults (13 females, M = 56.1 ± 12.0 years) with no self-reported sleep disorders were simultaneously sleep monitored by GV4 and PSG for one night while intra-device reliability was monitored in one participant for 23 consecutive nights. Intra-device agreement was considered sufficient (observed agreement = 0.85 ± 0.13, Cohen's kappa = 0.68 ± 0.24). GV4 detected sleep with high accuracy (0.90) and sensitivity (0.98) but low specificity (0.28). Cohen's kappa was calculated for sleep/wake detection (0.33) and sleep stage detection (0.20). GV4 significantly underestimated time awake (p = 0.001) including wake after sleep onset (WASO) (p = 0.001), and overestimated light sleep (p = 0.045) and total sleep time (TST) (p = 0.001) (paired t-test). Sleep onset and sleep end differed insignificantly from PSG values. Our results suggest that GV4 is not able to reliably describe sleep architecture but may allow for detection of changes in sleep onset, sleep end, and TST (ICC ≥ 0.825) in longitudinally followed groups. Still, generalizations are difficult due to our sample limitations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / instrumentation*
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods
  • Polysomnography / instrumentation
  • Polysomnography / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sleep Stages
  • Sleep*
  • Time Factors
  • Wearable Electronic Devices*

Grants and funding

The project was funded by the EU Interreg Deutschland-Danmark (087-1.1-18) and a pre-graduate research scholarship was awarded by the Lundbeck Foundation to NJM.