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SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch Active 2 : Disability Issues and Sleep/Heart Monitoring!

(Topic created on: 10-01-2020 02:26 PM)

I've had this SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch Active 2 ("GWA2") since 06/01/2020, and it seemed OK, once I had got my head around the many features, and had disabled all those that I did not want.

I am now 60, with lower limb disability issues due to old motorcycle accidents (17 operations) and later added injuries when in UK Forces.


I was kindly given the GWA2 as a 60th Birthday Present to help with monitoring my very poor sleep, and also this years efforts to improve health and fitness via non-impact exercise, such as, initially, Physio, then hopefully later on things like Rowing and floor based exercises with weights, and maybe later this year some swimming and cyling, all in preparation for major surgery to replace a whole knee (yes the entire knee, which is a bigger one than even a Total Knee Reoplacement), probably a hip or two, and maybe an ankle.

I am also looking forward to the ECG feature, but appreciate this will take a few weeks yet whilst various Certifications are sought.


I have also recently discovered that I have serious Sleep Apnoea issues, so bad that it triggered Atrial Flutter one night, and put me into Intensive Care for 10 hours with my heart stuck in a 2:1 Block at 150bpm for 10 hours...which is basically what can happen when you neary suffocate!

All being well, I should get a CPAP (Constant Positive Air Pressure) machine soon, which should cure the sleep issues, and allow me to finally get some decent restorative sleep. Usually I am getting just 1-20 mins of Deep Sleep a night because of this, and the thrashing around I do in bed because of lower limb pain. Total sleep is usually between 1-5 hours if that, so I tend to be a bit tired during the day!

I was using a Polar A360 to mainly keep an eye on sleep, or the lack of it, and to help monitor activity and so on, when I will combine that with a Polar H7 Chest Strap if I can get onto the Rowing Machine (hips/knees allowing).


Anyway, the GWA2 seemed to be OK until this morning, when it suddenly elected to stat Monitoring me having a run, which was curious, because I was just sitting in front of the PC doing some admin!


It did not seem to want to stop, so I just went for a reset via my SAMSUNG Galaxy S10's App linked to the GWA2!

A PITA, as I then had to re-set a lot of features and widgets up all over again.

However, then it did the same again!

This time I was able to stop it, and then disabled the Multi-Workout Running widget, which seems to have calmed the thing down.

The GWA2 is fully patched with the latest updates as of today (10/01/2020), so I am writing this in case others have experienced the same odd behavior. I have it paired to a SAMSUNG Galaxy S10 Mobile (also fully patched).

I will update if it does it again, and will post up any other feedback related to this watch in terms of sleep monitoring issues and a disabled bloke starting to get fitter!



Cheers for sharing that with us @VikingAle ! :smiling-face::thumbs-up-sign-emoji-modifier-fitzpatrick-type:


And yes, let us know your progress - both with the watch and generally. 


Hello Ants!

Many thanks, I will update, because I will be using the Galaxy Watch Active 2 (UK Model Larger Screen) to monitor sleep and heart issues in some detail.

I neglected to mention that my GWA2 is now running this Software, in case it's linked to the strange detection of me Running, when I was actually sitting down doing nothing as exciting:


In terms of logging sleep, I'd like to see this better collated per day, which can be important to someone, like me, who has disjointed sleep, and/or who may work odd hours so doesn't get one long sleeping session per day.

I do like the breakdown in terms of REM Sleep, Light Sleep and Deep Sleep, which is very useful, and better than my Polar A360 was logging. The Polar could only log one sleeping event anyway, so if the night was broken into two, then it could only log the 2nd half. The GWA2 at least logs all sleep sessions, but doesn't collate them into a total per 24 hour day (unless I'm missing that!).

Heart beat issues are also very important, so it will be great when the ECG feature is added.

I am also using a Viatom Checkme O2 unit to monitor Blood Oxygen Saturation Levels, which I only wear when attempting to sleep in bed. This is really useful, because it logs detailed Pulse, O2 and Movement events, so I get to see just how things went when asleep, so can see Apnoea events, and the effect on my heart, and also can see if I get up at night (often after an Apnoea event, which I didn't realise until I started logging this). A further huge feature of that unit is the fact that I can set it to buzz me when asleep if my O2 levels drop below a configurable percentage, which I have it set at 88% at the moment. Any higher and it was just going off too often, whereas 88% is safe, and means I now tend to be woken up to change position and so re-open my airway.

The GWA2 is now part of my kit and, at the moment is helpful to show how well I was sleeping, which I can cross-refer to the Checkme O2 Logs to see how Apnoea events have been trashing sleep, as shown by the GWA2 showing me only getting light sleep, or being kicked from deep sleep to light/REM after Apnoeas kick in.


Few realise how Sleep Apnoea can kill you, so anyone who snores a lot, and seems to stop breathing at night, really needs to get this checked. Lots of sudden night time death is probably a complication of Apnoea events, which can also encompass Strokes as well, because Apnoea events can cause Arrhythmia when asleep, which can lead to blood clots, and Stroke, if not picked up. So, it's a scary old business!


My hopes are that the GWA2 will help to keep a close eye on at least sleep, and then add ECG features when that becomes available, so may pick up any Arrhythmia if I cannot feel it myself. When in RESUS, I honestly could not feel that my heart was stuck at 150bpm, probably because it's not really a true beat, but actually Atrial Flutter above banging away at something like 300bpm, which only triggers half that number of beats below, hence why 150bpm is a classic sign of Atrial Flutter ("AF") if a 2:1 Block. It's a stable Flutter, so the ECG tends to show a sawtooth pattern if you know how to read ECGs that is!

Atrial Fibrilation ("Afib") is more dangerous, which is an elevated but erratic beat. So AF and Afib are not the same thing. A lot of confusion is the way both tend to be referred to as AF, which isn't helpful!

Anyway, I'm good at the moment, hopefully I have dodged a bullet, because they have checked my heart out from front to back, and it otherwise seems very healthy. It's just getting a hard time because of Sleep Apnoea when I effectively start to suffocate several times at night.

I have to address this Apnoea issue first, get a CPAP Machine, then I can start on the fitness build up, when I hope to use the GWA2 harder for detailed logs of various things, up to and including swimming and rowing etc.

Early days, but I will Post up anything of use/interest related to the GWA2.





I dont know if you are aware the watch has an emergency call function where you can Judy press the bottom button 3 times it will send out an sos for you to designated number's giving a very close location of where you are


I had PAF paroxysmal atrial fibrillation

For 18 years it was controlled via medication when first diagnosed my heart rate was persistent 230 bpm there was a cardiac doctor in casualty on rotation at the time her words were good good dont move I will be quick as i can she ran to the pharmacy flat it came back with intravenous Flecainide and pumped me full of it


I ended up on a dose of 400mg a day way over the recommended dose with instructions to od further if it went like it again.


In addition I took Tildium 200 and digoxin 125 with permission to double up if need be


Thing is very often my heart rate dropped to 35 bpm I don't know which wad worse the irregular heart beat it was like a saw tooth going from 80 - 180 plus higher and every figure inbetween lasting usually near the end for 3 days or more with perhaps just a day or 2 between attacks


They eventually carried out an ablation which has solved my problems they are keeping me on warfarin and low dose Tildium


So hopefully I am clear now but I know how you feel as after all these years I am now symptom free.



Hello Alun123!

Many thanks for sharing this, very interesting. I was aware of the feature to make an emergency call, but at the moment, I have disabled most of the communication and messaging links to the GWA2, because I am mainly interested in the watch for sleep, pulse and health monitoring. It may be increasing old age and senility, but I am not keen on having my watch start listening to me, playing music or taking and receiving calls and messages...I have enough of that from my mobile!


A close non-blood relative recently died after a long 8+ year decline due to what was thought to be Lewy Body Dementia. Eventual cause of death was heart failure even though a PaceMaker had been fitted a few years before. But my wife and I now think this was more likely to have been an Atrial Flutter issue that was present for well over 10-15 years.


Now we have more time to reflect, it seems far more likely that uncontrolled Atrial Flutter must have caused a number of Transient Ischemic Attacks ("TIA"), which are effectively small heart attacks. We now think the Atrial Flutter caused TIAs via clots, which gradually damaged the brain, resulting in Dementia like symptoms. We do not know, even now, what it was, because Lewy Body Dementia can only really be diagnosed post mortem, so it may not have been that, but brain damage over a long period because of Atrial Flutter and TIAs/clots.


I think you did well to avoid the worst of this, and the Doc was wise to get your heart under control ASAP to avoid the Stroke and/or Blood Clot complications (when a fluttering heart can cause clots in pooled blood trapped in the heart because it's not being pumped out properly due to the fluttering/ineffectual beating).


My relative, like you, had to have an Ablation but, sadly, that did not go well, so they had a few attempts over the course of a few weeks, and eventually destroyed the nodes that allow normal beating, so they had to totally destroy them and fit a PaceMaker instead.


I mention all this to alert people to the dangers of Atrial Flutter, and why uncontrolled Sleep Apnoea is something that must be investigated and taken seriously, if someone exhibits the usual symptoms of extreme day time tiredness, not feeling at all refreshed after sleep, snoring, and/or spells not breathing when asleep that may be coupled with fairly lively chest contractions as the body tries to breath.


At the moment, I think I mainly have Atrial Flutter that is triggered by deep Apnoea events, so it can in my case be more or less avoided by taking charge of the Sleep Apnoea trigger.


However, that is, in basic terms, very hard to do in isolation, because once asleep, you are no longer Captain of your own destiny in terms of maintaining an optimum sleeping position to avoid the airway being compromised. Sleeping on my right side is the best, heart is then elevated, and my airway tends to stay open...not always, because it also depends on the position of my head, so slumped forward towards chest is bad. Likewise, sleeping on my back seems to be, invariably, bad news for Sleep Apnoea avoidance, and I almost always suffer Apnoea events when flat out on my back.

My wife does try to nudge me when in the wrong position, but even that is, apparently, according to one our General Practitioners ("GP") potentially hazardous if already into Atrial Flutter, because it has, apparently, been known to trigger Cardiac  Arrest (when the heart stops, as opposed to Heart Attack, when some other blockage can cause problems).

Isn't sleeping fun!

Thus, my mission is to try and avoid Sleep Apnoea if I can, which ahead of a CPAP unit, means keeping a close eye on what does happen, which I now try to do via the combination of the SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch Active 2 ("GWA2"), to measure sleep, and the types of sleep (Semi-Awake, REM Sleep, Light Sleep and Deep Sleep), plus the Viatom CheckMe O2 Unit to log Blood Oxygen Saturation %, Pulse and Movement.


The two combined show me what sort of night I have had, which I am now trying to link to diet to see what, if anything, triggers Sleep Apnoea.

Sleeping position is also a huge factor, but is one I cannot really control once in the land of nod!


I have read that neck and head exercises can help, so I will also try this, and may add, say, resistance type exercises with the aid of the rubber bands one can get for resistance based exercises (in  colours depending on the strength of the band in kilos). That may help to alter the strength of the neck muscles, which may help with keeping the airway open.
Weight loss is another issue, I am too Habitus, apparently, which has gradually crept up on me over the years, and especially as my lower limbs got worse.

The Gold Standard to address Sleep Apnoea is the above mentioned CPAP machine, but I am awaiting Sleep Tests to assess this before I can be issued with a CPAP. Main PITA there is I have 2+ Months of Sleep Logs that clearly show Sleep Apnoea, and quite severe at that, but in the UK via the NHS, getting this Data to the right person is very hard. No complaints about the NHS, this is just a practical limitation, and one I may yet be able to get around (I will draft a detailed letter with logs to the Consultant, and hope it gets to him/her).


The target is to initially try and avoid Atrial Flutter at all costs, via monitoring sleep and Sleep Apnoea as well as I can, ahead of more effective help via the NHS such as via CPAP.


Last night, which was a very good night for me, the GWA2 logged 8 Hours 51 Minutes of sleep, but broken down into three main sections, as follows:


(1) 2 Hours 16 Mins


Awake 3 mins

REM 36 mins

Light 1 hour 34 mins

Deep 3 mins


(2) 3 Hours 11 Mins


Awake 8 mins

REM 57 mins

Light 2 hour 2 mins

Deep 4 mins


(3) 3 Hours 13 Mins


Awake 10 mins

REM 1 hour 13 mins

Light 1 hour 49 mins

Deep 12 mins


Thus, although I did my best to sleep, I only got 19 mins of Deep Sleep over a huge spell of 9 Hours 36 Minutes in bed (time logged by the CheckMe O2 from fitting it to taking it off), with the GWA2 detected me in sleeping mode for 8 Hours 51 Minutes in total.

I would like to see the GWA2 collate multiple sleeping events per 24 hours, but the current break down is fine, I can collate the details myself which is not a huge problem.

As this develops, I will try to update here anything that helps, and can also advise what assistance I can get from the GWA2, especially when the ECG feature is added.

I hope this helps, my apologies for the detail. The aim is to show where I am starting out from, and how I use the GWA2 to help me to get to somewhere better!




I forgot to mention that after the Atrial Flutter event a couple of months ago, when I was given IV Fluids, Magnesium via IV and 5mg of the Beta Blocker Bisoprolol Fumarate ("BF").


When in RESUS with my heart stuck at 150 bpm, when it did come down, it did so very quickly, like over 15-20 seconds, I just saw it on the pinging machine, climb down very steadily, 150, 147, 140...which looked alarming as it got to around 75, because it looked like it was not going to stabilise! But it eventually bottomed out at around 70 and stayed there in a stable resting beat.


They then put me on a DAILY 5mg of BF thereafter, mainly as a precaution.


I tend to have a reasonably low resting heart rate, but the 5mg of BF mainly had the effect of lowering that to quite exciting levels, such as 42 bpm, so not as low as Alun123 above, but something that does tend to focus one's attention when checking Blood Pressure/Pulse!


After a week or so, I halved that to 2.5 mg of BF, and have been taking that ever since. My resting heart rate is now around 55-60 bpm, and a little higher if I have alcohol, because I gather that tends to negate the effects of a Beta Blocker.


I am staying on the Beta Blocker just to dampen down any tendancy for my heart to get itself too excited if I do hit an uncontrolled Sleep Apnoea issue, i.e. it's OK for it to beat faster to try and deal with low O2, but I wish to avoid it getting stuck into a 2:1 Block and entering Atrial Flutter and staying there.


My Blood Pressure is, thankfully very good, usually in the green on both Systolic and Diastolic blood pressure, with only the odd reading in the yellow on Systolic.


So, high blood pressure is not one of the issues I have to contend with. Likewise, Atrial Flutter I should be able to avoid via careful sleep management for now, until I get to the safety of CPAP, when I can hopefully allow that machine to keep my airway open, and start getting some decent sleep, at long last.

Hopefully, I will then see the time spent in Deep Sleep, rise damatically.


Last night, despite the 9+ hours in bed, I only had 19 minutes of Deep Sleep out of 8 Hours 51 Minutes in total, so woke up shagged, almost like I had not had any sleep at all.


I noted the CheckMe O2 unit logged a series of Apnoea events around 08:00 in the Morning, when the GWA2 showed that I was at that same time kicked straight out of Deep Sleep and straight up to REM Sleep, with some short spells into the Awake zone.


There is also a clear link between O2 swings, and heart rate fluctuations, and it's clear that Apnoa events trigger a more agitated and then elevated heart rate.

It will be intetesting to see if the GWA2's ECG Feature can be set to monitor this when asleep, or if the ECG feature can only be manually activated. It will be useful to check things if awoken at night, so that will be useful too.






Further to a Post I made on another Thread (Galaxy Watch Active 2 Heart rate issues), this morning I noted some odd Heart Rate readings by the GWA2.


To summarise, this is what I saw, and I think it must be Software rather than Hardware, because the Resting HR was accurate, but the Continuous went out by around 50% for a while:

When I took my morning Blood Pressure, via an OMRON M7 (two readings), these were the results:


118/73 at 52 bpm

119/72 at 51 bpm


Just after that, I glanced at my GWA2, and it was showing a Heart Rate of over 90 bpm!

I then fired up the SAMSUNG Health App on my SAMSUNG Galaxy S10, and ran the Measure Stress via the Finger Sensor on the S10, and that came up with the following:


54 bpm at 95% O2 Saturation


I looked again at my GWA2, and that was happily reporting a Continuous Heart Rate at over 90 bpm!


So, I then used a Finger Tip O2 Sensor, and that gave me the following reading, more or less at the same time:


52 bpm at 95% O2 Saturation


I then re-checked my GWA2, and that was now showing my Heart Rate at 100 bpm, but with a Resting HR showing 53 bpm!

I am assuming this must be a Software, because the Resting HR was right, but the Continuous Heart Rate was around double the Resting.

I was not having any Atrial Flutter issues, there were absolutely no other signs, and the OMRON M7 Blood Pressure gadget can detect Irregular Beats, so I am pretty sure this is the GWA2 giving me two different readings at more or less the same time, i.e. Resting HR correct, Continuous HR way too high.


Hopefully this is something that SAMSUNG will fix via a Software update?


I did consider doing a re-set of the GWA2, and did get as far as the last stage via the Configuration Menu, but as I had not backed up, I could not be bothered to risk having to reconfigure my settings, so I backed out of doing that.

Oddly, after nearly doing a Reset, the GWA2 seemed to correct this error, and my Continuous Heart Rate realigned to around 60 bpm which was correct. That could be a coincidence, or it may suggest the Software on the GWA2 is having some teething issues.


It's still a comparatively new Model, and things like the ECG feature have yet to be activated, so I think it is worth persevering with this unit.


My main watch for most of my adult life, has been a Rolex Sea Dweller, that I have had since I was 21, which is built like a tank and has been totally reliable. It does what it does superbly, and I have taken that diving, flying, fighting, you name it, and it never stopped once. It tells the time, tells me the date, and I can use the Bezel as a Dive Stop Timer or general Timer, and it just works, and will work no doubt for another 40 years.


By comparison, the GWA2 feels very temporary, like it's a Consumable device, one that, at best, only has an intended life span of maybe 3-5 years. I know it can almost make the tea and run a bath, but it is sobering to compare these two devices, one old school, that will last a lifetime, and then new technology which won't.


Here endeth today's lesson!





Some Sleep based observations on the GWA2 from last night...bearing in mind that I am,. perhaps unusually, concentrating at the moment on Sleep Data!


According to the GWA2, I managed 6 Hours 38 Minutes of logged sleep last night, and this time, the whole session was logged as one, even though I was awake three times for a total of 38 minutes.


By comparison, my Viatom CheckMe O2 unit logged a total of 7 Hours 8 Minutes, albeit that was from fitting and activating, to powering down and removing, so it also logged the awake stage when reading my Kindle Fire (to help get me off to sleep). Last night wasn't too bad from a Sleep Apnoea perspective, no major Apnoeas, but a shed load of small ones, so my heart was kept agitated the whole night pondering what to do with lots of small swings in O2 % Saturation.


The breakdown according to the GWA2 being:


Awake = 38 Minutes made up of three recordings, so night was broken into four stages.

REM Sleep = 1 Hour 16 Minutes

Light Sleep = 4 Hours 31 Minutes

Deep Sleep = 13 Minutes


Thus, on this occasion, the GWA2 did collate the entire night into one, even with the three awake stages when I got up to wander off to the bog (thus effectively breaking the night into four phases). The latter is, I gather, a Sleep Apnoea issue, because the agitation to the Heart caused by many even small Apnoeas, causes the body to want to piddle at night.


I have had my Prostate checked in various unspeakable ways, and it's not that causing the night time activity. I had not realised that Sleep Apnoea can cause this, so whilst waiting for the NHS Sleep Tests and, hopefully, a CPAP machine at some stage, all I can do is log what happens, and try to avoid prolonged Apnoea events, because of the linked risk of Atrial Flutter and the possibly fatal consequences that can lead to via, say, blood clots and Stroke/Heat Attack.


Given that other nights have also seen me get up for short spells 2-3 times, and then be logged by the GWA2 as separate Sleep events in the one night, I am wondering if the GWA2's Software may have a learning ability, given that last night four separate Sleep phases were this time logged as one long Sleep event, one that whilst collated into one, I could nevertheless also see via the SAMSUNG Health App's Graph, was indeed made up of four phases.


Finally, one last GWA2 Sleep observation, this morning it looked as though the GWA2 had not logged any sleep, because when I checked it when sat on my bed about to rise, there was no Sleep Data on the GWA2 itself. I did re-check that a few times, and thought it was a fault. I also checked via the SAMSUNG Health App on my S10, but no Sleep Data was there either, and I checked that too a few times.


However, I think the GWA2 was just busy calculating the Sleep, and was waiting to make sure I wasn't just wandering around again! Once the GWA2 was happy I was actually getting up, the Sleep Data then appeared, and when I re-checked the SAMSUNG Health App on my S10, the Sleep Data was also there too.


Hence why I wonder if the GWA2 has a learning feature once it gets used to the fact that some user's sleep patterns are more irregular than others?



Fascinating. And scary. And admirable in your dedication to how meticulously you’re monitoring your health - plus, how informed you are about it, VikingAle. I tend to exist in a willful blissful ignorance when it comes to this kind of stuff for myself.


@VikingAle wrote:

Hence why I wonder if the GWA2 has a learning feature once it gets used to the fact that some user's sleep patterns are more irregular than others?

Curious about that myself, so I'll see what i can find out from our developers. :thinking-face:


And any other weird anomalies you've noticed with the GWA2's bpm recording?


Hello Ants!

My wife and I have seen three older members of our family suffer long and lingering departures, so now that phase is over, we need to make sure our own remaining time is as healthy as possible! We have some re-building to do, because prolonged stress due to various issues, does indeed have a huge health cost. The key is to try and do something about it, whilst we still can, then hopefully enjoy 10-20 years of quality life before it is our turn to throw in the towel!


This is hopefully a lesson for everyone, you do only get one life so, live it to the full, but do take some time to invest in your own health because neglecting it catches up with you faster than most realise.


Today I noted that my GWA2 was again logging my Continuous Heart Rate at a much higher level than made sense, and this disagreed, again, with several other devices. Basically, I was checking Blood Pressure, as I do now, and everything else had my bpm at around 50-60, but the GWA2 at around the same time, was way higher at around 78 bpm. I checked this with other devices, and only the GWA2 was logging a much higher rate.

I took it off to Charge it and, after taking the Charge from around 78% to 100%, after I put the GWA2 back on, it was back to a more sensible reading between 55-60 bpm that looked to be accurate with other devices.

I have checked it again right now a few hours later, with the Charge now down to 94% and it's still OK, a Finger Tip O2 Sensor and the GWA2 are both showing the same reading of around 61 bpm. I watched both, and they tracked my Heart Rate within a beat or two of each other as I took these readings, before both settled on 61 bpm so, it looks fine.


I did say on that other Thread that I linked to above, that I wondered if 3rd Party Watch Faces may have a bearing on this, if it's possible for the coding of a Display Format to corrupt the display of otherwise (possibly accurate) underlying Heart Rate Data?


So, at the moment, the only thing that may be linked, is I have noted the erratic Continuous Heart Rate in the mornings, i.e. after a night in bed, when the Charge has by then dropped to between 75%-88%. However, that may just be coincidence?

I will Post any odd issues that I note.