Google's improved Nest sleep features include audio meditations

·Weekend Editor
·1-min read

Google's Nest Hub sleep tracking left something to be desired on launch, but it's about to improve significantly — including a tool to help you fall asleep sooner. The company is rolling out a string of sleep-related improvements to Nest screens that include a catalog of Calm "Sleep Stories." As of December, you can ask Google to "start a meditation" and your smart display will play audio to wind you down. You'll only have access to several tracks for free, but you can unlock the full library if you have a Calm Premium membership.

Other upgrades provide more detail for the tracking itself. The second-gen Nest Hub now provides details about sleeping stages, so you'll know how much time you spend in deep, light or REM sleep. You'll know how long any interruptions might have lasted, too. The Hub's sound detection also now focuses only on coughs and snores inside your designated sleeping area, so you'll know how much a partner (or noisy pet) is affecting your rest. All sounds beyond that area are lumped into an "other sounds" section.

The tracking features start reaching users today. They should be available to all users worldwide in the "next few weeks."

Get ready to start paying for all these sleep aids, though. As previously hinted, Google plans to fold these Sleep Sensing features into Fitbit Premium starting in 2023. It's not certain just what you'll pay on launch (Fitbit Premium is currently $80 per year), but Google clearly intends to make a profit from its Nest Hubs beyond the initial hardware sale.

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