Fitbit for Tracking Sleep Patterns and Quality

Many people use a fitness tracker, such as a Fitbit, to track daily activity. It is good to know that a Fitbit also has a range of sleep tools for tracking your sleep patterns and quality of sleep.

How does it track sleep?

A Fitbit records that you are asleep when your body is unmoving and completely at rest. With a Fitbit Alta, Blaze, or Charge 2, you can see your stages of sleep from the previous night.

Time asleep is calculated by taking the overall tracked time, and subtracting your time awake. For example, if you slept seven hours, but were not at rest five times for 5 minutes, your amount of sleep will say 6 hours and 35 minutes.

There are “sleep insights” after each night providing tips on how to improve your sleep and health.

You are able to set a sleep schedule, set a bed time reminder, or even log in a nap if it’s under an hour. You can set your tracker as “sensitive” or “normal” when recording sleep.

You can also set different sleep goals and completely customize it to fit your sleep patterns.

To read more on Fitbit Sleep Tracking, see How do I Track my Sleep.

What is a formal sleep study?

A sleep study measures how much and how well a person sleeps. The process involves wires on your head, chin, chest, and legs. This gives the physicians detailed information about your breathing, brain waves, and how active you are.

The most common and prescribed sleep study is a Polysomnogram (PSG), or an in-lab study.

In addition to how much and how well you sleep, sleep study results will tell you how much time you spend in different stages of sleep and whether you have a sleep disorder.

Example of Fitbit sleep tracking in use:

Beth Braunsdorf is an avid runner from Pittsburgh who uses a Fitbit for her activity tracking. When asked if she wakes up feeling refreshed, the answer was no. Since then, she has been using this tracker for sleep and did a lab sleep study to compare results.

Even though a sleep study involves more than just knowing if you are awake or not, with a daily sleep tracker, you can compare many days instead of just one.

In the end, the lab results were consistent with the Fitbit. To read more on this example, click here.

If you have sleep issues, consult with a physician near you. Visit for more help.

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