Fitbit activity trackers and smartwatches are a great option for those looking for insights into their sleep habits. But what if the device on your wrist is not tracking sleep properly?
Essential reading: 10 gadgets for advanced sleep monitoring
For a long time, Fitbit’s sleep statistics were very basic. But that’s all changed and if you own one of the recent devices with a heart rate sensor, you can see how much light, deep and REM slumber time you are getting each night. The values are calculated by combining accelerometer data, heart rate variability, and Fitbit’s proprietary algorithms. The wearables are great at catching your afternoon naps, too.
The company has been working, since late last year, on something it calls Sleep Score. Still in Beta, it works as a standalone app and utilize the SpO2 sensor (on Charge 3, Versa and Ionic), to dish up even more detailed info. No launch date yet but we expect it will land sometime in 2019.
While very good, some users have reported problems with their Versa or other Fitbit not capturing their sleep statistics properly. For example the tracker might say you only had 2 hours of kip time when in reality you’ve had a good 8 hours. Or perhaps your sleep stages are not showing.
Adjust how you are wearing the tracker to bed
Sleep tracking starts automatically when the wearable no longer detects movement. If you’re still but not asleep for long periods of time it is possible for the device to falsely record sleep. When you wake up in the morning, start shifting around and get out of bed, the wearable when it will recognize you are awake and stop tracking.
The first thing to do is make sure the wearable is positioned correctly on your wrist. For best results, it should be about 2-3 finger widths above your wrist bone.
If your data seems off, you may want to experiment with perhaps wearing the device a bit tighter or wearing it on your other wrist. If sleep stages are not showing it might be because the tracker was unable to get a consistent heart-rate reading or you wore it too loosely. Sleep stage information also won’t be shown if you’ve slept less than 3 hours.
Is the battery critically low?
There are a few other things you should check. If your battery is critically low it is possible your wearable has switched off sleep tracking during the night to preserve battery. Top up the wearable.
Change sleep sensitivity
Few users know there’s a sleep sensitivity setting in the Fitbit app. Go to the Accounts tab and choose Advanced Settings. Tap on Sleep Sensitivity and choose from the available options.
The default option is the normal setting. This only counts significant movements as being awake, such as rolling over. The sensitive setting will result in your device recording nearly all movements as time spent restless or awake. Play around with this to see if it makes a difference.
Reboot your wearable
The final thing the San Francisco manufacturer suggests is to restart your Versa or other Fitbit. This is also the go-to solution to a vast number of other issues. If you’re not sure how to do this, check out our guide on how to reset your Fitbit fitness tracker or smartwatch.
As always, if all else fails you should contact Fitbit’s Customer Support team. If your wearable has completely stopped tracking sleep you may be experiencing another issue. Or the device may be faulty.
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