Fitbit has added earlier this month a new feature in its smartphone app called Sleep Score. This provides an at-a-glance view on the quality of your night’s rest. The aim is to provide users with deeper insights into their kip time with info on how sleep patterns are contributing to their overall health.
Essential reading: Top gadgets for advanced sleep monitoring
The figure is based on a few variables including duration, quality and restoration. Users of the regular app just get the overall Sleep Score. Those with a premium subscription also get a detailed breakdown on how the score is compiled, i.e. they get an individual score for all three components.
It should be stressed, your fitness tracker or smartwatch must have a heart rate sensor in order for the functionality to work. So if you have an Inspire or one of the earlier fitness trackers such as a device in the Flex range, you will miss out on the feature. This is because you must see sleep stages in order to see the Sleep Score, and only heart-rate enabled devices spit out this type of information.
How to view the score
Previously Fitbit users could find basic sleep insights in the Fitbit app. This includes info on when they went to sleep and woke up, time spent in each stage of sleep (awake, REM, Light, Deep), along with benchmarks and other information.
But now they are able to see one additional figure, a Sleep Score. Users are also provided with a graph showing how the number has changed during the week, along with an average Sleep Score value.
It should be noted, the personalized Sleep Score feature is enabled for all users and it can’t be switched off for now. This has the effect of replacing the previous feature of calculating your average sleep for the week.
Components of the Sleep Score
The figure ranges from 0 to 100 letting you know at a glance how well you slept. Anything at 90 or above is excellent, between 80 and 89 is considered good, 60 to 79 fair and less than 60 poor.
Fitbit distributes these values between three individual components:
Sleep Duration is based on your overall sleep goals. Hit your bedtime and wake-up goals to increase your score. A factor that can pull your score down is waking up too often throughout the night (as compared to others around your age and gender).
Sleep Quality is a score that is based on how much time you spend in individual sleep stages. Lots of Deep and REM sleep will increase your score (particularly if it compares well against known averages for your age and gender). These stages are important for replenishing muscles and improving memory.
Revitalization provides a graph on how your sleeping heart rate compares with your resting heart rate. If the first is below the second for large periods during the night, Restoration will be better. In addition to heart rate data, the feature uses info on how much time you spent tossing and turning.
As mentioned, you will need a Premium subscription to see the scores for individual components. This will also provide you with detailed programs to help you improve your sleep. The subscription costs $9.99 per month, or $79.99 for a year, and works with all Fitbit wearables.
Fitbit’s sleep measurements work fairly well and dish out a wealth of data. Users with a heart rate enabled device can see the length of their sleep, as well as how much time they spent in Light, Deep and REM sleep. The newly added Sleep Score makes the job of keeping tabs on the quality of your night’s rest a little easier.
The company has said it is soon planning to put to use the PulseOx sensor that can be found on the Versa range, Charge 3 and Ionic. This will add an additional dimension to the Sleep Score in that blood oxygen levels and breathing quality will be factored into its total value.
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