Tip 2: Improve Sleep Tracking Accuracy
You can calibrate your Fitbit for sleep, even if you don’t have the advanced Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights features. Adjusting sensitivity differs depending on whether you’re paired to an iPhone or Android phone. For iPhone users:
1. In the Fitbit app, go to Account > Activity & Wellness > Sleep.
2. By default, this will be set to ‘Normal’, but you can tweak it to ‘Sensitive’ if you find that the tracker isn’t registering your sleep, or is registering odd results.
3. For Android users, you’ll need to log into the web dashboard, go to the settings tab, and scroll down to the page to find the ability to toggle sleep sensitivity between normal and sensitive options.
Making Data Easily Accessible
While wearables don’t do a perfect job of recording your sleep times, they can present the data to you in an easily digestible format graphs and charts through the companion app, for example.
Plus, many offer extra features that can help you chart changes in your sleep over time and spot patterns so that, over time, you can build up a good picture of how your daily behaviours impact your sleep, and vice versa. And simply being more conscious of the need to get more sleep can encourage better sleep behaviour which can, in turn, lead to better sleep.
Don’t get too concerned about the data from your smartwatch or fitness tracker, though. Dr Heather Morgan, lecturer in applied health sciences at the University of Aberdeen, and a specialist in digital health and fitness tracking, told us that wearables can help you better understand your sleep, and that analysing her own sleep had helped her achieve a better sleep pattern.
‘But’, she adds, ‘use your judgement and know your personality. If you’re prone to anxiety, sleep tracking may not be for you. Trying to perfect your sleep could be one more thing to fixate on, which could, ironically, stop you sleeping’.
Benchmark Against Your Gender And Age
The screenshot above shows perhaps my favorite part of the new Fitbit sleep tracking data: the benchmark against people your age and gender, and also against your own 30 day average.
Assuming its accurate, to me this is a fantastic way to help people feel less anxious about their sleep. And of course, its actually telling you something useful about the sleep stages, rather than just leaving you to work out what all those graphs mean.
For last nights sleep, the App tells me that my sleep is surprisingly average for men my age. Im almost exactly in the middle for awake, REM and light. And I even got more than average deep sleep, which is the stage that leaves you feeling refreshed.
So going by these results, I might assume I have nothing to complain about. But before I start editing my status as an insomniac, theres a small caveat.
These are benchmarks regarding percentage time in each stage. They dont take into account whether you actually slept for long enough for those percentages to be enough in total.
At the end of the day, how you actually feel in the morning will still tell you more about whether you got enough sleep than graphs, percentages and benchmarks on an App.
Thats not to take away from the potential usefulness of the comparison though. If you regularly get much more or less of a sleep stage than the average person, it might be a good idea to mention it to your doctor to see if they think it needs to be looked into.
Heart Rate In Workouts
Heart rate is a staple of both sets of devices, but when it comes to sports there’s no arguing with Garmin.
Both Fitbit and Garmin track your heart rate through sessions, offer information on the heart rate zone you’re in and improvements over resting heart rate – which is an indicator of improving fitness. Score draw here.
Fitbit and Garmin devices will also track VO2 max, which is called Cardio Fitness Score in Fitbit devices although our testing as found it to report a little high. Advantage Garmin.
However, if you buy into the Garmin mid-range Forerunners you will get even more data.
That VO2 Max score will feed into things like Training Effect and race predictors, which is a step above for those training for half and full marathons.
Finally, pretty much all Garmin watches let you hook up a chest strap, which is not an option on Fitbit trackers. That lends to more accurate data, especially during HIIT sessions.
What’s more, top end Garmin’s can adapt your heart rate zones by using your Lactate Threshold scores determined from fitness tests with a chest strap that’s a level of detail way beyond most users’ needs, but also beyond Fitbit’s skill set.
Fitbit Care And Maintenance Details
Fitbit devices often come with customizable bands, and cleaning requirements change depending on the type of band you have.
For instance, if youre wearing an elastomer band, clean the band and your wrist with water or a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Do not clean using a hand sanitizer, dish soap, body soap, hand soap, cleaning wipes, or household cleaner as these can get trapped between the band and skin and cause irritation.
Leather bands must be wiped down with a non-abrasive lint-free cloth, lightly dampened at most. Fitbits leather bands arent resistant to water, and cleaning with water might cause discoloration. Metal bands might also experience tarnish or discoloration if excessively cleaned with water.
Problem #5: Fitbit Isnt Updating Properly
Some people have problems updating their Fitbit devices firmware. If this happens to you, you may need to restart your tracker or try syncing with another mobile device or computer.
- Try restarting your Fitbit device. For instructions on how to do so, a walkthrough can be found below.
- After that, try updating your device again. If its still not working, try restarting your mobile device.
- If youre trying to sync your Fitbit with your mobile device, try removing the Bluetooth connection from your mobile device.
- To do this, navigate to Bluetooth in your mobile devices settings menu, find your Fitbit device, then choose Forget.
How Garmin Tracks Sleep
Many Garmins – those with optical heart rate sensors – offer what Garmin calls Advanced Sleep Monitoring .
These include the Garmin Fenix 5 and 6 series , Garmin Fenix 5 Plus series , Garmin Forerunner 45 , Garmin Forerunner 645 and Garmin Forerunner 645 Music , Garmin Forerunner 935 , Garmin Venu , Garmin Vivoactive 3 , Garmin Vivosmart 4 and Garmin Vivosport .
Information you’ll get includes estimates of your sleep stages, Pulse Ox and respiration rate.
Garmin watches come packed with features for your daytime fitness needs too. You can read all our Garmin smartwatch reviews to find out more.
Versa 3 Didn’t Track My Sleep
- Float this Topic for Current User
I brought new versa 3 with a great excited for my birthday and turned out to be much of a disappointment.
Second issue already..
It didn’t track my sleep at all.
I have set the sleep schedule between 23:00 to 5:30.
But as it’s a week I went to bed in the afternoon around 15:30 and woke up around 20:00 and with every excitement, I immediately looked into my new versa 3 to see the sleep tracking and it says 0. It’s disappointing to see no results. My main requirement was to manage my sleep cycles as I am having issues with my sleep and and wanted it to monitored. Now that it didn’t track my sleep, what good is it for?
Fitbit Versa Lite Review: Features And Performance
My main focus for this Fitbit Versa Lite review was the tools sleep tracking abilities. However, I did notice a few other things when I was testing the device.
For instance, if youre looking for a watch thats going to drastically help you improve your workout performance, then you can probably get better tools out there. The Lite does lack a lot of things that would make it more effective for athletes, including the gyroscope features.
However, if youre a casual exerciser , then I cant see anything wrong with saving some money and choosing the FitBit Versa Lite over some of the more expensive models on the market.
Not only is it packed full of simple features, but the Versa also looks and feels great too.
Using your FitBit Versa Lite couldnt be simpler even if you dont consider yourself to be a very tech savvy person.
The main user interface works with a basic swipe and touch platform to help you scan through the watches services, which include thing like tracking for running, cycling, walking, weights, interval training and cardio.
Theres also a handy relaxation feature to help with moderating your breathing.
I was particularly impressed by the relaxation feature because it adds something extra to the sleep tracking function for people who want to use a wearable device to improve their sleep.
Information About Each Stage
When you click on the main sleep stage graph, you can access 4 more pages one for each of the stages. That way you can visually see when you were in that stage during the night, as well as the exact times . And underneath are a couple of key notes about that stage.
In the above screenshot, Im told I was in deep sleep for 19% of the night. I did wake up feeling refreshed, so going by the key notes, logically I can assume 19% might be a solid time.
But thats assuming the total time was enough that 19% of that total time can be considered solid. More on that point later.
The notes are brief, but all useful. I like that youre told its typical to wake 10-30 times per night. Thats a helpful bit of information that might stop you feeling anxious about your sleep data.
And its good youre told REM sleep typically occurs later in the night. Again, that might stop you worrying when you realize its missing from the first part of the night.
Track Your Exercise Automatically
Versa 2 automatically recognizes and records many high-movement activities which are at least 15 minutes long. Sync your device to see basic stats about youractivity in your exercise history.
For more information, including how to change the minimum duration before an activity is tracked, see help.fitbit.com.
Where Do I Find The Sleep Score
You find it in your Fitbit apps Today tab, right under your step counter. You can also see your sleep score directly on your Fitbit watch by tapping the Today app and scrolling down to the Sleep category.
Wear your tracker when you go to bed, and the app generates a report soon after you wake up, usually a couple of minutes later.
How do I see my sleep score in the app?
How do I see my sleep score on my Fitbit device?
Track Your Hourly Activity
Versa 2 helps you stay active throughout the day by keeping track of when youre stationary and reminding you to move.
Reminders nudge you to walk at least 250 steps each hour. You feel a vibration and see a reminder on your screen at 10 minutes before the hour if you havent walked 250 steps. When you meet the 250-step goal after receiving the reminder, you feel a second vibration and see a congratulatory message.
Fitbit Sleep Score: What It Is How It Works And Which Features May Come Soon
Fitbit is the best in the business at tracking sleep from the wrist, and it’s now even more simple and effective with the addition of Sleep Score.
Those with Fitbit trackers have long been able to access Sleep Stages graphs and breakdowns, but Sleep Score condenses all the information from your night’s sleep and spits it out as a round figure.
If you’re new to the Fitbit app or Sleep Score, though, you might have a few questions. Below, we’ll explain what a good score is, how you can improve it and more features that could come soon.
The Versa 3 Gets Smarter But Still Can’t Catch The Apple Watch Or Galaxy Watch
Fitbit’s previous smartwatches lagged behind competitors such as the more expensive Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch as they lacked a wide selection of third-party apps and LTE connectivity. The Versa 3 has the same drawbacks and relies heavily on the phone, but it’s at least starting to catch up to the pack, especially when paired with an Android phone.
The Versa 3 now has a built-in microphone and speaker so you can take quick calls on your wrist if you have an Android phone or iPhone. You can also pair the Versa 3 with Bluetooth earbuds. Incoming call notifications will be displayed on the watch regardless of which phone you have, but only Android users will be able to respond to messages from their wrist with quick replies, or by dictating a response.
You can also bark orders at your wrist with two choices of voice assistant on the Versa 3: Alexa or Google Assistant. And while I haven’t had a chance to fully compare them yet for now Alexa is the only one that can read your responses out loud rather than just displaying them on the screen.
You can also make contactless payments with the Versa 3 with Fitbit Pay and listen to music from Pandora or Deezer. There is no onboard music storage for songs you own, like MP3 files. Instead, you’ll need a Pandora or Deezer subscription to save and store songs for offline listening. While the Versa 3 does have a Spotify app, you can only use it as a remote to control playback on your phone.
What To Consider When Purchasing A Sleep Tracker
Well break down some of the top things to look for when purchasing a sleep tracker. While all of these factors matter to a certain extent, some may not be high priorities for you. Assessing what you want in a tracker can help you hone in on the most important aspects.
Sleep Tracking: Sleep trackers capture an array of data that may include heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration, snoring, time awake, time sleeping, sleep interruptions, and body temperature. Some may also monitor room temperature, humidity, noise level, and light. Since trackers vary in what sleep-related factors they detect, shoppers should pay attention to the specific product details to find an option that collects the information that interests them most.
Sleep Analytics: Sleep analytics use the data from sleep tracking to delve more deeply into sleep quality and patterns. They may provide detailed charts to show you how your sleep has changed over time, overlay multiple sets of data to show you how different factors are linked, and provide you with a daily sleep score. Wearable trackers can also link your daily activity levels to the quality and duration of your sleep.
Other Features: Sleep trackers often come with additional features, like fitness tracking, GPS, coaching, and integrations with other apps. These components may make your device more versatile, insightful, or convenient, but they can also increase the price-point.
Different Types Of Sleep
For tracking, Fitbit worked with sleep researchers and the National Sleep Foundation to highlight four specific types of sleep, which you see in a readout in the morning when you wake up.
Heres a breakdown, along with Fitbits explanation, of what each stage means:
Awake: When it comes to being awake during the night, many of us think that waking up at all is bad news. Turns out, waking up during the night is a normal part of sleep. In fact, waking up anywhere in the ballpark of 10-30 times in a single evening is normal.
So, if youre one of those people who roll over a few times during the night or get up to pee once or twice, youre just like everyone else. Theres nothing to be super worried about.
Light Sleep: Light sleep occurs when your body starts to slow down at night, its that moment when you start to fall asleep, but you could be easily woken. The best example is probably those moments when youre commuting and fall asleep on the train or in the passenger seat of your co-worker’s car. When youre in light sleep, you may be aware of what is going on around you, and someone can wake you up easily but youre still asleep.
During this sleep stage, your heart rate decreases slightly from what it is when youre awake. Just because you can be woken easily doesnt mean this isnt a useful stage light sleep helps a ton with mental and physical recovery, so you can feel better after an hour of light sleep than you did before you started to snooze.
Connect Bluetooth Headphones Or Speakers
Connect up to 8 Bluetooth audio devices to listen to playlists on your watch. When you add a new Bluetooth device, make sure both the device and Versa 2 are inpairing mode.
To pair a new Bluetooth audio device:
When pairing is complete, a check mark appears on the screen. To listen to music with a different Bluetooth device:
The General Accuracy Of Fitbit Sleep Trackers
In a general view, the various attributes that Fitbit sleep trackers take into account are considered accurate and thus dependable to a given degree. According to a survey from users, the falling asleep time and waking time did not lag over most days. For example, the Fitbit Altra HR records no mistakes in cases when a user decides to use the bathroom or grab a glass of water at night. You can rely on this data as it is proven to be almost perfect.
Its hard to determine the accuracy of the sleep stages by yourself. The fact that you can only compare Fitbits data with data captured in a sleep center gives us the benefit of doubt. The Sleep Insights tool allows you to compare your sleep data alongside your past 30 days and other users. This is the point where you have to rely on the manufacturers claims on accuracy.
While Fitbit themselves has never stated 100% accuracy on their devices, in April 2017, an interesting report was published in the Sleep Journal. Data published in this report was pooled from sleep trackers which measure heart rate and movement and sleep lab tests. The report suggested that sleep trackers can be relied on to improve sleep behaviors. Fitbit has backed this report, too.
Looking closely at data from the sleep insights, a lot of users reported that their sleep cycle rhymed with data of other users within their age bracket and gender. The accuracy concerning sleep patterns of people of different ages and genders is highly accurate and consistent.
Tip 6: Which Wrist Are You Wearing Your Fitbit
A small point, but still important: make sure you tell the Fitbit app which wrist you’re wearing your Fitbit on.
You can do this by going into Account in the top left from the Today page, then tap on your synced Fitbit device. From there, you can scroll down the page where you’ll see Wrist Placement. You can tap to switch between dominant and non dominant options.
What difference does that make? Well, wearing the device on your dominate hand decreases sensitivity to step counting and over counting when you’re not moving. Wearing your Fitbit on the non-dominant wrist, increases sensitivity of step counting and reduces underreporting of steps.
More Fitbit guides
Check The Fitbit Battery Level
Is the Fitbit battery critically low?
If your battery is critically low, your wearable may have switched off sleep tracking during the night to preserve its battery.
Ensure your Fitbit is sufficiently charged before you go to bed.
If time is short, charge your Fitbit for 20-30 minutes before you go to sleepthis should provide enough battery to last through the night.
Benefits Of Having Both An Apple Watch & A Fitbit
If you have the capabilities to have both the Apple Watch and a Fitbit, you really will get the best of both worlds. You can use your Apple Watch as an addition to your phone to send and receive text messages, call others and receive calls, etc. and then you can use your Fitbit tracker to track your overall health and wellness.
You will especially get use out of your Fitbit at night when you use it as a sleep tracker. In fact, some successful people wear their Apple Watches exclusively during the day for meetings and regular fitness tracking, but then switch open to the Fitbit at night when their Apple Watch has to charge and they want to track their sleep.
What Is A Fitbit Versa Lite Anyway
The Fitbit Versa Lite is a smartwatch that tracks exercise, steps, calorie burn, sleep, female cycles, heart rate, and more. It lets you get notifications from your connected smartphone for calls, texts, and app alerts. It’s water-resistant to 50 meters so you can wear it in the pool, ocean, or shower. You can deck it out with apps and watch faces for a more personalized experience. Since it’s intended to be work around the clock, you don’t need to charge it daily. The battery can last over four days.
How To Choose The Best Fitbit For You
If you spend more time than you wish to disclose on your butt watching TV, and want to start down the path to a healthier lifestyle, a basic tracker that costs less than $100 will most likely suit your needs.
The $99 Fitbit Inspire 2 will track your daily steps, calories and distance, showing your stats on a small OLED touchscreen.
For those who work out more frequently, the Fitbit Charge 4 might better suit your needs. This band has all of the same features as the Inspire HR, but comes with a larger OLED touchscreen display, which makes it easier to see notifications and health data at a glance. It also has NFC built in, so you can use it for mobile payments via Fitbit Pay.
Those looking for more of a smartwatch-style fitness tracker should check out the Fitbit Versa 3 or Fitbit Sense. These devices have square, color touchscreens that can be used with Fitbit’s small but growing app store.