What to do if your Fitbit Charge, Versa, Sense, or another model is not accurately monitoring your sleep

People who are interested in gaining insight into their sleeping patterns may find that fitness trackers and smartwatches are a helpful choice. But what if the Fitbit that you wear on your wrist isn’t accurately recording your sleep? If you’re having problems, give one of these solutions a shot.

How precisely does Fitbit monitor the amount of sleep that I get? 

Trackers made by Fitbit, which is one of the most well-known and respected brands of wearable technology in the world, provide a service that is quite beneficial. You may assess your healthcare and well-being, as well as keep track of how well you sleep, by using the data obtained by a Fitbit gadget that you wear on your wrist.

Concerning the latter issue, people frequently ask how precisely a device worn on the wrist can record sleep patterns. What kind of reliability does this information have?

The maker of wearables based in San Francisco is presently selling quite a few distinct types of products. However, when it comes to evaluating one’s sleep, certain products are superior to others. The way in which you track your sleep may vary depending on the type you have; while some devices automatically monitor your sleep cycles, others will require extra input from you.

Manually monitoring one’s sleep 

If you still have a Fitbit One, then the gadget you have employs the manual tracking method for your sleep. When you are ready to go to sleep and have settled into your bed, push and hold the button on the tracker for a number of seconds. As soon as you enter sleep mode, a stopwatch will start counting down, as well as the other tracker symbols will begin to flicker rapidly. This will show you that you are now in sleep mode. And you come to when you want to stop the recording of your sleep, you need to press and hold the button for many seconds. As soon as you come out of sleep mode, the symbols on your tracker will cease blinking to show that they are awake.

A Fitbit Zip doesn’t monitor sleep. If you want this information to appear in your timeline, it will need to be entered by hand in the manner described above. Therefore, the information on the amount of time spent in bed will need to be entered through the website’s dashboard.

Automatic monitoring of one’s sleep (Alta series, Blaze, Charge series, Flex series, Inspire series, Surge, Ionic, Versa series) 

Those who use one of the models described above will be relieved to learn that tracking their sleep is done automatically. Because of this, you won’t need to mess around with the statistics or worry about activating the hibernate mode while you’re in bed. Despite this, you are still able to do so if you have reason to believe that the automated measurements are not accurate enough. If you choose to sleep in manual mode, you will see an extra metre for “time to fall asleep,” but other than that, the metrics for manual and automated sleeping are identical.

When you lie down, the gadget itself will easily calculate this based on the lower rate of motion that it detects through the accelerometer. This is the default setting. Your heart rate data will also be factored into this calculation if the tracker you choose is one of the ones that come equipped with an internal heart rate sensor. These are typically more reliable than other estimates.

When you sync your Fitbit in the morning, you will be able to view the statistics on your sleep from the previous night on your dashboard.

The drawbacks of monitoring sleep patterns 

The Fitbit is an amazing piece of technology, but despite its many positive attributes as a health aid, it does have some drawbacks as well. Since the default length of rest that will trigger the automated readings is one hour, for instance, it will not instantly keep track of naps that are less than that amount of time. If you are skilled at taking brief naps and you want to record all of the information on your sleep, you will need to make a mental note to turn on the sleep mode manually every time you lie down.

What categories of sleep information a Fitbit typically tracks 

A significant amount of time passed before Fitbit devices were able to recognise different stages of sleep. The only information that was acquired was the length of time that you slept, the couple of times that you woke up, and the number of times that you were restless. Your tracker has a “sensitive” setting that, when used, will force it to record almost all motions as a time that was spent being restless or awake. The “normal” option considers the presence of considerable motions to indicate that the user is awake (such as rolling over).

A handful of models finally received the highly awaited sleep phases functionality after an upgrade to their software that took place a few years back. With the exception of the Charge HR and the Surge, all activity trackers with pulse rate sensors are now able to tell you the percentage of light, deep, and REM sleep you are having each night. The figures are determined by Fitbit by integrating data from the accelerometer, the variability of the user’s heart rate (measured as the amount of time across beats), and Fitbit’s own algorithms.

Some versions also have a quiet alarm function, which vibrates the device at a predetermined time to wake you up. It performs a decent job of getting you out of bed. However, if you are someone who tends to sleep for long periods of time, it is generally not a great idea to rely only on a buzzing alarm to wake you up.

The new sleep monitoring function of Fitbit

In addition to those helpful features, there are many more. One of them is a set of individualised sleep objectives determined by your sleep data that are designed to assist you in getting the amount of restful sleep that you require each night. This includes setting specific bedtime and wake-up objectives in order to create consistency in sleep; receiving reminders to ensure that you remain on schedule, and seeing a history of your sleep pattern in order to track your progress.

Lastly, let’s not forget about the function known as Sleep Insights. This is basically guidance on how to increase the quality of sleep that you get. Fitbit analyses all of the data you provide regarding your activity level and food in order to identify patterns and provide you with individualised recommendations for how to enhance your quality of sleep. When you wear your monitor to bed more frequently, the more tailored information you could obtain.

Even more cutting-edge capabilities, like monitoring oxygen levels 

A variety of different Fitbit devices come equipped with a SpO2 sensor right out of the box. This covers the Charge 3, 4, and 5 series, the Versa lineup, as well as the Sense and Ionic models. The sensor determines the amount of oxygen that is present in the blood, which provides information on how efficiently the body moves oxygen from the lungs to the rest of its cells.

These values go through a range of changes during the day. Readings frequently report at or above 97 per cent in persons who are healthy. Although values above 92 per cent are often regarded as acceptable, measurements should never drop below 95% at any point.

In the morning, you will see a graph in the Fitbit app titled “Estimated Oxygen Variation.” This graph is located in the portion of the app that monitors your sleep. If the line is orange, it means that there is a possibility of a problem, whereas green means that everything is normal with your blood oxygen levels. In addition, there are two lines that run horizontally that illustrate the healthy range. It is reported that the business is now working on developing a method to use this information to diagnose diseases such as sleep apnea.

What to do in the event that the Fitbit is not monitoring your sleep 

If the gadget that you have on your wrist is not functioning as it should, here are the troubleshooting procedures that you should follow. When you wake up in the morning, you could discover that just half of your sleep cycle was logged. This might happen on occasion. Or, the tracker can indicate that you only slept for two hours, despite the fact that you actually slept for eight solid hours. It’s also possible that your sleep phases are not displaying properly. It appears that something has gone awry, as the Fitbit has not performed as it was intended to. It renders the data for that night very much meaningless.

Insufficient data is a more prevalent problem than missing some or all of the sleep it’s supposed to track, and it can harm any Fitbit. It makes no difference if it’s one of the newer devices, like Sense or Versa 3, or one of the older ones. It does occur on rare occasions.

One such device is the Fitbit Inspire 2, for instance. At the beginning of this year, a number of customers voiced their frustration that the gadget was unable to monitor their sleep in any way. During that period, we penned an article about how to reach a resolution. This was a significant problem throughout that era.

Restart your wearable device

To begin, you should always attempt power cycling the wearable device, sometimes known as a “soft reset.” This will ensure that the device is functioning properly. This will restart your device, but all of your data will remain intact on it. Imagine doing this as though you were turning on and off a desktop computer. This one simple act has the potential to address a lot of issues, thus it’s absolutely something that should be tried.

Make adjustments to how the tracker is worn while you are sleeping

Check that the wearable device is attached to your wrist in the appropriate manner. It should be around three to four finger-widths above your wrist joint for optimal effects.

If the data doesn’t appear to make sense, you might want to try wearing the device on the other wrist or try wearing it with a little more pressure on the first hand. It is possible that the tracker was unable to receive a consistent heart-rate measurement from you because you wore it too loosely, in which case the sleep phases may not have been recorded.

Make an attempt to wear the gadget on the other of your wrists

It’s possible that your accuracy will improve if you wrap the device around your non-dominant wrist. This is due to the fact that the hand that is not dominant tends to move less. When there are fewer motions, there is more time for a kip.

Check that you’ve gotten at least three hours of uninterrupted sleep recently

One important fact to keep in mind is that in order for the information on your sleep stages to be captured, you need to have slept for at least three hours in a row. Shorter sleep periods will record, but they won’t contain this kind of information. In point of fact, there won’t be too much information available. A Fitbit user’s sleeping habits are tracked, including any naps that extend for more than an hour.

Is the battery at an extremely low level? 

There are a couple more things that you really ought to look into. If your wearable device detects that your battery is dangerously low, it is conceivable that it has turned off sleep tracking throughout the night in order to conserve power. Put some more into the wearable.

Change sleep sensitivity 

Only a small percentage of users are aware that the Fitbit app contains a sleep sensitivity setting. Click the Accounts tab, then select Advanced Settings from the drop-down menu. Simply choose Sleep Sensitivity from the menu that appears, then make your selection.

The regular configuration is the option that is selected by default. In this case, being awake is determined only by the presence of major motions, such as turning over. Because you have the sensitivity option turned up, your gadget will record almost all motions as time spent being restless or awake. Experiment with different values of this to see if it makes a significant difference.

Is the sensor for monitoring heart rate active? 

The next thing you need to do is check the setting for the heart rate. Because Fitbit relies on the sensor to determine when you are asleep and to provide information about the stages of your sleep, this should be set to “On.” Check it again even if you believe it’s already turned on. It’s possible that you turned it off by accident earlier.

Even if the pulse rate monitor on your wrist is turned off, the gadget that you wear on your wrist might still record your sleep. But in this scenario, you will not receive any information on the stages of sleep; you would only receive the fundamentals.

Are you using the most recent version of the software? 

It is recommended that you use the most recent version of the Fitbit mobile application and the most recent version of the software for your activity tracker or smartwatch. This will ensure that you get the most out of your device.

For instance, there was an issue a few months ago that caused consumers to only view simplified versions of their sleep data. The parasite slept through lengthy periods of time and considered them to be short naps. The problem manifested itself on iOS and Android smartphones alike.

And yes, we are aware that there is always the potential for harm when updating to the most recent version of the programme. But things will work out better for you in the long term. Although Fitbit has a reputation for releasing software upgrades that contain bugs, this is more of an isolated incident than the norm for the company.

In the event that all else fails, contact the customer support team at Fitbit

Always remember that if nothing else works, your best bet is to get in touch with the customer support team at Fitbit. If your wearable device has entirely ceased monitoring your sleep, there may be another problem affecting it. It’s also possible that the apparatus is broken.

An alternative solution in the event that only a portion of your sleep has been captured

If you discover that the information on your nighttime sleep is lacking, there is a solution available. It is a manual approach that is not ideal, but it might be preferable to doing nothing about the situation.

When using the mobile app on your smartphone, you may edit the sleep log by touching the three dots that are located in the top right corner of each sleep cycle. This provides you with the choice to either modify the line or delete it.

So let’s imagine you have two distinct periods of sleep during the course of the night. You may get rid of the first one and change the beginning of the second one so that it corresponds with the time that you really went to bed. It is an effective method for combining two or more separate half-night phases.

The information on the stages of sleep will be somewhat inaccurate, but the total time spent sleeping will be recorded accurately. It’s possible that the information on your sleep stages has been removed totally for that particular night.

Leave a Reply