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THE FITBIT BLOG

A good night’s sleep

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We all know that sleep is important to re-charge our bodies, but it’s also a key factor in maintaining a healthy weight, energy and mood levels. And recent research reinforces this, with even more reasons to ensure a good night’s sleep. Monitoring your sleep & activity patterns is the first step to making positive changes.

One recent study showed our on the go lifestyles and trend of lower average sleeping hours may also be tied to the growing incidence of Type 2 diabetes. This study measured insulin sensitivity after a “good” night’s sleep (8 hours) and again after a “poor” night’s sleep (4 hours).  Changes were noticed after just one night of poor sleep. Dr. Esther Donga, the lead author of the study speculated “The co-occurring rises in shortened sleep and diabetes prevalence may not be a coincidence. Our findings show a short night of sleep has more profound effects on metabolic regulation than previously appreciated.

Another recent study found an increased risk of childhood obesity for children who don’t get adequate sleep.  The relation was particularly strong for boys and young children. The study tracked over 700 young people monitoring how long they slept, self-reported sleep problems, and the foods & beverages they consumed. The shorter sleep durations were related to higher body mass index and also to the percentage of body fat.

Both good reasons to make sure you get your zzz’s.



Try the new fitbit journal feature

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We all have days where we wake up on the wrong side of the bed (or at least our significant others think so!), or hit the snooze button and skip the gym.  Now you can track your mood, allergy level and generally record your daily observations with the new fitbit journal feature. And use the information you record to identify trends and correlate your sleep and mood with other factors that may be affecting your activity level.

You can start using your journal by choosing the Tracker tab followed by Journal.  How to get started:

1. Have the “allergy blues”?  It could be those pesky proinflammatory cytokines.  Want to learn more? There’s been some interesting research relating allergies, depression and poor sleep.

2. While we can’t automagically detect your mood – it’s easy to record. Now how does that make you feel?


3. Or use the text field to enter other observations.

As always, you can make this information private (you only) or share with your friends or everyone.

Looking to lose & keep the weight off? Try food logging!

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Who wouldn’t want to lose weight more quickly, and have a better chance of keeping it off?

It’s as simple as keeping a food log.

Research such as a study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, shows that keeping a food log on a regular and consistent basis was a key factor in weight loss.  Accountability and awareness were determined to be two of the key factors.  Just as the display on the Fitbit Tracker does for activity – motivating you to increased levels with the ability to “gut check” yourself throughout the day.

We all know that food logging takes time, so we’ve added features (and look for more in the future!) to make food logging easier than ever.

A few of the ways we try to make food logging easier for you:

  • We have a database of over 85,000 foods, and we’re adding more all the time, so it’s easy to find the exact food you were looking for. Don’t see it? Add it to our Food Suggestions Forum or add the nutrition information directly from the label by choosing “Add New Food” and we’ll add it for you.
  • Make it a favorite!  If you are anything like me, you might have a tendency to eat the same foods fairly consistently. Make a logged food a favorite by starring it and it’ll be at your fingertips every time you log food.  Right now, I need coffee.
  • If you are really consistent, create a meal and add instantly.  Banana, coffee and peanut butter bagel every morning?  No problem.  Add it with the click of a mouse.
  • Type ahead.  Give us the first few characters of a food, and we’ll show you an array of choices to get you started.
  • Logging all your food at the end of the day?  You can easily drag & drop foods between meals if you forget to use the drop down.
  • And don’t forget to fill your water glass!

Blog comments

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A quick administrative note about the blog comments.  We’re glad you are reading and participating with us on the Fitbit blog.  But to keep the blog posts clean, we publish constructive or on-topic comments – and do our best to respond to specific questions via email.  Many of you have commented with specific feature requests. We are rapidly releasing new features and definitely following the Feature Suggestions in the Fitbit Forums.  While we can’t share our product development roadmap publicly, please know that we are listening and encourage your suggestions to make Fitbit even more useful for you!