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THE FITBIT BLOG

Get a Good Night’s Sleep with Fitbit’s New Sleep Tools

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Logging your sleep with Fitbit is now easier and better than ever thanks to three new features! In addition to monitoring your sleep, viewing awake and restless times, and setting silent alarms, it’s now possible to compare your sleep stats week by week, see your sleep history, and set sleep goals.

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Sleep Is a Game Changer! Are You Getting Enough?

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Your head just hit the pillow, you’ve finally calmed the voices in your head, and drifted off into dreamland. Ah, it’s bliss… Except for that incessant racket. What is that? An annoying bird? A truck backing up? Nope, it’s the alarm clock. And there’s no room in your morning for the snooze button.

If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re in tired company. According to a survey conducted by YouGov, 45 percent of Americans sleeping 7 to 8 hours each night feel tired or poorly rested up to three times a week. 54 percent of people who clock six or fewer hours say they wake up feeling tired 4 or more days per week. Clearly, the Zzzzombie apocalypse is here!

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Top 10 Teas: A User’s Guide

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Your guide to healthy teas

I am not exaggerating when I say tea can solve all your problems. To prove it, I’ve divided my top 10 teas into categories so you know how to best use them. And even if there are a couple of things tea cannot eradicate, few rituals provide more comfort than a cup of tea.

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Catch Better Zzz’s by Trying Yoga Before Bed

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Yoga moves to try before bed

There are plenty of ways to wind down after a long day, but some work better than others at actually helping you get quality sleep. In today’s Fitbit Healthy Habits challenge, we’re asking everyone to try doing some yoga moves before bed. But does it really help?

Studies have shown that doing light yoga before bed actually helps with a number of sleep-related problems, from chronic insomnia to simply helping you fall asleep easier. Yoga helps your mind and body relax after the day and relieves some of the built-up stress that may keep you up at night.

Many online videos or DVDs you can buy include routines meant to be done before you head to bed, but here are just a few moves you can try:

  • Savasana: Lay flat on your back with your arms comfortably at your sides, close your eyes, and relax your body. Lay still and focus on your breathing for a few minutes.
  • Knee-to-chest hug: While still laying on your back, bring your knees to your chest and wrap your arms around them. Hold this stretch for about a minute.
  • Child’s pose: Start seated on your knees and bend forward at the waist with your arms stretched out above your head. Relax your upper body in this pose for about a minute, or find a length you’re comfortable with.

You can get started with the above poses, or try out FitStar Yoga‘s premium option to unlock “Before Bedtime”, which is specifically designed to help you get better rest.

What’s your favorite way to wind down at the end of the day? Let us know in the comments!

Sleep Tight: How to Make Your Room Sleep-Friendly

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How sleep-friendly is your room?

This week’s #HealthyHabit challenges have been focused around getting better sleep. Good sleep habits have been linked to better weight control and even an improved mood, not to mention giving you more energy to get out and exercise the next day, so it’s an important (and often overlooked) piece of your overall health.

Today’s challenge was to make your room sleep-friendly by lowering the temperature in your room. You don’t want to make it so cold that you can’t sleep, but studies have shown that being too warm can disrupt your sleep. A cool room and a comfortable bed is ideal, according to this Time article.

There are other ways to make your room sleep-friendly as well. Here are just a few actions you can do tonight if you want to turn your better place to get your rest:

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Not Sleeping Is Hurting Your Health

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Today’s blog post comes from FitStar, part of the Fitbit family. FitStar Personal Trainer and FitStar Yoga are two top-ranked apps that offer personalized video-based exercises. You can find more FitStar tips on the FitStar blog.

Not sleeping is bad for your health

Are you sleeping enough? A lack of shut-eye might just be the thing keeping you from reaching your health and wellness goals.

The average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Get the right amount and you may find it easier to control your hunger and make nutritious choices. A study by Dr. Sanjay Patel, at Case Western Reserve University, found that those who slept 5 hours or less a night were nearly a third more likely to gain 30 pounds or more than women who slept 7 hours per night.

There are several factors that come into play here. The first is that sleep deprivation leads our bodies to actually change the way we regulate our appetite, which can cause us to crave more food. Additionally, tiredness decreases the likelihood of being active throughout the day. Sleep deprivation can also change your metabolic processing speed, slowing down how many calories you burn just doing basic daily activities.

Adequate sleep is linked to the regulation of two hormones – ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin stimulates hunger while leptin suppresses it. Lack of sleep can cause an increase in ghrelin and a drop in leptin making you feel hungry and less satisfied throughout the day. Research also suggests that insufficient sleep promotes cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods so the combination of lack of sleep, increased appetite and lower energy to exercise all amount to a less than ideal situation!

How can you tell if you’re getting enough sleep? Listen to your body. Are you sleepy even after you’ve had a cup of coffee? Are you sluggish before lunchtime even though you’ve had a nutritious breakfast? Most Fitbit trackers can monitor your sleep and let you know when you could use a few more zzz’s.

Starting a new habit is difficult, but this one is worth it! Try powering down 30 minutes earlier tonight and each day this week. Before you know it, you will be sleeping longer and feeling more energized in no time. You’ll be glad you did.

What are some of your remedies for making sleep a priority? Share in the comments below! 

8 Ways to Combat Holiday Stress

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playing in the snow

We’re deep into the holiday season, and we’re willing to bet some of you are feeling the heat. Maybe that heat only comes from the fireplace for some, but for many the holidays are also a time for plenty of added stress, with the added duties of travel, cooking large meals, holiday shopping (and holiday crowds!), and maybe even having to see a cousin you haven’t gotten along with since she insulted your figgy pudding back in 2003.

But if you’re getting bogged down instead of enjoying the holidays, here are simple things you can do to alleviate some of the stress: read more

How To: Hack the Time Change to Maximize Your Sleep

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Kelly Glazer Baron, PhD is an Assistant Professor in Neurology at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on sleep and circadian rhythms, and the role of circadian rhythm and the disruption in obesity. She previously wrote about getting out of bed in the morning.

charge sleep

Nearly everyone looks forward to the ending of daylight saving time (DST) for the chance to capitalize on an extra hour of sleep. It’s especially true today, that first Monday, when it feels so much easier to get up before 7am.

Scientific studies show that there are real benefits to even one extra hour of sleep for the few days after the end of DST, including lower instances of traffic accidents and a reduced rate of heart and stroke-related incidents.

For those who are chronically sleep deprived, this week provides a much-needed opportunity to catch up on sleep in the short term. But what can you do to leverage this shift to help keep your sleep on track? Here are some tips below: read more

Essential Sleep Tips: How to Wake Up Easier in the Morning

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Fall is the perfect season for sleep. Cool and crisp nights cuddled up in a blanket are the best. That is, until you need to get up the next morning.

In full disclosure: I’m a morning lark so in a lot of ways, the dark mornings help me sleep in to a normal human hour (rather than waking at 5:45am with the sun). But for many people, the dark mornings make it even harder to get up and going, especially on workdays.

Aside from improving your sleep by tracking your progress with a Fitbit Flex or One, here are a few tips for increasing your ability to hop out of bed, even before the sunrise: read more

30 Days to Summer Fit, Day 28: Reset your bedtime

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We’ll be posting a new challenge every day leading up to summer! Follow along here on the blog, or using this calendar.

30 Days to Summer Fit

We’ve written before about the importance of rest days. But just because you’re taking a rest day doesn’t mean you need to take the entire day off.

So today’s challenge is: Reset your bedtime routine. Like everything in our #SummerStrong challenge, the goal is to set healthy, sustainable habits for yourself moving forward. So once you find what works for you, keep it up!

It’s also important to remember that sleep, stress, and weight are correlated. Managing stress helps you sleep better, and sleeping better gives you more energy so you’re not too tired to hit the gym.

30 Days to Summer Fit Day 28: reset your bedtime

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