Skip Sleep-Ins and Snooze Buttons For Better Quality Sleep

What’s the number one reason to wake up at the same time every day? Better health! Experts agree sleep is an important factor in your overall health and wellbeing, and research shows waking up has a big impact on the quality of your sleep.

A Regular Bedtime is Key…

Sure, going to bed on time is important—you’re more likely to log enough sleep when you stick to a nightly schedule. But it turns out the time you rise in the morning might have even more impact. “Aiming to go to sleep on time is smart—the body loves regularity,” says Fitbit sleep advisor Michael Grandner, PhD, MTR, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. “But it’s a consistent wake-up time that sets your circadian rhythm, which regulates your sleep cycles and ensures you hit all the sleep stages your body needs,” explains Grandner.

…But a Regular Wake Up Time is Even More Important

Switching up your wake up time—say, by sleeping a couple hours later on a Saturday morning—has the same effect on your body as flying across the country and changing time zones. Which explains why weekend sleep-ins don’t always leave you feeling refreshed. “Jet lag throws off your circadian rhythm,” says Grandner, “and it can take your body awhile to get back in sync.”

Need help getting your circadian rhythm back on track? Stop hitting the snooze button and wake up at the same time each morning. “Getting bright light early in the morning, and avoiding it in the evening, also helps to reset your sleep-wake cycles,” says Grandner.

To ensure you’re going to bed and waking up at a consistent time every day, consider setting a Sleep Goal in the Fitbit app. Once you identify the number of hours that feels right for you, you’ll be able to create a bedtime reminder as well as set a personalized wake-up time, complete with a silent alarm to help ease you out of slumber. And pretty soon, your regular morning habit will be contributing to a healthier, happier you.

102 Comments   Join the Conversation

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  • I’ve wondered why I awake at around 6am regularly despite how late I fall asleep. So it’s good for my body? Is that the message?

  • That is fine if the silent alarm is strong enough to wake you up. The Charge 2 is so weak it does not work properly. Thousands of comments by the Fitbit community express disappointment with it yet Fitbit ignore the concerns. Many are going elsewhere – sad . I will be getting a Garmin next time like so many others.

  • That’s great if you work regular hours, What do you do if you work shifts? My job involves me doing 6am starts and finishing at 2pm or 3pm start until 11pm.

  • I find this very interesting having just got a Fitbit. I am however not sleeping enough hours overall, as I always wake up early and could do with some hints on what to do regarding that problem.

  • most of my working life I slept seven hours a night, now in retirement I want to sleep eight hours a night and only rarely make it. I usually am awake just after seven hours of sleep… habit or is that all I really need? Etta

  • Hi, so what’s the advice for shift workers? My early shifts mean waking at 5.30am, my late shifts mean the earliest I can get to bed would be midnight.

  • I wake up at 6 in the morning come what may be. But I don’t go to bed at a stipulated time. Sometimes I go by 10, sometimes by 11 sometimes even by 12… Is this good.

  • Dilemma – If I stay up late one night then I would be cutting my amount of sleep short. Seems like I should sleep in to get enough sleep.

  • Unfortunately I work rotating shift work on an 8 week cycle. Sigh. It pays well but plays havoc with the body clock.

  • I start work anywhere from 7 am to 11 am – what’s the best way of achieving this for those of us working shifts?

  • Hi….my son bought my husband and myself a Fitbit tracker last year and both of them have bubbled and are not fit to wear anymore. I don’t like to say it to him be because he paid a lot for them. What is the life span of Fitbit…

    he paid a lot for them

  • I wake up right before 4 A.M., and go to bed around 9:30 or 10 P.M.. I have lost over 60 pounds using my fitbit, but never have been a long sleeper. I am sometimes tired during the day and cannot explain this. A 15 minute nap does the trick for me. My husband times my sleeping.

  • So what is with the disclaimer? I guess so they hopefully don’t get sued? Anyway I always wonder about the writer when they are young and have had multiple jobs. Why? Incompetent, or flaky or who knows what? And at her age how has she had editorial jobs in FIVE places? Did she earn them or get it because she is pretty or a woman? hmmmm.

  • You must be having a laugh, my Saturday morning lay I is essential to my well being. Can’t see the need to stop doing something I enjoy.

  • Yes but I now wake up religiously at the set time and then promptly go to sleep again – more deeply that earlier in the night! What’s the solution?

  • I wish my Fitbit let me set a sleep goal range, not just a total desired amount of sleep. I want to aim for 7-1/2 to 8-1/2 hours. Currently, however, my Fitbit account gives me a star anytime I exceed my sleep minimum, even when I sleep and unhealthy 10+ hours of sleep.

  • Moderator, could you please correct the end of my comment (August 18, 2017 at 11:03 am) to change “and” to “an” and to deleted the redundant “to sleep” at the end of the sentence. I meant to write, “even when I sleep an unhealthy 10+ hours.”

  • Thanks for the tip. I’ve been waking up at 4 am every morning for 12 years, due to my job, well I recently got promoted and my hours change, so now I stay up longer but when I wake up 6 am . I’m tired and it’s messed me up badly, not to mention the long days. Just wondering if going back to the 4 am wake ups and just sticking to that schedule if I’ll start to feel better.

  • nice, but since waking up is important, how about adding a “smart alarm” in the app/devices as well please, for waking up only when you’re close to being awake within a time window (of let’s say 20-30min).
    Got another app for that and loves it, but would be nice if my wearable was able to do that as well.

  • I am defintely guilty as charged! Always hitting that snooze button but now trying not to, getting up on the first alarm does help a lot.

  • Does FitBit make a product that allows wearers to see the time and steps (plus other readings) outside during daylight hours?

  • I have problems sleeping my job is hospitality so my hours are very early like 2am or 330am starts or 8am
    Im morning person but i feel i have sleep insomnia even when i dont have to work im woken up by husband snoring which sound like earthquake
    Ive been to my local doctor and she says its ur shift work.. please help me..

  • I find if I am tired from a long work week and I go to bed a little earlier, rising at the same time as normal I feel much better. My inner clock has adjusted to the consistent wake time, so your article hits home.
    Thanks

  • There is no self magazines in Kingston stores plus my home order like my August one..i don’t give my email out.

  • Like most advise I read about sleep, diet, exercise, etc., this doesn’t take into account a shift worker. My workplace takes “shiftworker” to a whole new level. I may start my shift today at 0630 hrs but my shift tomorrow may not START until 1400 hrs. A regular sleep pattern (going to bed & getting up) is not a possibility in my life right now.

  • Thanks for the info – I usually go to bed at the same time but wake up during the night – having to use the bathroom or want something to drink. Thus causing me to sleep in later in the morning Any advice on what I can do to get more regular in my morning wake up.

  • This is a great article for people with 9-5 jobs. When you have a job that has changing hours or you work swing or night shifts, having a set bedtime and wake up time is basically impossible. So, what’s the answer for hospital workers and police/firemen?

  • How does fitbit know when i’ve weighted myself.
    I see the green scale moving, slowly, but its moving, but the numbers are staying the same.

  • On workdays, my alarms start at 4:am. I don’t want to wake up that early on days off, I need to rest. Is there any hope for me? 🙂

  • What happens when you have to work early in the morning 4 days a week, are you still suppose to keep getting up at that time every day of the week in order to get the rest that they suggest?

  • I can’t sleep and I try all the things that are supposed to help.Go to bed at same time, cut off tv,etc and I lay there sleepless.Any other suggestions

  • I had no idea wake up time was important too! Maybe this explains why I can’t seem to “sleep late” on the weekends anymore. Thanks Fitbit!

  • I’ve found that waking up at the same time every morning also helps me to fall asleep at the same time almost every night. I never realized sleeping in late was making me so groggy on weekends, but after reading this, it make sense. Thanks.

  • I’ve been diagnosed with shift work sleep disorder. I’ve worked many years on night shift and will be changing to a day schedule in 2 weeks.
    It is almost impossible to follow a set schedule on nights though. Especially since the rest of the world is on a daylight shift. I do my best with proper sleep hygiene, but fighting one’s circadian rhythm is hard. 🙁

  • When I work the early shift I wake up at 4am then the next day I close so I’m still at work at 10 pm then I open again the next dayhow can I keep a regular wake up time and still get in all the sleep I need?

  • OK, so I normally wake with the sun — which means I wake up pretty early in the summer, and later in the winter. It used to be I’d get up when I woke up. But I’m 88 now — and “I’ll just close my eyes a moment’s rest” — and then I open them to get up — 2 hours later according to that clock — must be the clock playing tricks, right? Question — should I get back into getting up when I first wake up, or is this trying to tell me I need a couple more hours sleep?

  • What ifI need to get up at 3:45-4:00am each morning but can’t get to bed till 9:30- 10:00pm. On Sundays I can sleep later if I skip church. But I am tired most of the time.

  • I wake up at 9am on weekends – wish I could during the week but I can’t. I am battling not being able to get to sleep early enough to get 8 hours – I get a second wind I’m a night person and have many problems falling asleep. So on the weekend I need my sleep.

  • I work 3 days a week the problem is on those days I have to get up at 2:00 and by the late evening I’m exhausted and suggestions on how to set my sleep cycle ?

  • So what’s best advice for emergency service workers who work early, late and night shifts please?
    Bearing in mind this career now spans 30-35 years.

  • That all sounds good but if you get up at 6am (or earlier in the past) that’s not a great time at the weekend when you may be up later.

  • I work swing shift between days and nights. Should I still wake up at the same time? I don’t know if this would apply to everyone.

  • For far too long I have retired very late midnight or later but still get up around 6.30 am. I have finally decided that I should retire earlier and in getting up slightly earlier I could achieve so much more. This would improve my weight and make me more alert.

  • I was given a fitbit 2 on Feb 2017.
    Set up and put it on with excitement.
    But notice a black spot at the lower right corner of the screen when I landed in Vietnam.
    The spot grew bigger slowly over time and it settled.
    3 months later , I went for a tracking vacation at Chengdu in China . My trip to Hai Luo Guo at the Mount Konga summit, 3600 feet tracking. Came down with another huge black spot on the left lower corner. So , I no longer able to read the data with the 2 splattered ‘inks pots’.
    Is the product not pressure tight enough for air travel on flights and mountain tracking ?
    Disappointing I must say .

    Fitbit 2 user

  • Very helpful but what if we can’t wake up at the same time every day what are some other ways we can still have healthy sleep.

  • Got sore feet can’t run for exercise. Trouble just walking I’m 83 and need to lose 10 lbs been trying for 2 yrs no luck

  • If you’re always tired, be sure to check with your doctor. It may be a B-12 deficiency.

  • Please can you tell me, at 73 should i be aiming for 10,000 (which is very difficult ) or would 5,000 plus be beneficial to me.

  • I go to bed the same time every night, but wake up 3 or 4 times a night to go to the bathroom. I feel tired some times when I do get up after what I think is a good nights sleep. How do I stop having to go to the bathroom so much.?

  • now I realise why I feel tired as I usually wake up an hour later on Saturdays and Sundays. On other days I sleep at 8.30 pm and up by 5.00 a.m. in order to get to work on time.

  • Good Advice, the sleeping late on week-ends is especially good advice. The Farmer’s advice is solid “early to bed early to rise”

  • Working in the health field, I believe , is the worst for getting a routine schedule down.
    Even if you only work 1 shift, if you are the only person on eves or nights…. you almost never get to leave ‘on time’…..plus the adrenaline rush for emergencies…. right before I go home….. Or it may be a ‘call’ night where I may or may not get called in. How in the world am I to get a regular sleep pattern. And there are those of us that our bedtime is 6 or 7 am…..we work overnights…. Fit Bit doesn’t seem to accommodate that.

  • Just wondering if anyone has suggestions on “getting bright light early in the morning” to help with waking up? I live in a northern state, where during the summer I wake up with the sun but in the winter it is dark later into the morning. I do find it easier to wake up when it’s light out. I’ve heard of some people using a light in their room that’s timed like an alarm clock. Has anyone tried that and found it helpful?

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