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What Your Sleep Stats Can Tell You

We’re posted previously about the importance of a good night’s sleep. By wearing your Fitbit to track your sleep, the data and trends can help you identify why you may not wake up feeling rested, or why it takes you a long time to fall asleep. The benefits of healthy sleep are many: maintaining a healthy weight, eating well, energy levels and good food & activity choices.

Several members of the Fitbit community have used their Fitbit sleep graphs to do just that – analyze their personal data and work with professionals to sleep better and wake up rested. Because our Fitbit community says it best, we thought we’d share just a few of the experiences you’ve shared with us. See how your fellow community members used their Fitbit data to sleep better and change their lives:

“I’ve had my fitbit for months. I show anywhere between 25 and 55 red lines a night. And this is with it set at normal, not sensitive. Most are from just moving; I’m not aware of it. If I get out of bed the red lines are very thick.

There is a definite pattern. There are usually no red lines for the first 1-1/2 to two hours. Then it’s nearly constant. When a friend got a fitbit and only had up to five awakenings, I decided to go and have a sleep study. I’ve been waking up exhausted for years.

My sleep study doctor was very interested in the fitbit. He believes that it uses some of the same technology that the sleep lab uses. My sleep study showed that I didn’t have any problems until I hit what’s supposed to be my REM sleep — 1-1/2 to two hours after falling asleep.

I started using a CPAP machine. The new nose pillow masks are very easy to get used to. I feel better than I have in probably ten years.”

And here’s another Fitbit community member’s observations:

“I don’t know how it does it with fitbit on our wrists, but it really does know when we are awake vs asleep. I was shocked when I got my fitbit in March and it said I was waking up 40-60 times per night. I printed the graphs and took them to my doctor. I had a sleep study done and fitbit was right on the mark–47 for the sleep study machine, 47 for fitbit!

I am now using a CPAP machine and feel better than I have in years. Thank you fitbit!!

How can your data help you make changes to live a healthier life, sleep better, or be more active? Fitbit’s a good way to find out!

Today we’ll give you a little peak under the covers (pun intended) at our community’s typical sleep stats. Interested in seeing how your sleep stats compare?  Check out the premium benchmarking feature- there’s a free trial – and take a look at your detailed sleep report for more insight.

Here’s to a good night’s rest!

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26 CommentsLeave a comment

  • This was exactly what I was looking for when I finally tried using the fitbit to look at my sleep. I wake up 10-25 times per night, which I think is… overachieving. I’m going to collect more data, and go see my doctor.

    Thanks for putting this page up.

    -Alison

    PS:
    A “peak” under the covers? The pun may have been intended, but it was misspelled.
    You take a PEEK. You climb a PEAK.

  • I know this is a very old post, so I’m not sure if anyone is monitoring it, but I am wondering if those averages are based on a normal or sensitive setting?
    Thanks!

    • I have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine every time I sleep even naps if I take one. This year I bought the fitbit one. The first night I kept the setting at normal and it showed I slept 10 hours with little disturbance. I thought that was a little off so I switched to a sensitive setting after reading that if you have a sleep disorder change to sensitive setting.

      The change in settings after one week showed that I averaged 4 hours 7 min total sleep during the night. Out of 7-8 hours total time in bed trying to sleep. Restlessness and being awake seem to be other factors. I plan to share this with my sleep apnea doctor.

      • I’ve found something very similar in that the normal settings showed a large amount of sleep but the sensitive setting is quite close to what I was previously monitoring on my own (a large amount of restlessness which I think is really awake time for me). I do have a bad sleep disorder and most nights I’m happy with 3 hours or so of sleep. Going back to a sleep clinic for a consultation in a week so having this data will be great. A year ago when I went I was diagnosed with a mild apnea but have had a hard time using a cpap machine. I’m pushing at it again though

  • I switched my Flex from normal to sensitive mode a few weeks ago. In normal mode, my flex would say I was restless 6-10 times in a night. When I switched to sensitive mode it jumped to 15+ times a night. Per my flex, on some nights I was only getting 3 hours of sleep. I went to my Dr. And showed my findings. She was skeptical but sent me for a sleep study anyway. The sleep study confirmed what I thought- I have insomnia. I have a feeling I’ve not been sleeping well for a long time. Really glad I took some further action!

  • Another point of view – I do have a cpap machine and I have compared my sleep patterns with and without the machine and I have had better results without it. However, I am a stomach sleeper and no existing cpap mask works well with those of us who mash our faces into pillows as we sleep.

  • After years of feeling exhausted I may now of discovered why thanks to fitbit.
    I fall asleep fine and aim for 8 hours a night but almost always wake up exhausted, according to my fitbit I am only getting an average of 4/5 hours every night.
    Gonna collect some more data & will def be seeing someone to help get this sorted so hopefully I will soon feel better.

  • I was diagnosed with sleep apnea two years ago. I lost 65 pounds to deal with that, but I am still waking up tired. I bought a Flex to help me get a better understanding of my sleep and find I am restless15-20 times per night. I asked for another sleep study, but all my insurer would pay for was a home study. That study should my apnea is under control. I showed the Flex results to the doctor and he simply would not accept that something was wrong.

    I really am stuck with getting a good night’s sleep. Did any one experience this situation and get it resolved?

  • I have slept poorly for 12-15 years. Stay in bed 5-6 hours. fitbit says I sleep 2.5-3.2. with about 10-15 wakeups/restless periods, some of which are unconscious, and some wide awake. Sleep% efficiency under 50%.

    I have had sleep studies. No apnea and do not fit the profile. Follow all the rules of good sleep hygiene. Question? Have any of you found a benefit to CPAP machines even though technically not diagnosed apnea?

  • My fitbit usually shows I am restless 200 – 300 minutes I wake up exhausted but it isn’t showing I am awake very often. Is being restless that much something I should be concerned about?

  • Mine is the same! I know that I move alot in my sleep, but it seems that I move more than I lay still. I don’t remember being awake, but am wondering of moving around as much as Fitbit says I do is the reason I never feel fully rested.

  • Hm I move around at least 20x a night- however my sleep efficiency is at 90% and I get about 7hrs of sleep a night.

    I think I’m just a really active sleeper because I’m not dead tired when I wake up, just tired. That itself can be attributed to the fact that I’m under 25 and only have 7hrs of sleep when I should be getting at least a solid 8. I was always told that I move around in my sleep a lot (friends, parents -when I was little).

    I think it’s incredible that fitbit can actually track your sleep, and effectively so!
    This was probably one of the best $100 I’ve ever spent.

    Now I have to start aiming for those 8 hours.

  • Yes you should be worries because your body needs those 200-300 minutes to rest and prepare for the next day! As a neuroscience B.S graduate, sleep is vital for your optimal health.

  • What are the common solutions to the lack of sleep issue. If after following good homeopathic solutions and not a CPAP candidate, what types of things would the doctor recommend? My doctor wants to see me about my sleep issues, but I am concerned he will want to use a prescription sleep aid.

  • well like others I get about 3 hours sleep with loads of restlessness on the sensitive setting. I feel ok and normal after this. If it shows 2hrs its been a bad night and feel lousy. But I have noticed if I drink alcohol (a sizeable amount) I can get up to 5 hours ….thought alcohol was supposed to make sleep poor.

    my sleep pattern seems to be 2 or 3 good blocks between 1030pm and 230am and then its goes crazy with a restless period every 10mins or so. Should I cut my losses at 230am and start work? No I tried it and feel sh1T.

    Conclusion – there are BIG benefits to the restless periods too.

  • I have almost the exact same results, I know I have insomnia a bit when I’m not working out often I just can’t go to bed, of if I’m drinking. Sensitive mode has me at about 20 restless awake moments, haven’t tried the normal mode. I am not aware of ever being awake thought. What was the cure for the insomnia?

  • I haven’t recently got a Fitbit, I keep this on sensitive mode and it says I only get on average 2-3 hours of non restless sleep a night, I am restless for 250-400 mins per night!! I do always wake up feeling exhausted but don’t know if there’s anything I can do about this?

  • I personly have sleep apnea. I did have a test a few years ago the symtoms that I had were feeling drowsy once up and out of bed in the morning along with snoring and waming up in the middle of the night gasling for air. I see that previous comments also mention sleep studies. I am still restless at night with my cpap machine on but not as much as you are. When you cant breath you tend to move alot and you drop out of third stage rem sleep to open your air way. Restless leg syndrome is an issue for some. Many people as i did as well put off a sleep study just because they think its trivial. One of the things they check is your oxygen level in a sleep study. Mine went from the normal 98% or so to a low 66% during the study. I was not aware i was sufficating so much. Its realy bad on your heart to go through an apnea that can last 30 seconds each time. You will move in your sleep i had 87 apneas per hour which is really bad. I have had a triple bypass last year. So i not trying to scare you but since I went for years with this problem that damaged my heart. Thats not what caused my heart attack and bypass but it added to the problem. I use my fitbit with the heart rate monitor. My sleep does show a few times that im awake at night. I track my pulse and my dr reviews the results for sleep and heart rate. Restless leg syndrome might be a factor however I don’t have that. So I can’t comment on that. I can say if I fall asleeep with out my cpap mask on my sleep is horrible the fitbit graph looks like a was running in my sleep my suggestion is speak with a doctor. Tell him or her your symptoms. Since you are tired I would not rule out anything. its when you go years without doing anything that adds up. Just to add if you have a fitbit hr my dr agrees they are very accurate. I use the fitbithr along with a finger o2 pulse monitor as i was skeptical they both match most of the time. The fit bit is a few beats off if it right up against your wrist so it has to be pulled back. Tne instrucions also say that as well. Any tool that measures any part of your body and you dont like what you see look into it. After my surgery my new look on life is not no question is dumb. I changed it to how dumb is it to ignore a problrm that i know needs fixing or not asking a question. Good luck.

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