Sleep tracking FAQs

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You can use your Fitbit tracker to see how many hours you sleep and better understand the quality of your sleep. See How do I track my sleep? to learn how to put your tracker in sleep mode. This article answers common questions about sleep tracking:

What is the difference between the normal and sensitive sleep setting?

Your Fitbit tracker's settings can record your sleep in either "sensitive" mode for extremely detailed sleep reporting or "normal" mode for a more basic idea of your sleep patterns. 

  • The normal setting counts significant movements as being awake (such as rolling over) and is appropriate for most users.
  • The sensitive setting will cause your tracker to record nearly all movements as time spent awake. This setting may be helpful for users with sleep disorders, or those who wear their tracker somewhere other than the wrist while asleep.

If your Fitbit tracker is worn consistently each night with the same setting, the data that it produces should be useful.

How do I view and change my sleep mode setting?

To adjust your sleep mode setting, log on to the dashboard. Click the gear icon in the top-right corner of the page and select Settings. Using the navigation tabs at left, find the Sleep Sensitivity setting and choose Normal or Sensitive. Note that you must sync your tracker for the change to take effect.

What do the different sleep states mean?

  • During sleep mode, when your body is completely at rest and unmoving, your Fitbit tracker records that you are asleep.
  • A restless state of sleep indicates that your body transitioned from a very restful position with little movement to movement, such as turning over in bed. This doesn't necessarily mean that you were fully awake or cognizant of your movements, but it may indicate that you were not getting the most restful sleep possible at that time.
  • When your tracker indicates that you are moving so much that restful sleep would not be possible, your sleep graph will indicate that you were awake.

How is sleep efficiency calculated?

We use the following equation to calculate your sleep efficiency: 100 * time asleep / (time asleep + time restless + time awoken during sleep)

The time it takes for you to actually fall asleep is not incorporated into this calculation. If you don't move all night it is possible to get 100% sleep efficiency even if it takes you 20 minutes to fall asleep.

How does my tracker automatically detect sleep?

All of our wrist-based trackers automatically detect your sleep.

Autodetection is based on your movement. When you haven’t moved in over an hour, algorithms assume that sleep has begun, which is confirmed by the length of time your movements are indicative of sleep behavior only (rolling over, etc). Morning movement tells your tracker that you’re awake. If you’re not moving but not asleep for long periods of time it’s possible for your tracker to falsely record sleep, in which case you can delete the sleep record from your dashboard.

I wore my tracker to bed, but forgot to activate sleep mode

All trackers except the Fitbit One automatically log your sleep if you wear the tracker to bed.

If you wore your One while asleep but forgot to turn on sleep mode, your sleep data is not lost. For instructions on creating a manual sleep log, see How do I manage my sleep logs with the Fitbit app?

Why should I place the Fitbit One or Ultra on my wrist instead of my torso during sleep?

Wearing your Fitbit One™ or Ultra on the wrist of your non-dominant hand captures your fullest range of motion and gives a more complete portrait of your sleep movement. While your torso may move during sleep, it is usually to a lesser degree and is more difficult to track than the movements of your hand.

If you find that the tracker falls out of your wristband during sleep, we recommend inserting it all the way into the Sleep Wristband pocket and then turn it sideways to secure it.

Why does my sleep graph say I was asleep when I wasn't?

Although trackers that autodetect sleep are designed to know when the tracker is off your wrist, occasionally they may record a sleep log when you aren't actually asleep. You can delete this sleep log on your dashboard.

Why does my sleep graph say I was awake when I think I was asleep?

Tossing and turning during sleep can occur during an unconscious state; however, it does not indicate total rest. If you feel that the reported number of times awakened is excessively high, go to the Sleep Sensitivity setting to see if your sleep tracking mode is set to sensitive. A normal setting may be more appropriate if you are looking for a more general overview of your sleep patterns.

Can I set a sleep goal?

To help you achieve a healthy sleep cycle, by default you have a goal of 8 hours sleep per night. To change your goal using the dashbaord, just click the gear icon on the sleep tile. To change your goal in the Fitbit app, see our instructions in How do I manage my sleep logs with the Fitbit app?

For sleep goals, success is determined based on actual calculated time asleep, not time spent in bed.

Can I log a nap?

Yes. If your tracker tracks sleep automatically, all naps at least an hour in length should be automatically tracked.  For other trackers, simply put your tracker into sleep mode.

Later when you sync your tracker, your nap will appear on your sleep log. 

Last updated: December 21, 2015
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