Gadgets

Fitbit introduces a personalized sleep schedule feature

Fitbit’s around the world are going to get a new sleep-schedule feature, the new system was outlined today by the company ahead of the rollout. The company now offers a set of sleep tools set to assist millions of Fitbit users who wish to improve their sleep consistency.

Available today on the free Fitbit app and compatible with all Fitbit devices that track sleep, Fitbit’s new Sleep Schedule feature helps guide you to get a more consistent pattern of sleep with customized bedtime and wakeup targets, reminders to stay on schedule, and a sleep schedule history to chart your progress.

These tools are the first in a series of new sleep features being developed in collaboration with Fitbit’s new panel of leading sleep experts that includes Drs. Michael Grandner at the University of Arizona, Allison Siebern at Stanford University, and Michael Smith at Johns Hopkins University.

The Fitbit app is an integral part of the Fitbit platform – consisting of devices, apps, social and motivational features, advice and personalized coaching. The app features automatic sleep tracking and exercise recognition to make tracking your health and fitness effortless.

According to Fitbit’s sleep experts, adhering to a consistent sleep routine is one of the most important things people can do to improve their sleep.

“If you’re constantly changing your sleep routine, it can have the same effect as giving yourself jetlag because you are continually changing your circadian rhythm, also known as your internal clock, which can negatively impact your health and wellness,” said Michael Grandner, PhD, MTR, CBSM. “To improve your physical performance, mental health and cognitive functions, you should aim to get a sufficient amount of sleep each night and be consistent with the times you go to sleep and wake up each day. Fitbit’s new Sleep Schedule tool makes it easier for people to see how much sleep they’re actually getting in order to establish a healthy routine – this has the potential to help millions of people around the world improve their sleep and overall wellbeing, which is really exciting.”

Research has shown that getting enough sleep can also positively impact how much you exercise the next day and is vital to post-training recovery, playing an integral role in the body’s ability to repair itself.

Additionally, Fitbit data also shows a correlation between consistent bedtimes and daily active minutes, especially for users who go to bed early each night. Users who sleep an average of 7 to 9 hours nightly also have a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who sleep only 3 to 4 hours per night, while those who are overweight or obese (BMI over 25) on average sleep over an hour (70 minutes) less per week than those with a normal BMI (BMI 18.5-25).5

“What’s great about the new Fitbit Sleep Schedule feature is that it looks at your sleep data from your Fitbit device you’re wearing day and night, analyzes it for patterns and creates a personalized schedule just for you,” said Tim Roberts, Executive Vice President, Interactive at Fitbit. “This is a great example of how we’re providing guidance using Fitbit data to help millions of people develop healthier habits and routines, and is just the first in a series of new sleep features that we’re working on to help our users improve their health through data and coaching.”

A few key features that will be available are a Sleep Goal, Bedtime and Wake Up Targets, Bedtime and Wake Up Reminders and a Sleep Schedule History Chart.

According to the company, Fitbit established a panel of leading sleep experts to provide a wealth of academic expertise as it develops innovative and effective sleep features for its users. Their expertise spans a variety of sleep-related topics including health, chronic diseases and insomnia.

Michael Grandner, PhD, MTR, CBSM, the director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona, is certified in Behavioral Sleep Medicine and focuses his research on how sleep and sleep-related behaviors are related to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, neurocognitive functioning, mental health and longevity.

Allison Siebern, PhD, CBSM, a consulting assistant professor at Stanford University Sleep Medicine Center and director of the Sleep Health Integrative Program at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center in North Carolina, is board certified in behavioral sleep medicine by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. She has over a decade of clinical and research expertise in the field of sleep, including examining the factors associated with successful treatment outcomes using Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi).

Michael Smith, PhD, CBSM, is a professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Nursing at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine. He is also the director of the Center for Behavior and Health, founder of Johns Hopkins’ Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program and co-directs the NIH-funded Center for Sleep-Related Symptom Science. His research focuses on the neurobehavioral causes, consequences, and treatments of insomnia and sleep loss with an emphasis on the interface between sleep and pain.

Available now on the top-downloaded free Fitbit app for Android, iOS and Windows devices, the new Sleep Schedule feature works with all Fitbit devices that automatically track sleep, including Fitbit Surge, Fitbit Blaze, Fitbit Charge HR, Fitbit Alta, Fitbit Charge, Fitbit Flex and through manual sleep tracking with Fitbit One.

If you have a Fitbit, you can simply update or download the Fitbit app from your App store to start enjoying the new benefits. If you’re thinking of buying one, you can find a model that’s right for you on popular online retail sites like Amazon.com