Tech & Science Fitbit may track sleep time accurately, but overestimate problems

15:20  09 december  2019
15:20  09 december  2019 Source:   msn.com

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A smartwatch, scale, Sleep Score, Fitbit Premium and more. Fitbit Ace opens up a direct line of communication across the family to help parents and their children understand how physical activity impacts overall wellbeing and health.

Some fitness tracks say they can track your sleep habits, including stages of sleep , but what do sleep experts Popular trackers, such as the Fitbit Force, include a sleep mode that aims to provide users with some "It says you are asleep more often than you accurately are," Montgomery-Downs said.

a young boy lying on a bed: The Sleep Health Foundation estimates 1.5 million Australians suffer from sleep disorders.© Shuttershock The Sleep Health Foundation estimates 1.5 million Australians suffer from sleep disorders.

Your Fitbit might be doing a relatively good job of tracking your hours of sleep, but researchers warn its shortcomings can create more anxiety for those who struggle to rest.

Two small studies conducted by Monash University, published in the Journal of Sleep Research this week, found a Fitbit is comparable at measuring sleep time to clinical devices. However, when measuring the quality of a person's sleep, wearable devices recorded the person as having a more shallow sleep than they actually obtained.

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Solved: My Versa tracks my sleep but it's inaccurate. The Fitbit Community is a gathering place for real people who wish to exchange ideas, solutions, tips, techniques, and insight about the Fitbit products and services I am having the same big problems with sleep tracking with my new Versa.

I found on normal my Charge HR overestimated my sleep , on sensitive it then recorded that my average nights' " sleep " was 2.5 - 3 hours in 15 - 20 sessions, no evidence of sleep cycles etc. This helped me convince my GP that my memory problems

In one study, researchers collected sleep data from 25 people with insomnia using both the Fitbit Alta HR (a Fitbit with heart monitor, which retails for $129.95) and a research-grade actigraph (a wearable device used by medical professionals in diagnosing sleep disorders) over two weeks.

The second study, conducted on one night, saw 42 individuals with insomnia have their sleep measured by the wearable devices as well as polysomnography, a lab study involving a number of sleep indicators including brain activity, eye movement, muscle activity and heart rhythm.

Researchers concluded the Fitbit was equivalent to the actigraph in almost every way. Yet, when compared with polysomnography, the Fitbit was largely underestimating deep and REM sleep, missing roughly half of the former and a third of the latter. It also overestimated light sleep.

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Through Fitbit SmartTrack, workouts are automatically detected, including walking, running, cycling and even swimming. By going into Account and then into Exercise, you can tweak how long Fitbit will wait to kick in tracking when it automatically detects an exercise is happening.

Fitbit only tracks the LONGEST sleep record. That sounds like a much bigger problem than Fitbit not adding up your sleep times ! I agree that sleep tracking could use a little more sophistication and hope that fitbit can choose to improve upon it.

The Fitbit recorded an average of 50 minutes more total sleep than polysomnography, a figure in line with previous studies.

Lead researcher Professor Sean Drummond, from Monash's Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, said the results suggest a consumer device can play a role in diagnosing sleep issues.

"The short answer is, yes, the Fitbit seems to do a good job of measuring when you are asleep."

However, Professor Drummond said its inaccuracy in measuring sleep stages was concerning, given the more expensive heart-rate monitor feature is promoted by Fitbit as providing sleep stage data and the psychological effects of a poor perception of sleep.

"It just reinforces anxiety," he said. "People feel like they aren't sleeping well, and they get this data and they don't know what to make of it, and their clinicians don't know what to make of it because they don't know how accurate it is."

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Sleep tracking wearables may take the form of a small, clippable device you attach to your clothing, or a separate wristband or smartwatch. The Fitbit Charge and Charge HR wristbands include automatic sleep tracking , and the Charge HR includes heart rate tracking as well.

The intermittent sleep tracking issue is the primary problem I'm having with my Alta. I am too having issues with the Alta not tracking sleep accurately . It was working fine for the first month, then suddently few nights ago it stopped tracking sleep data accurately , showing that I only slept for 2

The wearable devices were also less accurate for people with serious sleep problems: in instances of extreme insomnia – where a person took a very long time to fall asleep or spent more than two hours awake later in the night – it could mistake the wearer for being asleep when they were just lying still.

The DSM-5 mental-disorder diagnostic guidelines define insomnia as difficulty falling asleep, maintaining sleep, or waking too early, accompanied by distress about fatigue, for more than three months.

Dr Sutapa Mukherjee, clinical chair of the Australasian Sleep Association, said it was very common for patients to seek professional sleep treatment after tracking their sleep at home.

"People will come in and say, 'I'm coming to see you because my Fitbit or Apple Watch is saying I'm not sleeping all night or moving all night," she said, adding these devices can be particularly helpful for people who do not have bed partners who can alert them to abnormal behaviour.

She welcomed these studies as well as future studies which compare the effectiveness of wearables with "gold standard" polysomnography.

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How accurate is the sleep tracker on the Fitbit Alta HR, in particular its measurement of deep Fitbit has fine-tuned the mechanism to track sleep in order to estimate your sleep stages by You may notice more awake minutes in sleep stages than in your previous sleep data due to this change.

Fitbit Premium & Coach. Fitbit App Gallery. Female Health Tracking . Fitbit Challenges & Adventures. So clearly, fitbit is overestimating my numbers. Does anyone else have similar problems ? Can I change the BMR somehow?

"This study has shown there is a role for these devices, but right now they cannot be the 'be all and end all'," she said.

As data-driven wearable devices become ubiquitous, more researchers are questioning whether consumers can rely on them to measure health outcomes.

A 2018 Canadian meta-analysis of 67 studies found the Fitbit was inaccurate when measuring steps outside a normal pace, particularly faster movement. Other researchers have questioned whether the Fitbit's heart rate monitor works as well on people of colour, as it relies on green light rather than infrared light, which can have less accurate readings on skin with higher melanin levels.

The Sleep Health Foundation estimates 1.5 million Australians suffer from sleep disorders.

Ultimately, Professor Drummond said the subjective nature of insomnia ("it is based on the person's perception, similar to something like depression") means a person should seek medical advice if they are concerned, regardless of what a device tells them.

"You shouldn't listen to a watch, you should listen to your body."

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