Why Isn’t My Fitbit Tracking My Sleep?

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No matter what you do, it is likely that you will experience problems with your Fitbit from time to time. For example, many Fitbit wearers use their Fitbit devices to track their sleep and sleeping patterns.

If your Fitbit does not seem to track your sleep, it is time to ask yourself what is going on. After all, providing your Fitbit has a sleep tracking function, it can give you an insight into your sleep patterns. But to do that more or less accurately, the device must work. 

Why Isn’t My Fitbit Tracking My Sleep? 

First of all, it is essential to understand how your Fitbit works regarding sleep tracking. 

Fitbit technology tracks your sleep by monitoring your movements and heart rate data. That way, it can distinguish fairly accurately between sleep stages. In addition, the data your Fitbit collects allows for pretty accurate information when it comes to determining your sleep stage.

Our sleep stages include: 

  • Light
  • Deep
  • REM sleep

What Information Is Your Fitbit Giving You? 

If your Fitbit tells you that you have only had three hours of sleep when you are pretty sure you have had eight, something is clearly going on. 

Most of the time, the problem is down to miscommunication between ourselves and our Fitbits. 

Understanding Your Sleep score

Your Fitbit may track your sleep perfectly. However, understanding your sleep score plays a huge role. 

During the first part of the night, more accurately for the first three hours after you have gone to bed, your Fitbit tracks your state of alertness and categorizes it in three different ways. 

It decides that you are either awake, restless, or asleep. But, as you can tell, it does not tell you what stage of sleep you are at, even though you may be in a deep sleep. 

After three hours, your Fitbit starts to record your sleep stages. It decides if you are enjoying a deep sleep, dreaming in REM, or starting to wake up. During the wake-up stage, you may still be in a light sleep. Unfortunately, as your heart activity increases, Fitbit may record this stage as being awake. 

Does Your Fitbit Support An Accurate Sleep Score? 

Not all Fitbit models support the most accurate sleep score as they don’t feature heart rate sensors. 

There is also a risk of outside factors interfering with the heart rate sensors. 

If you have taken medication that affects your sleep and heart rate, you may find that your Fitbit gets confused. 

The simplest medication affects the way your Fitbit tracks sleep. For instance, anti-congestion medication can affect your heartbeat. It can either elevate it or slow it down. 

Also, if you have an underlying medical condition, your Fitbit may become “confused.”

Checklist if your Fitbit is not tracking sleep properly

Most of the time, the issues with the Fitbit Sleep Tracking features can be resolved easily. Check these few tips below to put your tracker back on track and go back to bed knowing that your sleep data will be accurately monitored.

Wearing Your Fitbit Correctly

You must wear your Fitbit correctly for any activity, including sleep monitoring. So if you are constantly asking yourself why isn’t my Fitbit tracking my sleep, you should check the way you wear your Fitbit. 

When you want it to record more accurate information, it is important to wear it underneath your wrist. This is because you have more pulse points here, and Fitbit finds it easier to pick up the correct data. 

Are You Wearing A Body Lotion? 

This may seem like a bit of an odd one, but all fitness trackers appear to have a problem with body lotion. In addition, some shower gels that leave a film on the skin’s surface can cause the same problem. 

If you apply a lotion or an insect repellent spray before going to bed, you will find your Fitbit struggles to track your sleep. 

When you want your Fitbit to track your sleep more accurately, always place it on a clean wrist part. 

Sweat can also affect the way Fitbit tracks sleep. For example, if you are ill, you may sweat more, affecting Fitbit functions. 

Wearing your Fitbit Lose is not a good idea

Although your Fitbit should not be worn tight to the skin, it should be worn snuggly. 

This is very important when it comes to sleep tracking. If your Fitbit is worn loosely during your sleep, it is less likely to do its job. If you sleep on your back and with your arm hanging down or very relaxed, your Fitbit may not even be in touch with your skin. 

Before going to bed, make sure that your Fitbit is on correctly. You don’t want it to be too tight, but at the same time, you don’t want it to be moving around. For example, lift your arm and shake it. If the Fitbit moves, it is probably too loose. 

Sleeping Next To a Partner may be the issue

When you sleep next to a partner, Fitbit may have a problem if you sleep with your arm around them or on them. 

Instinctively, we often place a hand on an arm that may be extended across our partner’s body during the night. Unfortunately, if those hands hold the Fitbit, it can cause a problem. 

Data from when your partner sleeps on your arm can be misinterpreted. 

Can I Wear My Fitbit On My Ankle During Sleep? 

Having tried this, I can say that it does not give you a good result. It is better to wear your Fitbit in this way when you cycle or take part in a spinning class. 

I compared data from wearing my Fitbit on my ankle during sleep. I found that my Fitbit thought I was in deep sleep the entire night. 

It has to do with the fact that the pulse in your ankles is often weaker than the pulse in your wrist. In other words, Fitbit can’t monitor heart rate function very well when fitted on the ankle. 

Is Your Fitbit Damaged? 

You should also check your Fitbit for damage. Even a small of damage can affect the way your Fitbit functions. For example, if the damage includes battery damage, you may have to replace your Fitbit. 

Minor problems can often be fixed by resetting or re-synchronizing your Fitbit if only the “software” side of the Fitbit has been affected. 

If you have more severe damage, it is probably time to buy a new device. 

Water And Your Fitbit

Did you take a shower in a power shower before going to bed? You may not think so, but the water that comes out of a power shower comes out under immense pressure. 

A water-proof Fitbit should tolerate a water pressure depth of 50 meters. However, sometimes the water pressure is so focused that it damages a Fitbit. 

When you suspect water damage, take your Fitbit off and let it dry out thoroughly before using it again. 

Make Sure The Battery Level Is Okay

Just like you check the alarm on your phone, it is a good idea to check the battery on your Fitbit before you settle down for the night. Is it low? 

When the battery level is low, your Fitbit is much more likely to malfunction during the night. It may even stop working. 

Check your Fitbit and charge it properly. The manufacturer claims you can charge it for 20 – 30 minutes. This should hopefully last through the night. 

The problem with shorter charging periods is that they can program in what is known as “battery memory.” Before you know it, you will find that your Fitbit charge lasts for shorter periods. This means you have programmed in a battery memory in all innocence. 

As the battery can’t be replaced, and the manufacturer knows that you have overcharged your device, you must buy a new one. 

Fix Your Fitbit When Not Tracking Your Sleep

When you find that you have a consistent problem with sleep tracking when using your Fitbit, here are a few fixes that you should look into. 

It is worth noting that you may find that other tracking functions may not work as they should. 

  • The sensors go wrong on Fitbit on occasion. If you notice a tracking problem, cleaning the sensors with a soft cloth is a great idea. 
  • Try re-synchronizing your Fitbit to the app.
  • Wear your Fitbit in a different position
  • Check the battery level.
  • Change sleep sensitivity settings.
  • Avoid selecting “going to bed.”
  • Try checking your heart rate settings.
  • Remove and re-add Fitbit from the app.
  • Restart your Fitbit after leaving it switched off for about 10 minutes
  • Try doing a factory reset.
  • You can also contact the manufacturer online to see if they have a solution. 

In Conclusion

Fitbit is great when it comes to tracking sleep. However, as nothing is perfect, we have to recognize things go wrong from time to time. 

Most importantly, you must wear your Fitbit in the right way. Wear it on the underside of your wrist, not on top of it. 

When you do notice a problem, try fixing it yourself using our mini guide to why isn’t my Fitbit tracking my sleep. Hopefully, that should fix the problem.