I don't think my FitBit really knows what sleep stage I'm in

For Christmas I got a FitBit Alta HR. This model will estimate your sleep stages (light, deep, REM) if you wear it while you sleep. So I have been, and the news hasn’t been all good: it tells me I get a lot less REM than the normal person. I’ve been experimenting with sleep hygiene routines like reducing screen time before bed etc. They seem to help but they also stress me out because frankly, I need that before-bed time to get work done at my computer.

Two mornings ago my cat woke me up early by sitting on my head. It was fifteen minutes until my alarm went off, so I just lay there talking to her.

When I got up and synced my FitBit, it told me I’d been in REM during that time.

Last night it recorded me as being in REM when I was awake and reading.

I understand that sometimes I’m going to be so still that it thinks I’m asleep when I’m not (watching TV while snuggling with my husband is particularly prone to that) but FFS, this isn’t generic “you’re asleep,” this is their super-duper advanced Sleep Stage Reporting and it’s WRONG and it’s been stressing me out.

There are lots of places on the internet where people argue about how surprisingly accurate the HR FitBits are with sleep stages. I call baloney.

Yeah, I got a Flex2 a while back mainly to track sleep.

And it’s minimally helpful.

For one thing, despite entering in the settings of what time I go to bed and get up, it will sometimes decide that I was sleeping on and off from 12 noon to 9:30 pm or some such. Um, no. But those fake naps get added to the total time slept. Thanks for that.:rolleyes: (There’s apparently some sort of adjustment thing on the web page, but it doesn’t work at all in my browser. And I’d have to adjust every singe day.)

Sometimes I will be awake for a couple hours in the middle of the night. It might catch the start and/or end of that wake period. But the bulk of it always gets marked as sleep. And I know I’m not perfectly still the whole time.

And then there’s the 5 day recharge thing with a lousy “flashy light” interface to tell me how much charge is left … or not.

I have a Fitbit. I don’t think its sleep detection is very good. I’ve read none of those wearables have really good sleep detection, because they rely on motion and pulse sensors, which are unreliable. One really needs to detect actual brain waves to know for sure what’s going on.

Yeah, I wonder if it has something to do with changes in the position of the tracker. I wear mine slightly loose since one notch tighter is too tight. So although I push it up my wrist right after laying down for good, it moves up and down the wrist as I move around in the night. I bet that alters the measurements.

I have the Charge 2. I think it’s kind of accurate, but there are times it shows me awake at night that I don’t remember (although that is possible, I rolled over and woke myself up but I have no memory of that.) I do like to check it though, and I can tell a difference when I get less sleep than normal.