Fitbit has made it so that anyone can track their physical activity, heart rate, and sleep patterns. They work well and are easy to rely on, but that doesn’t mean that they always work. So, why is your Fitbit not tracking sleep?
A Fitbit not tracking sleep is usually because the battery is too low or it’s too loose on your wrist. It can also fail to track your sleep and heart rate if you have Manual Recording enabled. Disable manual recording and tighten your Fitbit on your wrist so that it can accurately track your movement and heart rate while sleeping.
Fitbits rely on accurate movement tracking to monitor your sleep. This can make it difficult for people who move a lot while sleeping to get an accurate reading in some cases. Follow along as we explore the possible causes and solutions for a Fitbit not tracking sleep.
How Do Fitbits Track Sleep?
Fitbits track sleep based on your heart rate and movement. The device will monitor how much you move and how much your heart rate fluctuates while you sleep. This data can help indicate how long you slept, how restful it was, and how your body functioned throughout the time.
Typically, a Fitbit won’t start tracking sleep until you have been stationary for an hour. A Fitbit can tell that you are asleep once you haven’t been moving and your heart rate slows down. The average person’s heart rate slows down to between 40 and 50 beats per minute while sleeping.
Fitbit utilizes machine learning to process data while you sleep. This method of tracking sleep allows for accurate readings to help you understand your sleep patterns. With that said, many users wake up and realize that their Fitbit was not tracking their sleep.
Why Won’t My Fitbit Track My Sleep?
Your Fitbit isn’t tracking sleep if it is on too loose or if you move too much while sleeping. Many factors affect your Fitbit’s sleep tracking function, such as how tight it is and your behavior while you try to sleep. Let’s take a look at the most common reasons why your Fitbit isn’t tracking sleep.
Excessive Movement While Sleeping
People that move a lot while sleeping may have trouble with their Fitbit’s tracking features. That is because Fitbits recognize sleep largely based on how still you are. Sadly, that means that people that toss and turn all night will struggle to get accurate sleep tracking data.
That doesn’t mean that your Fitbit’s sleep tracking won’t work if you move while sleeping. However, it may be difficult to trigger the feature if you move frequently during your first hour of sleep. The first hour of stillness is when your Fitbit initially recognizes that you are asleep.
With that said, your Fitbit can still track your sleep in many cases even if you move a lot. The data will likely point to poor sleep quality in that case, however. Sadly, your Fitbit may not be able to track your sleep in extreme cases if you move excessively and consistently throughout the night.
Fitbit is Too Loose
Your Fitbit will only work well if it is fastened to your wrist securely. The monitor on the Fitbit needs to be close to your wrist veins for it to accurately track your heart rate. Heart rate is a critical part of sleep tracking and is responsible for most of the important data.
Movement is the other most important aspect of how your Fitbit tracks your sleep. Your Fitbit may think that you are moving more than you are if is loose on your wrist. This will stop your Fitbit from tracking your sleep pattern because it may think that you are still in motion.
That combined with the inaccurate heart rate information will stop your Fitbit from tracking sleep. You don’t need your Fitbit to be too tight to where it’s uncomfortable, but it cannot be loose. It needs to be tight enough to where it won’t flop around without constricting your blood flow.
Manual Recording is Enabled
It is all too easy to accidentally enable a feature on your Fitbit that will affect its performance. One such feature is Manual Recording which will stop your Fitbit from automatically tracking your sleep. The Manual Recording feature lets you initiate sleep tracking which is useful in some situations, but it requires you to be proactive.
Sometimes, a Fitbit user will enable Manual Recording and forget to switch it back to automatic tracking. This can explain why your Fitbit is not tracking sleep and it should be the first thing that you check. Scroll through your Fitbit’s settings and click on sleep to see if Manual Recording is enabled.
If so, disable it so that your Fitbit will automatically track your sleep patterns. You can always enable Manual Recording if you need to, but it’s ideal to keep it automated for your convenience.
How to Make Fitbit Track Sleep
Your Fitbit should automatically track sleep, but that’s unfortunately not always the case. Older models are sometimes less accurate or slow to track your sleep patterns automatically. Luckily, you can make your Fitbit track sleep if it isn’t tracking it on its own.
You can manually track your sleep with your Fitbit if it doesn’t happen automatically. Wait until you are ready to go to sleep and open your Fitbit app that is paired with your device. Open the dashboard and tap the Sleep icon.
Simply press Record and it should initiate the sleep tracking function. The only downside to this fix is that it may provide inaccurate results. That is because it will begin tracking your sleep pattern before you fall asleep.
It all depends based on how long it takes for you to fall asleep. The automatic sleep tracking feature waits until you’ve been still for an hour and your heart rate slows down. However, you will still get valuable sleep data even if you have to manually activate it through the app or smartwatch.
Update the App
Update the app if your Fitbit is not tracking your sleep. Outdated versions of the Fitbit app make it much more difficult to access sleep tracking and heart rate data. Your Fitbit may be tracking your sleep, but you might not be able to access it if the app is outdated.
Android users can update the Fitbit app through the Google Play store. Otherwise, you can update the app through App Store if you have an iPhone. You should notice several performance improvements once your app is up to date.
Check to see if your Fitbit tracked your sleep after you’ve updated it. If it doesn’t, then it indicates that something else is wrong and you will need to keep troubleshooting your Fitbit.
Restart Your Fitbit
Sometimes, the solution is as simple as restarting your Fitbit to give it a soft reboot. This is a wise practice with any smart device because it lets the system get a fresh start. You can restart any Fitbit model, but it’s never been easier than with modern Fitbits.
All that you need to do is open the Settings menu and select Shutdown if you have a new Fitbit. Otherwise, you can restart your Fitbit if you hold the power button for 10 seconds. Leave your Fitbit off for 20-30 seconds and turn it back on to restart it.
Old Fitbits need to be plugged in for you to restart them. Plug it in, hold the power button for 5 seconds, and wait for it to turn off. Unplug the Fitbit and turn it back on to restart it if you have an older model. You will have to wait until the next time you sleep to see if the tracking works.
Adjust Sensitivity Settings
Fitbits let you adjust the sensitivity settings which will alter how it tracks your activities, and that includes sleep. For example, people that move a lot while sleeping will get inaccurate sleep tracking results if the sensitivity is low. Enable Sensitive or Normal mode if you move a lot while sleeping and cannot track your sleep patterns.
You can adjust the sensitivity settings through the device, app, or website. Open the settings menu and tap Advanced Settings. Click on Sleep Sensitivity and select Sensitive or Normal mode if your Fitbit is not tracking sleep.
The Sensitive setting will often result in more restless sleep results because it will track each movement. Normal mode is less sensitive so it won’t register every small movement that you make while sleeping. You can experiment with each setting to see which one most accurately tracks your sleep patterns.
Pair it With the App
Pair your Fitbit with the app if it is not tracking your sleep. Fitbit users can download the official app for free to help access their information and activate certain features. One such feature is the sleep tracking and heart rate monitoring function.
Ideally, you should pair your Fitbit with the app when you get it to use the device to the fullest extent. Set up your Fitbit account when you get the device. Next, enter your login username and password on the app to pair it with your Fitbit.
You can use the Fitbit website to activate the sleep tracking feature and access the data. Enter your information on the website as well to use a backup if you can’t use your phone for some reason.
Charge Your Fitbit
Your Fitbit won’t work at full capacity if the battery is close to dying. The battery life of a Fitbit varies based on which model you have. For example, the Fitbit Ionic’s battery typically only lasts 10 hours whereas the Charge 5 can last for up to 5 days
Keep track of your Fitbit’s battery life to make sure that it’s not close to dying before you go to sleep. Otherwise, your Fitbit may die during the night which will stop it from tracking your sleep. A Fitbit will also struggle to track your sleep patterns if it is close to dying even if it doesn’t die.
You can check your Fitbit’s battery life on the app, website, and the device itself. Charge your Fitbit before you go to sleep if you want accurate sleep tracking. It typically only takes 1-2 hours to charge a Fitbit and it’s worthwhile if you want to track your heart rate and sleep patterns. Find out if you can change the battery on your Fitbit.
If Nothing Works, Replace Your Fitbit
Unfortunately, you may need to replace your Fitbit if the aforementioned fixes don’t work. The average Fitbit only works at peak performance for 2 years. It may still work after 2 years, but it is unlikely to be as accurate as it used to be and won’t provide excellent sleep tracking.
The Fitbit Versa 2 costs $150, and the Fitbit Inspire 3 only costs $100. Understandably, some users are apprehensive to replace their Fitbit too often because of the associated costs. However, it may be the only solution if your Fitbit is not tracking sleep and the battery dies too quickly.
So, What is the Best Solution?
The best solution is to disable Manual Recording if your Fitbit won’t track your sleep automatically. You can do this through the Sleep icon on the dashboard. However, some users may need to enable Manual Recording if their Fitbit won’t track their sleep automatically.
Make sure that your Fitbit app is up to date if the sleep tracking feature won’t work. Restart your Fitbit if it won’t track your heart rate and sleep pattern. Hold the power button for 5-10 seconds to shut it down, then turn it back on to restart it.
Older models require you to plug your Fitbit in and hold the power button to restart the device. Tighten your Fitbit if it is too loose and won’t accurately track your heart rate and sleep. Make sure to charge your Fitbit for 1-2 hours if the battery is close to dying so that it works properly.