How Much Sleep Do Fitbit Users Really Get? A New Study Finds Out

How Much Sleep Do Fitbit Users Really Get? A New Study Finds Out


How Much Sleep Do Fitbit Users Really Get? A New Study Finds Out

Fitbit Sleep Study: The average Fitbit user

The launch of Sleep Stages was a huge step forward in sleep research – for Fitbit users and scientists.

Available on Fitbit Alta HR, Blaze, and Charge 2, Sleep Stages uses motion detection and heart rate variability to estimate the amount of time users spend awake and in light, deep, and REM sleep each night. The result? Data that empowers Fitbit users to take control of their sleep quality and allows Fitbit scientists to dig deeper into the health effects of sleep.

The ability to easily track your sleep not only helps individuals better understand their own sleep, it also unlocks significant potential for us to better understand population health and gain new insights into the mysteries of sleep and its connection to a variety of health conditions.

With that in mind, researchers tapped Fitbit’s longitudinal sleep database – the most extensive in the world – to analyze millions of nights of Sleep Stages data* to determine how age, gender, and duration affect sleep quality.

The sleep study results are below. Open up your sleep log in the Fitbit app to see how your personal stats compare.
The Sleep Sweet Spot

Fitbit Sleep Study: The average Fitbit user

The average Fitbit user is in bed for 7 hours and 33 minutes but only gets 6 hours and 38 minutes of sleep. The remaining 55 minutes is spent restless or awake. That may seem like a lot, but itís actually pretty common.

Sleep is not completely still. It’s perfectly normal to have periods of restlessness  – 10 or even up to 30 could be normal for you.

That said, 6 hours and 38 minutes is still shy of the 7+ hours the the CDC recommends adults get. If you tend to fall short as well, try to bank those extra minutes: Fitbit data confirms that sleeping 7 to 8 hours gives you the highest combined percentage of deep and REM sleep. In fact, 7.5 hours of sleep is the point at which you typically start getting less percentage of REM and more light.

People who sleep 5 hours or less a night deprive their body of the opportunity to get enough deep sleep, which occurs near the beginning of the night. Deep sleep is important for many physical processes such as cell regeneration, human growth hormone secretion, and feeling refreshed.

Fitbit data shows waking up earlier than usual is what impacts REM sleep, which occurs more at the end of the night. Not getting enough REM sleep can negatively impact your short-term memory, cell regeneration, and mood.

Light sleep seems to act as a filler: You get more when you log less than 7 hours or more than 9 hours of sleep a night. And thatís not necessarily a bad thing – a lot of body maintenance happens during light sleep.

These findings further support the general recommendation that most adults need to consistently sleep 7 to 9 hours per night, and illustrate why a good nightís rest is so important for your overall well-being.

How Much Sleep Do Fitbit Users Really Get? A New Study Finds Out

Does exercise make you eat more?

Does exercise make you eat more?

 Does exercise make you eat more?

After an hour in the gym you’re feeling pretty good about yourself. Less so two hours later, when you’ve demolished half the fridge. But the relationship between exercise and weight loss is complicated: not all exercise stimulates appetite to the same extent. And individuals vary in how much weight they lose from exercise.

The solution

This latest research, a small study of 16 healthy young men, measured the effects of different types of exercise on levels of acylated ghrelin, a hormone in the blood that is thought to increase appetite. The researchers provided standardised meals after the exercise and asked the men to rate their hunger levels. The study showed that the more intense and long the exercise, the more the levels of acylated ghrelin were suppressed. Those who ran for 90 minutes still had lower levels an hour after exercise. They also felt less hungry for longer. Shorter, more intense workouts reduced hormone levels more than easy jogging but the men still felt peckish a bit earlier than those who ran for longer.

Bad sleep makes it harder to keep your waistline down

Read more

Prof David Stensel of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, one of the authors of the study, says that their previous work does not show that people overcompensate in how much they eat after exercise. It’s a difficult area to research as, unless you directly watch what people do, you have to rely on them self-reporting the length and intensity of their exercise and how much they ate – not always accurately.

But if you want to lose weight, you should exercise as well as diet. To be effective you need to exercise at a level above 75% of your maximum heart rate, according to David Broom, the lead author of the study and professor at the Academy of Sport and Physical Activity at Sheffield Hallam University.

To get round the small size of many of the trials, his team have pooled data from studies. Broom says this shows that exercise needs to be high intensity. ‘Even short bursts of exercise – as little as 30 second sprints – has been shown to suppress appetite and acylated ghrelin’. The suppression of appetite due to the lowering of acylated ghrelin lasts up to roughly two hours, but there is variation between individuals.

Broom is clear that the evidence shows you will not feel hungrier or eat more at a subsequent meal. ‘You are more likely to put on weight if you are inactive,’ he says. You should exercise regardless of whether you want to lose weight, of course. It lowers blood pressure and makes you happier.

Do You Really Need to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day?

Do You Really Need to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day?

Do You Really Need to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day?

Did you drink enough water today? Did you even notice? If you have a cup of coffee in the morning, half a bottle with your workout, and a few sips with meals, you’re probably running on empty. Now that you stop to check in with your body, you might even feel thirsty, Take a moment to go get a big, cool drink. And while you pour, think about it. What is your water goal, anyway?
Do You Need 8 Glasses of Water a Day?

8 glasses of 8 fluid ounces of water per day is the classic recommendation, and a great goal to set initially, but itís definitely oversimplified. Unfortunately, there has never been a landmark study on exactly how much water you should drink every day! So even if it’s bunk, you have to start somewhere. Think of 8 glasses a day as the bare minimum, and then keep sipping.

In fact, the current recommendation from the Institute of Medicine is significantly higher, at least 2.7 liters of water per day for women, 3.7 liters for men, which translates to 11 to 15 cups of water per day. Some of that can come from hydrating foods and other beverages, such as watermelon and lettuce, or coffee and tea. But you still need a lot of water – and that’s just for adequate intake! So you might have to push those numbers higher, especially if you’re sweating hard during summer workouts.

But it doesn’t really matter which calculation you use, Foroutan confides. They all boil down to that 8 to 12 glasses range. What’s more important is how you feel. So track your intake for a few days. See how many glasses you’re getting. And in addition to the numbers, pay attention to your thirst and pee – if it’s darker than lemonade that’s a sign of dehydration.

Why Do You Need to Drink So Much Water?

Whatever your other health and fitness goals, drinking enough water can help you get there. Water is essential for your health and wellbeing, affecting every system in your body. It’s a natural detox, supporting your liver, kidneys, and bowel function. It powers athletic performance, clearing out lactic acid, so your muscles can do more. It helps you to focus and boosts your mood.

If that doesn’t make you hit the bottle, maybe the promise of weight loss will? Water could also be the key to achieving your weight loss goals. Research shows those who bump up their H20 consumption by one to three glasses per day eat fewer total calories, as well as less saturated fat, sodium, and sugar. So the next time you feel hungry, start with a big glass of water, and see if youíre confusing your thirst and hunger cues.

How to Make Hydration Happen

Before you freak out about drinking upwards of a dozen glasses of water every day, size it up! When’s the last time you poured exactly 8 fluid ounces into a glass? That’s a pretty small tumbler. These days, a small to-go cup is 12 fluid ounces, a mason jar is 16 fluid ounces, a fancy water bottle is 17 fluid ounces, and an outdoorsy water bottle is 32 fluid ounces. So while your water goal might be higher than you realize, you can also fill up for success.

Check out the water logging feature in the Fitbit app, where you can edit your goal and log your water intake. It makes it easy, by giving you options to quickly add a glass or bottle of water. Then keep sipping! Whether that means carrying a pretty bottle all the time, letting a big pitcher chill in the fridge, or taking stretch breaks to swing by the office cooler. If you need a fresh twist, try different flavors of sparkling water or infusing what comes from the tap with lemon, cucumber, mint, strawberries, and more. There are so many ways to keep your cells happy and hydrated.