Fitbit, whose devices encourage people to walk 10,000 steps each day, now wants to put them to sleep as well.
The company said data collected by the millions of Fitbit trackers in use show that people are averaging less than seven hours of sleep a night, the amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the zzz’s people do get aren’t necessarily the right kind of sleep.
So Fitbit will offer deeper sleep tracking on some of its devices. Fitbits already track how much sleep people get and use sensors to measure periods of being awake or restless while in bed. Now, using a built-in heart-rate monitor, the devices will break sleep into clinically defined stages.
For example, about a quarter of sleep is supposed to consist of the rapid-eye movement, or REM, phase. This is when dreams occur, and scientists believe it’s important for improving memory. Fitbit says devices with this new Sleep Stages feature will be able to measure whether you get enough REM sleep.
All Fitbits will offer recommendations through the Fitbit app on ways to improve sleep. For example, if you get more sleep on weekends, Fitbit might suggest that you’re not getting enough during the week. Or if sleep quality improves after exercise, the app might suggest more workouts.
“We really want our users to think about sleep as being as important as your activity,” said Christina Kothari, senior product marketing manager at Fitbit.