Fitbit has joined forces with a team of American sleep experts to help users get a good night’s rest.
The fitness tech company revealed their product’s latest upcoming feature, Sleep Schedule, yesterday. Sleep Schedule is a free update to the app that’s available now, and works across all Fitbit devices that track sleep.
Users can now set personalized sleep goals (ie. How many hours of shut-eye/night) based off data accrued by the tracker, set bedtime and wake-up targets, and create reminders to stay on the self-made schedule.
The app also charts progress for users, so they can make changes to their schedule accordingly.
“If you’re constantly changing your sleep routine, it can have the same effect as giving yourself jetlag,” Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona and one of Fitbit’s three sleep experts, said in a statement.
“You should aim to get a sufficient amount of sleep each night and be consistent with the times you go to sleep and wake up each day.”
And that’s what Sleep Schedule revolves around: giving users a visual of how much sleep they’re getting, which allows them to set sleep goals or reminders to catch some extra Z’s.
“This has the potential to help millions of people around the world improve their sleep and overall well-being,” added Gardner.
Sleep consistency is the key to proper ‘sleep hygiene’ (yes, it’s a thing), according to Burlington-based sleep consultant Alanna McGinn.
“(It has to be) the same time every day – even on weekends and even on holidays,” she told CTVNews.ca. “It helps sync your body to sleep better, to fall asleep better, to get better sleep throughout the night.”
McGinn doesn’t think the Fitbit update is a terrible idea – technology like this brings more attention and exposure to sleep health, and encourages people to consider their sleeping habits. But she warns against using technology as a medical device.
“If someone has bigger sleep issues…you don’t want to base it just on the readings that you’re getting,” she said. “It’s not to be used as a cure to things like insomnia, sleep apnea.”