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I received a Fitbit Charge HR this past Christmas as a gift. I had mentioned interest in them a few times, for the heart rate monitoring abilities. I had another heart rate monitor that I used when I worked out, but hated the chest band. I also am super competitive and thought maybe the social aspects of a Fitbit just may get my ass off of the sofa a little more often. In theory that part has worked. Working from home, I don’t get as much exercise as I would like in the winter months. Trying to hit 10,000 steps a day, has helped me to get up and at least hit the treadmill most days. I have even started going to the gym more, and started a new workout series at home.
Overall, I have been impressed with the Fitbit Charge HR. I have personally counted my steps, and the count I get with the Fitbit is pretty accurate. The wrist heart rate monitor has been almost the identical to my chest strap one. I am not enough of an athlete that the teeny discrepancy would bother me. It is comfortable to wear, and the charge lasts a long time. I typically charge it when I get in the shower every three days or so. By the time I am dressed and ready, I unplug it, and it makes it 3-4 days on that charge which is
However, the thing I have been the most impressed with is not with the steps or calorie counting. It isn’t with the band itself even. It is what I never realized about my sleep ! See, the Fitbit tracks your sleep habits if you leave it on while you are sleeping. Now, I know I am always exhausted.. I live off of coffee, and Diet Mountain Dew (though I am working to get rid of this one!), and I feel like I never sleep. I am learning that while I do sleep, it is not always GOOD sleep. Yes, there is a difference in sleep quality!
Here is one night of my sleep tracking:
I have always struggled with actually falling asleep. The product of having too much going on.. so that I can’t quiet my brain at night. This particular night I was IN bed by 10:00. However it shows I didn’t fall asleep for over 90 minutes, which is average for me. The light blue lines are restless periods. So even once I did fall asleep, it was not good sleep. The pink lines are when you’re actually restless enough that you wake from sleep. There were 9 times that I was restless, so not in a deep restorative sleep cycle. and 3 times that I was actually awake. So, while I may have thought I was asleep for over 6 hours here (which still is not enough for me), almost an hour of that was not really sleeping.
Your body goes through sleep cycles where you get your most restorative REM sleep at the end of each cycle. This is the “good” sleep. If you are not sleeping long enough, you don’t fall into a deep enough sleep, and miss out on this important REM sleep. Then you will be tired and sluggish the next day. This actually has been so eye opening for me! I knew I was not falling asleep, and could barely get up each day.. but I had no idea that the sleep I am getting is not always quality sleep.
I have been making some lifestyle changes, and working on improving my quality of sleep. However I would have never figured out about this had I not been wearing the Fitbit Charge HR to bed at night. While I wasn’t sure that this was a product worth the money, learning about the sleep alone has been worth it for me.
Do you have any tips for improving quality of sleep that you currently use ? I would love to hear them, as I need all of the help I can get.