What to Do When Your Fitbit Stops Tracking Sleep

Fitbit Sense with no sleep recordedFitbit Sense with no sleep recorded

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Fitbits are fantastic devices to help you improve your health overall, especially your sleep patterns. One unfortunate downside is when your Fitbit stops tracking sleep, whether it’s when you’re falling asleep or in the middle of the night.

If a Fitbit stops automatically tracking sleep, restart it using the specific directions for that Fitbit model. If the Fitbit is still not tracking sleep automatically, users can adjust some of the device’s settings.

How Fitbits Track Sleep

To properly troubleshoot your Fitbit when it isn’t tracking or recording your sleep, it helps to understand how Fitbits track sleep in the first place. 

Fitbit registers that you are sleeping by analyzing heart rate and motion patterns. The Fitbit will start recording this after approximately one hour.

Even if you are restless, Fitbit may record a 45-minute nap and will report time awake, but it’s not guaranteed.

Fixing a Fitbit that Doesn’t Track Sleep

It can be frustrating if you’re trying to get healthier sleep habits and relying on your Fitbit to tell you more information, but it’s not tracking sleep. Here are some things to do as quickly as possible so you can work on your sleep score.

Make Sure the Fitbit is Worn Correctly

The first thing to do is make sure your Fitbit is snug on your wrist before going to sleep to ensure the most accurate sleep tracking. 

If your Fitbit is too loose, it will have trouble detecting no motion and getting an accurate heart rate reading. 

Also, make sure it is located two fingers from your wrist bone on your arm. You can wear it on the outside or inside of your wrist too.

Clean the Heart Rate Sensor

Dirty Fitbit Sense monitor

Since Fitbit relies on your heart rate to know if you’re asleep, a dirty heart rate sensor might be why your Fitbit isn’t picking up sleep. 

The best way to clean the back of your Fitbit is to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and distilled water. Dry it with a microfiber cloth.

You should also clean the charging pins on the charging cable with rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab regularly. The charging pins can pick up dust and enter your Fitbit’s heart rate monitor.

To keep this from happening, avoid wearing your Fitbit in the shower because it can get exposed to hard water, shampoo, soap, and conditioner. Also, avoid putting your Fitbit on immediately after putting on lotion.

Charge your Fitbit

Another thing that can cause a Fitbit to stop tracking sleep, especially in the middle of the night, is a dead or dying battery. If a Fitbit battery is low, it will stop performing excess activities to hold the battery.

Part of getting a good night’s rest is to do a calm activity to induce melatonin, so charge up your Fitbit while reading a chapter in a book on your Kindle with warm light to make sure your Fitbit battery is good to go for the night.

Adjust the Fitbit’s Sleep Sensitivity Mode

Some Fitbits have normal and sensitive modes for tracking sleep. If you move a lot in your sleep, the sensitive mode may make it look like you aren’t sleeping. For light sleepers, normal mode is better.

Here are the steps to change the sleep sensitivity mode of your Fitbit using an iOS device:

  1. In the Fitbit app, click on your profile icon.
  2. Select “Activity & Wellness”
  3. Select “Sleep”
  4. Select “Sleep Sensitivity” 
  5. Choose Normal or Sensitive mode.
Change Fitbit Sleep Sensitivity in App

Note: Currently, you cannot change this setting on an Android device; if you have an Android device paired with your Fitbit, it can be changed on fitbit.com. 

To change the sleep sensitivity mode of your Fitbit on a computer, use these steps:

  1. Go to fitbit.com and sign in to your account. 
  2. From the dashboard, click on the gear icon in the top-right corner. 
  3. Select “Settings” from the drop-down menu. 
  4. Scroll down to “Sleep Sensitivity” and choose Normal or Sensitive.
  5. Press “Submit” to save your choice.  

Restart the Fitbit

Restarting is always a good way to fix any glitches in any device, especially if your Fitbit isn’t tracking sleep.

Here are how to restart the current and some of the former Fitbit models:

Follow the steps below to restart a Fitbit Charge, Inspire and Inspire HR, Ace 2, Ace 3, or One:

  1. Plug the charging cable into your computer or a box connected to a wall charger.
  2. Plug the other end of the cable directly into the Fitbit. 
  3. Hold the button on the side of the Fitbit for 5 seconds and release the button.
  4. Depending on your Fitbit model, you may see a start-up screen, a smile icon, or a battery icon. You can release the button and unplug your Fitbit when you see this.

For other Fitbit models that have stopped tracking sleep, follow these steps to reset them:

  • To restart a Fitbit Ace, Alta, or Flex 2, plug it into the charger, and press the button on the charger cable three times with a brief pause between presses. 
  • For Fitbit Blaze, Ionic, and Versa, press and hold the buttons on the back and bottom of the Fitbit until you see the Fitbit logo.
  • For Fitbit Versa Lite and Versa 2, hold the back button for at least 10 seconds. (These Fitbits do not need to be plugged in to be restarted.)
  • To restart the Fitbit Charge 3 and Charge 4, open the settings on the watch and select “About” then “Reboot device.”
  • To restart a Fitbit Sense and  open the settings on the watch and select “Shut Down.”
  • For restarting a Fitbit Charge 5, Inspire 3, and Luxe, open the settings on the watch and select “Restart Device” and then “Restart.”
  • To restart a Fitbit Inspire 2, go to “Settings” and then “Reboot Device.”

Restarting your Fitbit can also fix some glitches like not accurately tracking your steps or it’s running slow.

Fitbit-Specific Fixes

Some Fitbits have additional settings to check out that other models don’t to troubleshoot the sleep tracker. 

If you have a Fitbit Inspire, make sure that it’s set to “on wrist” instead of “on clip.” If it’s set to “on clip,” it won’t accurately record your sleep, even if you have it on your wrist.

If you have a Fitbit Alta HR or a Charge 2, make sure the heart rate tracking is on in your settings. If your heart rate isn’t tracked, your sleep won’t be either.

Manually Adjusting the Fitbit’s Sleep Log

Alternatively, you can use the Fitbit app to start and stop sleep tracking if your Fitbit isn’t automatically logging your sleep. You can also change your sleep log at any time if it is inaccurate. 

Here is how to manually adjust a Fitbit’s sleep log:

  1. In the Fitbit app, select the Sleep tile. 
  2. Choose the night you want to edit. 
  3. Tap on the three dots.
  4. Select the option to edit.
  5. Adjust the times you went to sleep or woke up.
  6. Press “Save.” 
Manually changing a Fitbit's Sleep Data

If you prefer not to worry about your Fitbit automatically tracking your sleep or you have a Fitbit Zip, you can manually log your sleep in the Fitbit app or your Fitbit account. 

This is not a preferred option because you don’t get any information about your sleep patterns or sleep stages when logging your sleep manually.

Other Fitbit Sleep Tracker Settings and Features

Fitbit can help you create and maintain a healthy sleep schedule with various sleep settings. Some extra tracker settings are free with Fitbit, while others require a Fitbit Premium subscription.

The Fitbit Sleep Tracker settings and features that are free are:

  • Sleep goals: You can create a goal of how many hours you want to sleep each night. The recommended sleep time for adults is at least seven hours.
  • Sleep schedule: You can set a sleep schedule to help you meet your sleep goal. Set a target bedtime and wake-up time and bedtime reminders.
  • Silent alarms: No more waking up to a loud alarm to further increase your cortisol levels. A silent alarm will gradually ease you from sleep to wake.
  • Smart wake: Some Fitbit devices, such as the Charge 4, Ionic, and Versa, have a smart wake feature to prevent waking you up while in deep sleep.

The Fitbit Sleep Tracker settings and features that require a Fitbit Premium account are:

  • Sleep profile: analyzes several metrics to help you learn how to get a more restful night’s sleep.
  • Snore and noise detection: only available on the Sense and Versa 3. This feature will let you know if there are noises and your snoring keeps you from a good night’s rest.

With all Fitbits offer with sleep tracking, no wonder you want to get your smartwatch tracking your sleep again as quickly as possible.

FAQ: Fitbit Sleep Tracking

Can all Fitbits track sleep?

All Fitbit devices except the Fitbit Zip can track sleep. If you want to track your sleep and have a Fitbit Zip, you must manually enter the information into the Fitbit app.

How accurate is the Fitbit’s sleep tracker?

Depending on the study, Fitbit’s sleep trackers are fairly accurate. However, they shouldn’t be used to replace a sleep study or for diagnostic purposes.

Some of the best Fitbits to track sleep are the Sense, Versa, and Inspire series.

Why did sleep disappear from my Fitbit?

Sometimes settings in the Fitbit app can change, especially when there is an update. If you noticed the sleep disappeared from your Fitbit, make sure that:

  • Your Fitbit is paired with the app
  • The tile tracker for sleep is there. 

If the tile was removed, your sleep data should still appear. To get the sleep tracker tile back up: 

  1. Open the Fitbit app
  2. Go to Edit in the top right
  3. Scroll down to the bottom to Additional Stats
  4. Tap Add on the Sleep tile and drag it to where you want it
Adding a Fitbit Sleep Tile in the app
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