Fitbits for the sleep study?

It occurs to me that something like the FitBit could be really handy for the Ubersleepstudy.

I'll have to look into how it tracks sleep and how it stores data in more detail, but on the surface it looks more portable, comprehensive, and inexpensive than a Zeo.

Thoughts welcome, of course!

6 thoughts on “Fitbits for the sleep study?”

  1. It's not any cheaper, and as has already been said, it's not useful for sleep stages themselves. That's what's really valuable about the Zeo when adapting – you can tell if you're getting the REM/SWS you need.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, all! I’ve used the Zeo extensively, and while I had some issues with it (and like others have said, it’s not really set up for polyphasic sleep), based on your comments, I agree that between the two, the Zeo definitely looks like the better tracker. Much appreciate the insights!! -PD

  2. The fitbit is less comprehensive than a ZEO, the ZEO is an actual EEG device which can measure sleep states, whereas the fitbit only measures body movement and can't even distinguish laying motionless and wide awake from sleep.

  3. I've glanced at some reviews and i don't think the FitBit is a good choice for a sleep study.
    It seems to be quite inaccurate and only tracks "sleep efficiency", not different phases like REM. my educated guess is that it only measures sleep by movement, which is why for some people it records falling asleep after 10 minutes when they lay still and try to fall asleep.
    "The sleep tracker doesn't seem to be very accurate. I hardly ever fall asleep in less than an hour; however, my FitBit usually says I fall asleep in about 10 minutes. It also says I wake up 35-45 times per night."
    It does seem to have a nice vibration alarm, track staircase steps taken (with some accuracy), footsteps, calories burnt, etc., and a nice motivational fitness system with food tracking and earning badges for results. So this rather seems to be a fitness gadget.

  4. Having had (and used) both devices, I'd say the Zeo is much better for tracking sleep data.

    The FItbit (at least the older version I had) would only track large arm movements as a sign of 'disrupted sleep'. It's focused on all-day activity, with the sleep tracking sort of 'tacked on'.

    The Zeo does track actual brain waves, and gives you much more detailed information. (and you can parse the raw logs yourself if you so choose). There are a couple of caveats I encountered:
    It doesn't work for some people – I found 1-2 reviews where it read normal wakefullness as REM sleep. Obvious problem for someone who's trying to fix their sleep patterns. I don't know what percentage of the population would have issues with it.
    Also, it isn't 100% accurate, probably about 75-90%.
    The online site isn't really set up for polyphasic sleepers – you'll have to manage the data yourself (There is a tool that I haven't used) — online the "resolution" is about 5 minutes.. I think you can get finer (1 minute?) with the data management tool, but you might want to double-check that.
     
    One more thing, the price isn't so bad if you get the bluetooth version (sadly it was released about a week after I ordered the side-table model) – $99 on amazon.
     
    (Feel free to ask questions – I used the Fitbit for about half a year before it broke, and the Zeo for 169 nights)

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