Fitbit's new sleep profile tells you that

Fitbit has introduced a new sleep profile feature for Fitbit Premium users, a feature that collects long-term sleep metrics to give you more insight into your bedtime habits.

The feature is compatible with top Fitbit devices, including Fitbit Sense, Versa 3, Versa 2, Charge 5, Luxe, and Inspire 2 devices, and is expected to launch during the week of July 4. The feature is designed to offer "a new longitudinal analysis of your sleep patterns" after a minimum of 14 days of use, and is used to help "calculate trends and compare them to what is typical for your age and gender."

It does this by collecting different sleep metrics over those two weeks, including sleep schedule variability, time to sleep deeply, disturbed sleep, sleep duration, rest, and REM sleep. Once it has all this data, it will assign you one of 10 types of sleep categories, represented by illustrations of very cute animals.

Do you sleep like a giraffe for short periods and need a quality sleep schedule, or do you sleep like a bear, who tends to fall asleep early and regularly? In case those are the burning questions keeping you up at night, Fitbit will be able to provide you with the answers starting July 4th.

On the first day of each month, your profile will be updated so you can see if your broader sleep habits have changed over time.

Analysis: How useful is sleep tracking?

The best sleep trackers, including Fitbit devices, are impressive for the amount of data they can capture. If you struggle to sleep on a regular basis, Fitbit captures longitudinal data and helps analyze trends in your sleep and can encourage you to make changes to achieve a better rest in bed.

However, sleep tracking is often as useless as it is impressive. If you've been up all night, you know you've been up all night. Likewise, it's no good when Fitbit tells you that you spent less time sleeping soundly than you did the night before, because that's not a metric you can act on.

We've already covered the pros and cons of sports watches and sleep tracking, but summarizing all that complex information in broad strokes, like those animal profiles, and updating them every month can save you unnecessary stress on sleep details.

Claire Davies, Expert Sleep Writer at TechRadar, said: “On paper, Fitbit's sleep profile seems more nuanced than the basic level of sleep tracking we're used to from wrist-mounted devices. Having a broader range of metrics to fall back on helps provide better context for your overall sleep health.

“But when comparing your data to averages for people of the same age and gender, remember that everything is subjective. Your mental and physical health, your bedroom environment, and your bed partner can affect your sleep.

You may be a giraffe this month, but don't make a big deal out of it. Next month, you could be a bear.

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