Tracking Sleep with Fitdigits Apps

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is critical for boosting brainpower, peace of mind, improving your exercise and performance and even necessary if you want to lose weight. Sufficient sleep has been linked to lowering risk for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Get enough sleep to perform, look and feel your best.

Why Should I Track My Sleep?

Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or frequently waking up? Track your sleep to help identify your sleep challenges and trends. Often, making a few changes to your habits and routine can positively affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

How to Track My Sleep

Fitdigits offers two options to track your sleep. You can either use a Fitdigits compatible sleep tracker and have your information automatically sync to Fitdigits, or manually enter in the sleep information.

Sleep Tracker
Here is a list of sleep trackers Fitdigits is compatible with:

Just link your account on the my.fitdigits partners page or from the Partners section in your app, and your sleep data will fill in automatically!

Manual Entry
In Fitdigits you can manually enter in your sleep data as well.

1. In Fitdigits Apps, tap Menu > Health Vitals
2. Tap Sleep
3. Tap the “+” sign in the upper right

4. You will now be taken to the Sleep Input page. Enter in your Bed Time, Wake Time, Awakenings, Times Up, the Quality of your Sleep and any comments you may have. All of these factors will determine your sleep score.

Input your sleep data

5. Tap Save when you are finished. You will now see your sleep score.

It is important to track your sleep, and now you can with Fitdigits!

Misfit Shine Integration Is Here!

Fitdigits is starting to feel like the most popular kid in school, because we just keep on adding partners! After recently joining forces with the Jawbone UP, Fitdigits is adding the Misfit Shine to its family of health and fitness sensors.

The Shine is a new and unique way to track your steps, caloric burn, sleep, and other valuable health and fitness metrics. The biggest thing about the Shine is how low maintenance it is.

Unlike most activity trackers, the Shine can be worn 24/7 right on your wrist, meaning no accidentally putting it through the washing machine or losing it, and you can even leave it on the shower or while you swim! The Shine will also automatically track sleep without any kind of interaction or button pushing on the monitor, features a battery that lasts 4 months (no constant recharging necessary), and a comfortable and lightweight design.

The Shine is stylish and simple!

When we began discussing a potential partnership with Misfit, we had a few people around the office give it a try, and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

“I’m a busy working mom with two kids, and my favorite thing is just how easy it all is”, says Kelly Lazarus, a longtime Fitdigits employee. “I put it on and forget it’s on my wrist. No charging it, no losing it, no nothing! In all of my years using activity trackers, the Shine is by far my favorite. And I love the automatic tracking of sleep data.“

It does not hurt that the Shine is easy on the eyes! With a sleek and elegant design, the Shine is a departure from the bright colors and bulky form of sensors of the past. It is a simple, stylish and pragmatic approach to activity tracking.

Fitdigits is ecstatic to add such a unique sensor to it’s already robust list of partners. You can link your Misfit Shine with Fitdigits by logging into My.Fitdigits, going to “Partners” -> Misfit Shine ->”Link Account” and signing in with your Misfit username and password.

Click “Link Account” to pair your Misfit Shine and Fitdigits account

In-app integration will come with the next release of the Fitdigits, which will also feature optimization for iOS 8.

Happy Tracking!

Scott lost 130 pounds with Fitdigits

Scott decided to change his lifestyle

Testimonial by Fitdigits user Scott B.

Last September my wife and I made a strong and ongoing commitment to get into and maintain healthier lifestyle. I was 41 and had been morbidly obese much of my adult life. At one point I weighted almost 300 pounds. I had also been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes seven years ago and severe sleep apnea too. I knew it was critical I make some significant lifestyle changes or face even worse health risks.

We started by eating healthy and incorporating a variety of exercises, including cardio and resistance-based activities, into our daily activities. I had owned several heart rate monitors in the past and found them helpful. Both my wife and I started to use them again to track workout intensity and caloric burns. In Mid-September of last year I discovered the Fitdigits app and was blown away by its features. It quickly proved to be one of the more essential tools I used to get down to 170 pounds by April of this year and see other health improvements: I no longer have sleep apnea or have to wear a CPAP mask every time I try to sleep. More importantly, my blood sugar/glucose levels are now within very healthy levels without the need for medication! My resting heart rate went from the low 80s to upper 50s now. For the first time as an adult I can both jog and run respectable distances.

The Fitdigits app stands out from the other heart rate monitor and running apps because of the broad feature set, level of customization, the Fitdigits website, partner integration, ease of use despite the large feature set, and great support.

After getting familiar with the app and features my wife and I did the Fitdigits fitness assessments. From that we had something to measure our progress, more accurate and personalized heart rate zones, and other information the Fitdigits app uses to more accurately measure and display your heart rate related data and calorie burn. I like that the heart rate zones the Fitdigits app created support more modern information regarding optimal fat burning, aerobic, and anaerobic heart rate zones and not the old 10% increments of your maximum heart rate that have been used in the past.

The next thing I did was setup custom dashboards to display different data based on the activity we were doing. The custom dashboards are capable of displaying up to 12 items per screen, and you can have multiple screens! As an example, when I am on the elliptical I want to see my heart rate, what zone I am in, total calories burned, current calories per minute I am burning, average calorie burn per minute, total workout time, etc. If I am doing a custom workout routine I want to see how long I have left in the current zone, and how much time is left in the routine. How is all that data useful? The data is like a coach telling you how hard you are working your body, and if your efforts are in align with what you are trying to accomplish with that workout; I can look at the screen and see if I need to keep my effort as is, push it harder, or slow down.

The ability to easily create custom routines is very nice. Sometimes I just want to burn a lot of calories, other times I am doing a structured high intensity interval training workout to boost my cardio, and other times and am focusing on cardio endurance. Routines help guide you so that you stay on track with the proper intensity levels throughout the workouts.

As mentioned, the Fitdigits app has the ability to display a lot of useful data during the workout but it also stands out from other similar apps in what you can do with the data post-workout. The app itself saves all the workouts locally and syncs them to your Fitdigits account online. I find it incredibly useful and motivating to compare past and present workouts to monitor my progress. I can see very clear improvements in my cardio and running speeds on a regular basis. Doing the fitness assessments regularly and comparing those is also very helpful to track progress and ensure the cardio related settings within the Fitdigits app update and maintain accuracy.

The web site allows you to setup different types of goals so that that you can better track, measure, and get reports on your progress. Both my wife and I have found the goal related features very helpful in staying committed. We both have weekly calorie burn and workout duration goals. Since I can now run, I also have a weekly distance running goal too.

One of the other great features about the Fitdigits Ecosystem is that they have partnered with some of the other popular fitness-related resources. My favorite is MyFitnessPal. Many people, including my wife and I, use that free site to plan our meals and track food consumption. We like that our workouts get synced to the site so we can track net calories (consumed calories minus burned calories).

I previously purchased two Garmin FR-620s ($450 each) for my wife and I before Fitdigits implemented the BLE stride sensor feature. I have to say, after using my Polar HR strap and stride sensor with the Fitdigits app—the Garmin watches will only be used on very long runs. Thankfully Fitdigits has made it very easy to import data from Garmin and other companies that use common exportable data logging formats.

Overall I feel the small cost of the Fitdigits app, compatible heart rate monitor, their optional MVP program features, and taking a little time to both understand how to use the features and setting up an obtainable action plan are an amazing value and a must have investment for anyone that wants to improve their fitness.

Link Fitdigits With Your Jawbone UP Activity Trackers

You can link any of the Jawbone UP line of activity trackers with Fitdigits either on the web or within the apps. This will post your Fitdigits activities to Jawbone UP, and seamlessly integrate data from their tracker, including steps, calories and sleep, directly into your my.fitdigits dashboard. Currently the data is not held in the app itself but combined online in the cloud. See your integrated data on my.fitdigits.com.

From the Apps: 

  1. Open your Fitdigits app and go to Menu > Partners > Jawbone UP
  2. Tap “Link Account”
  3. Enter your Jawbone UP email and password

 

From the Website: 

  1. Go to My.Fitdigits and login with your Fitdigits username and password.
  2. On the top right, directly below your profile icon, you will see “Partners”. Click here to get to the Fitdigits Partners Page.
  3. Go to “UP” for the Jawbone UP and click “Link Account”.
  4. On the login page, enter in your username and password associated with your Jawbone UP account and activity monitor. (NOT your Fitdigits username).

You are linked! Now your Jawbone UP data will seamlessly integrate on My Fitdigits. To view your Jawbone UP and Fitdigits steps and calories graphed over time in the app, go to Menu > Daily Activity.

If you have more than one partner linked, you also need specify which one is your preferred Daily Activity data provider.

7 Wonders of the Fitness World

Twas 7 nights before Christmas, when all through the land
Not a person was exercising, no workouts were planned.
The ham was carved, candy eaten without care,
10 pounds later we complain life isn’t fair.

This holiday season, before you snuggle into your bed,
Make sure to have a Holiday plan in your head.
Fitdigits is sharing the year’s best fitness tips,
To help you avoid adding winter weight to your hips.

7th Day- 7 Wonders of the Fitness World

This list is a bit different then the classic 7 Wonders of the World, which are more reserved for awe inspiring spectacles. Instead, this will be using the literal meaning of the word “wonder”. Allow me to use an antiquated literary technique, and provide the Merriam-Webster definition of the word wonder:

  • something or someone that is very surprising, beautiful, amazing, etc.
  • a feeling caused by seeing something that is very surprising, beautiful, amazing, etc.
  • something that is surprising or hard to believe

With these definitions in mind, the 7 Wonders of the Fitness World are going to be often overlooked and surprising aspects that are helpful in making sure you are in tip-top shape.

  1. Sleep– Sleep is an essential component of working out. You could be doing everything else perfectly, but without enough Zzz’s you can find that you will not make the gains you should be. For more information, check out an article on Health.com on the 11 Health Benefits of Sleep.
  2. Interval Training– Interval training should be a key component in the toolbox of anyone who is focused on Fitness. By having your heart rate alternate from high to low, you see benefits you wouldn’t otherwise, as outlined in this Mayo Clinic Article on Interval Training. Create your own custom Interval Workouts in the Fitdigits app with Custom Routines.
  3. Breakfast– I’m guessing you have heard the saying “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. Do you know why you have heard this ad nauseum for years now? Probably because it is true! Break the 7-9 hour fast of sleep with a balanced and nutritious breakfast, which will leave you full longer and get your metabolism going. Try oatmeal with blueberries to get lasting energy, antioxidants and more to fuel your day.
  4. Hydration– Water is one of the most overlooked fitness supplements out there. Everyone is rushing to grab the newest fad or craze from the nutrition world, but good old water still is needed and necessary for workouts and recovery. Men’s Health does a great job outlining 5 Reasons to Never Neglect Water.
  5. Recovery/Rest– Sometimes the want and need to workout can be overwhelming. You have goals that seem so far away on the horizon, and you just want to keep pushing until you reach them. However, not paying attention to your bodies recovery and overextending yourself can be a detriment to your goals. Learn more about The Importance of Recovery.
  6. Pre-Workout Meals– What you eat before a workout can go a long way towards determining how effective that workout will be. Make sure to have a meal heavy in complex carbohydrates, low in simple sugars and laden with vitamins and nutrients. A great example is an Almond Butter, Blueberry Preserves, and Banana Sandwich.
  7. Core Workouts– Core workouts are the forgotten pillar of working out. While core workouts have numerous health benefits, too often they are shrugged off as a waste of time. False! Core workouts are a, ahem, core part of any workout routine. Learn more about How Core Fitness Exercise Benefits the Entire Body.

Fitbit Sleep Data Syncs to Your Fitdigits App

One of the cool things about Fitbit Activity Trackers, is they also track lack of activity, otherwise known as sleep. If you have a Fitbit One (or other Fitbit tracker that can record sleep), it is pretty easy to track your ZZZ’s:

  1. Place the tracker into the slot on your wristband and wrap the wristband around your non-dominant wrist.
  2. Click to purchase the Fitbit One

  3. Once you are in bed and ready to fall asleep, press and hold the tracker’s button for 2+ seconds. You will see a stopwatch and the other icons blink, indicating that you are in sleep mode.
  4. When you wake up, hold the button down for 2+ seconds to stop the sleep recording. Your tracker’s icons will stop blinking to indicate you’ve exited sleep mode.
  5. Once you exit sleep mode, your Fitbit One will resume displaying your daily totals.
  6. Sleep records will show up on your Fitbit Dashboard the next time you sync your tracker. Last night’s sleep will appear on today’s page. Graphs on your Dashboard will reveal how long you slept and the number of times you woke up. Over time, you can apply what you learn to help you sleep more soundly.

For quite some time Fitdigits has synced Fitbit sleep data to My.Fitdigits, but now the sleep data will sync right into your Fitdigits app! Just link your Fitbit account with Fitdigits, and then perform a sync. Once you have done so, you will be able to view your Fitbit sleep data in the app under Health -> Sleep Tracker.

Start recording and tracking your sleep with Fitbit and Fitdigits today!

Manually Enter Your Sleep

In Fitdigits you can manually enter in your sleep data on an iOS device. To do so:

1. Open Fitdigits
2. Tap the Health tab -> Sleep Tracker
3. Tap the “+” sign in the upper right

Tap the + sign to add a manual sleep entry

4. You will now be taken to the Sleep Input page. Enter in your Bed Time, Wake Time, Awakenings, Times Up., the Quality of your Sleep and any comments you may have. All of these factors will determine your sleep score.

Enter in your sleep data

5. Tap Save when you are finished. You will now see your sleep score.

It is important to track your sleep, and now you can with Fitdigits!

Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity.

In other words: The quality of your sleep has a direct impact on your ability to lose weight. Getting a good night sleep helps you lose fat! ( I admit had to look up ‘adiposity’ … big word for FAT )

In Insufficient Sleep Thwarts Weight Loss Efforts Medscape Medical News reports on new research published in the October 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Many people today are overweight or obese, and diet-induced weight loss is a widely used strategy to reduce the health risks associated with excess adiposity,” write Arlet V.Nedeltcheva, MD, from the University of Chicago, Illinois, and colleagues. “The neuroendocrine changes associated with sleep curtailment in the presence of caloric restriction, however, suggest that lack of sufficient sleep may compromise the efficacy of commonly used dietary interventions in such persons.”

In this study, the authors examined whether “recurrent bedtime restriction” affected the amount of weight people lost when dieting, increased their hunger, and affected their leptin and ghrelin serum concentrations. They also examined changes in circulating cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, thyroid, and growth hormone concentrations due to sleep loss.

They randomized 10 overweight, nonsmoking adults (3 women, 7 men) whose mean age was 41 years and whose body mass index ranged from 25 to 32 kg/m2 to 14 days of dieting and 8.5 hours of nighttime sleep and then to a similar period of dieting and 5.5 hours of nighttime sleep.

The study took place in a sleep laboratory, and subjects were sedentary and spent their waking hours doing home office–type work or leisure activities.

The study found that the reduced sleep decreased the proportion of weight lost as fat by 55%. Subjects who slept 8.5 hours per night lost a mean of 1.4 kg, and those who slept 5.5 hours per night lost a mean of 0.6 kg (P= .043).

Also, sleep curtailment increased the loss of fat-free body mass by 60%. Subjects who slept 8.5 hours per night lost a mean of 1.5 kg, whereas those who slept 5.5 hours lost a mean of 2.4 kg (P = .002).