Why Is Your Fitbit Not Tracking Sleep and How To Fix It

Is Your Fitbit not tracking sleep properly because it doesn’t recognize when you fall asleep? Or maybe it just isn’t working right. Either way, there are some simple steps you can take to fix the problem. In this article we will address how Fitbit tracks sleep, why your Fitbit may not be tracking sleep, how to fix your Fitbit not tracking sleep and finally, how to make sure you’re getting enough sleep.

So, your Fitbit may not be tracking your sleep because when you’re sleeping, your body doesn’t move around like it does during other activities. So, your Fitbit may think you’re awake when you’re actually asleep. For further details and what to do about this problem, keep reading below.

When it comes to fitness trackers, the Fitbit is king. It’s been around since 2010 and has become the go-to tracker for people who want to keep tabs on their health and wellness. But what happens when your Fitbit stops working correctly? Sometimes this can happen. Even to our top rated Fitness Trackers. There are several reasons why your Fitbit might stop tracking sleep, including battery life issues, connectivity problems, and other technical glitches.

Fitbit Not Tracking Sleep

How Does Fitbit Track Sleep

Fitbit tracks sleep using an accelerometer built into its wristband. It uses algorithms to determine how long you’ve been awake and how much time you spend sleeping.It also measures heart rate variability, which is a measure of stress levels. This helps you understand whether you’re getting enough rest.

All wrist-based fitness trackers automatically detect your sleep when worn at night. Fitbit recommends wearing your wrist-based fitness tracker in a snug wristband when you sleep. Don’t wear it in a clip or pendants. These types of devices track sleep differently than other sleep tracking devices. For example, Sleep tracking mats work differently and tend to be more accurate at tracking ones sleep.

If your Fitbit device shows that you’ve been sleeping for about an hour, then it knows that you’re asleep. If your device doesn’t track your heart rate, you can see your sleep patterns in the Fitbit app on your phone.

Your sleep pattern includes your time spent awake, restless, and asleep. Restless sleep indicates that you moved in your sleep, like tossing and turning. If your device detects excessive movement—enough that restful sleep would not be possible—your device records time spent awake.

Fitbit Not Tracking Sleep

Why Is My Fitbit Not Tracking My Sleep?

When you’re sleeping, your body doesn’t move around like it does during other activities. So, your Fitbit may think you’re awake when you’re actually asleep.

You may be wondering why your Fitbit is not tracking sleep correctly. The Fitbit app uses accelerometer data from your phone to track movement throughout the night. This information is then used to estimate how much sleep you got.

As mentioned above, when you’re sleeping, your body doesn’t move around like it does during other activities. So, your Fitbit may think you’re awake when you’re actually asleep. To fix this issue, try turning off your phone at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

Another common occurrence for many Fitbit users is that their sleep logs may show fewer hours of sleep than they think it should. Often times this is due to the fact that Sleep settings are on set on “Sensitive” mode instead of “Normal” mode.

A little more information about these two modes may help you understand why this happens. You see, when the device is set on the normal setting, it counts significant movement as you being awake (things like rolling over) and this is the setting that is best for most of the Fitbit users.

On the other hand, the sensitive setting will most likely cause your devices to record every movement, regardless of the significance of the movement itself. This setting is intended to be used for people with sleep disorders, or for those users who wear their device somewhere other than the wrist while sleeping.

How To Fix Fitbit Not Tracking Sleep

Fitbit users who have had issues with Fitbit not tracking sleep have tried various things to fix the problem depending on their individual problems and, of course, which particular Fitbit device they own.I do know that there was a firmware update that solved some of the issues mentioned in the Fitbit Community forum.

Many of these fixes are recorded in the Fitbit community where support has suggested several common fixes and suggestions that have worked for their users. Let’s explore these fixes individually. Keep in mind many of these fixes were common amongst several different users.

Another suggestion is to get involved with Fitbit Care. To understand what is Fitbit Care go here.

How You Wear Your Device to Bed

Fitbit suggests that you make sure your device band is not too tight. In other words, wear it loosely enough that it can move back and forth on your wrist. Try moving the band higher on your wrist by moving it 2 to 3 finger widths above your wrist bone.

This is because the heart rate sensor works best when they maintain contact with your skin and one of the ways the device measures your sleep is by measuring your heart rate. Plus it gives you an overall better fit and is secure enough, but not too tight.

Fitbit Not Tracking Sleep Because of Syncing Issues

One Fitbit user had this issue with his Fitbit Charge 5 and found that if he synced his Charge 5 no later than two hours before he went to bed every night that the issues stopped and he was able to track his sleep very accurately.

In fact, he created a video that showed how he did this and it seemed to help others as well. When they adopted his this methods the problem went away. This makes sense because re-syncing your Fitbit is a necessary thing to do for many of the Fitbit features.

Watch the video below to see how this works.

Make Sure Your Device is Recording Heart Rate Data

Some users have found that the reason they were having sleep tracking issues is because their device was not tracking heart rate data properly, if at all. One quick fix that solved this issue was to turn off the heart rate settings and then restart it and then turn on the heart rate settings back on.

You can accomplish this by swiping your tracker to the left, tap on the settings and turn off the heart rate setting. Then simply restart it one more time and then turn it back on to the heart rate settings. You may also want to try and wear the device on your non-dominant hand and monitor it the next night to see if the problem goes away.

For any nights you are missing sleep data, you can manually log into you Fitbit app, tap on the + icon next to the sleep tile, then sleep log to enter your details.

Make Sure You Have Updated Your App

Some of the folks had issues because they had an outdated app. If you are using an old version of the Fitbit app, you need to update the app. Using an old version hinders access to some of the features of your Fitbit device. Simply go to the Apple or Google play store and update the app. This has been known to resolve many issues.

Make Sure Your Fitbit is Not Low On Charge

This is actually a common reason why your Fitbit may not be tracking sleep. In fact, it can have an effect on other Fitbit functions as well. This it true for your other smart devices as well. If it is running low on power, then it is likely the device will not record and track everything you need it to.

How To Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Deep Sleep

As most people know, deep sleep is critical to ones overall health. One reason for this is that hormones such as GH and IGH-1 are released during this deep sleep. Plus, these hormones have been shown to link to physical health and performance. Some individuals have experienced workouts suffering.

But, what exactly is deep sleep and how can we make sure we are getting enough of it?

Deep sleep, also known as Slow-wave sleep (SWS), is that mysterious part of sleep where we are not awake and we are not dreaming or even really thinking. In fact,many experts say there is not much going on at all.

This period of sleep is called slow-wave sleep because the EEG activity is synchronized, characterized by slow waves with a frequency range of 0.5–4.5

The important thing to consider here is that it seems to be more important to overall performance to get more deep sleep than it is to get longer hours of total sleep. But, why is this important?

One of the comments in a Fitbit community thread explained how a person was able to get more deep sleep by first understanding that you cannot “try” to get more deep sleep. This is because of the obvious reason that it is an conscious type of sleep, therefore you cannot consciously try and get more.

So, this individual decided to not try and get more sleep in general. In other words, instead of going to sleep at a particular time to get enough overall sleep, she decided to stay up and read until she got tired enough to go to sleep without putting in any effort.

She tried this and suggested it to others and many of them increased their deep sleep. This seems like a real simple approach, but nonetheless, was quite effective. Give it a try and let us know how it worked out for you.

Simply leave a comment below.

Common Questions About The Fitbit Sleep Tracker

Here are some common questions about the Fitbit Sleep Tracker with answers.

Is Fitbit an accurate sleep tracker?

Yes, the Fitbit sleep tracker is an accurate app within Fitbit watches.

How does Fitbit know you are sleeping?

When you haven’t moved for about an hour, your fitbit sleep tracker or watch assumes that you’re asleep.

Which Fitbit should I get to track sleep?

There are several options to choose from. Have a look at our Best Fitbit watches post.


The Fitbit app tracks sleep patterns by measuring movement throughout the night. This data is used to determine whether you slept well or not.

However, sometimes the app doesn’t track sleep properly. There are several reasons why this might happen.

First off, you may need to re-sync your devices and/or sync it no longer than two hours before going to be.

Second, you may have need to adjust the band so that the device measures your heart rate easily. Try moving the band higher on your wrist by moving it 2 to 3 finger widths above your wrist bone.

Third, make sure you have updated your Fitbit app. Simply go to the Apple or Google play store and update the app. This has been known to resolve many issues.

And, finally, make sure your Fitbit device is fully charged. Getting a good night sleep is very important for your overall health and fitness. Not only that, but getting more deep sleep is actually more important than getting a lot of total sleep. There is no tossing an turning during this type of sleep and you will feel more refreshed and ready to go the next day.

If you have had any experiences in regards to your Fitbit Not Tracking Sleep or you have had success trying one of the methods discussed or have any new ones to add, feel free to comment below.

Have an awesome day!

9 thoughts on “Why Is Your Fitbit Not Tracking Sleep and How To Fix It”

  1. Hello. I often have trouble sleeping and I think this app would suit me just fine. It happens to me all the time, as you stated here, that even though I sleep, I have the feeling that I am not sleeping. It is a very bad feeling and in the morning I wake up completely broken, tired and sleepless. I will install the application and share my experiences with others.

    • Hi Bojana, thank you for visiting my website. Yes, one of the reasons why your Fitbit may not be tracking sleep is because it is not syncing properly with the app. I would recommend not only getting the app, but make sure that you sync it about 30 minutes before you go to bed each night. 

  2. I originally got my fitbit to track my steps as a motivation to stay active and get fit. But I quickly realised that there is so much more to a fitbit device, with monitoring your heart rate as being one of the most important ones. So to track your sleep and establish your sleep pattern is a another bonus.

    Since using my fitbit while sleeping, I have seen that I do not often go into a deep sleep for long enough. But it might be because I was not wearing it properly. So great tips on fixing tracking issues that one might come across. 

    • Hi Line, thanks for the feedback and visiting my site. Yes, wearing it it incorrectly is definitely a reason why your Fitbit may not be tracking sleep correctly. I have had my Fitbit for over a year now and I am still learning what it can do for my overall health and fitness. 

  3. Cool 😎! Thanks for helping me understand how to fix my fitbit! I find it awesome that you have invested so much  time in helping others fix their fitbits and to provide value to us users! I know it will be a big help for people needing the advice and as long as you keep your integrity, this website will prosper. Thanks for all of your help!

    • Thank you Reginald for the kind words. I do love the different fitness devices available on the market today and I do enjoy writing about how they can help people with their overall health and fitness goals. This site is dedicated to providing value to its readers and to help them understand the great technology that is available. 

  4. I appreciate you so much for this insightful post. I believe this app would be ideal for me because I frequently have difficulties falling asleep. I think it’s fantastic that you have devoted so much effort to assisting others in repairing their Fitbits and offering assistance to us users! So keeping track of my sleep and figuring out my sleep cycle is an added benefit. Keep posting in this manner. I will definitely share this.

    • Thank you Pasindu for the kind words. Tracking you sleep is certainly important if you have difficulties falling asleep. Once you understand your sleep cycle you can use that information to help improve the quality of your sleep as well. 

  5. Hello Ralph Martin,

    Thank you for providing this informative article. I had no idea Fitbit had so many features and perks. I initially assumed this was just a step counter, but it turned out to be much more. Reading your site, it’s a terrific investment in our health, and it won’t be difficult to correct by referring to your article.


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