One of the most common questions my patients ask is how to interpret the data they obtain from their wearable devices.
I’ll comment about the Fitbit device since that is one of the most popular devices and because I’ve heard the CEO discuss it.
The most important thing I want my patients to know is that the Fitbit algorithms are based on “normal” sleepers. That is to say their algorithms cannot be extrapolated to people with sleep disorders.
I have personally found their analysis of light and deep sleep to be inaccurate and in some cases this data causes people unnecessary stress.
IMHO wearables can be helpful for looking at trends or patterns in bedtime, wake time, and total sleep time especially if compared against a sleep log for one week (to self validate) and in the context of an end goal.
Fitbit is working on utilizing oximetry and HR data to someday screen for obstructive sleep apnea. Considering the number of people wearing an Apple Watch or a Fitbit, that is an exciting possibility.
Do you use a wearable? If so, which one and have you experienced a benefit from wearing it? Comment below if you want to know more about wearables!