What To Do When Fitbit Isn’t Tracking Sleep?(8 Fixes)

Many buy Fitbit because it tracks their sleep, letting them know exactly how much they sleep each night.

If, for whatever reason, your Fitbit stops or irregularly tracks your sleep, then you should restart the watch immediately.

You may also need to tweak the sleep sensitivity level of the watch.

Not sure how to do that? Don’t worry, we cover all the troubleshooting steps related to issues with Fitbit tracking sleep.

Why Won’t Fitbit Track My Sleep?

The Fitbit uses motion tracking, or the lack thereof, to record your sleep.

The watch considers an individual to be asleep if there are no significant movements for about an hour.

So, as you lie in bed getting ready to sleep, the watch will consider it a resting phase for about an hour, and then as long as there are no significant movements, it will begin gathering sleep data, determining the quality. 

During the first three hours, the watch categories your sleep into three phases, awake, restless, or asleep.

After three hours, it collects data on the three sleep stages: light, deep, REM.

The data it collects allows it to determine your sleep score. 

  • Check your watch model. Before you start troubleshooting, make sure your Fitbit can track sleep. Models without a heart-rate sensor can’t track sleep.
  • Adjust the watch strap. For watches that have sleep tracking options, ensure that the watch is snug on your wrist when you wear it to bed. Otherwise, the activity tracker won’t be able to get proper readings.
  • A software glitch. This is the most common issue. Sometimes there can be an issue with your watch hardware or software causing it to malfunction.
  • Choose the right settings. You have the option to set how the watch tracks your sleep under its ‘Sleep Sensitivity’ setting.‘Normal’ will suit most of the light sleepers who toss and turn a lot, and ‘Sensitive’ is great if you don’t move much during your sleep. You can also start and stop the sleep tracker manually via the Fitbit app.
  • Check the sensor. A dirty sensor can cause your Fitbit not to track your sleep. Make sure it is clean.
    Check the batteries. Make sure that your batteries are fully charged.

What To Do When Fitbit Isn’t Tracking Sleep?

Now that we have discussed why your Fitbit isn’t tracking your sleep, let’s finally get to the troubleshooting stage.

1. Restart your Fitbit

Restarting the Fitbit usually resolves basic issues that you come across, such as no-touch response or fitness tracking issues.

Not all Fitbit models have the same restarting process, but we break each down for you.

Fitbit Inspire, Charge, One, and Ace 2

  1. Plugin the USB charge cable to the watch and connect it to a PC or wall charger.
  2. Hold the side button on the watch for 12 seconds.

The watch screen should refresh and take you to its welcome screen.

The screen varies depending on the model you have.

Once this happens, you can let go of the side button and give a minute or two for the watch to load up. 

Fitbit Alta, Ace, and Flex 2

  1. Plugin the USB charge cable to the watch and connect it to a PC or wall charger.
  2. There is a button on the charging cable, press it three times, briefly pausing between each press.
  3. The watch should turn off and on.

Fitbit Ionic, Blaze, and Versa

  1. Plugin the USB charge cable to the watch and connect it to a PC or wall charger.
  2. Hold down the buttons at the bottom and back of the watch for a few seconds.
  3. Stop when you see the Fitbit logo appear on the screen of the watch.

Fitbit Versa 2 and Versa Lite

You don’t necessarily need to plug in the fit to a charger to reset these two models. But it is recommended you do. 

  1. Hold down the button on the back of the watch for 10 seconds.
  2. The watch screen will turn off and on, and you are done. 

2. Change the Sleep Setting

Fitbit watches give users the option to set how the watch tracks their sleep under its ‘Sleep Sensitivity’ setting. You have two options to choose from, ‘Normal’ and ‘Sensitive’.

‘Normal’ VS ‘Sensitive’ Mode

  • In a Normal mode, when you make significant movements like rolling over, your device will record it as time spent awake. This setting is appropriate for the majority of the users. This option is best for light sleepers.
  • In a Sensitive mode, your device records nearly all movements as time spent restless or awake. So, if you toss and turn a lot, your Fitbit will count this time as being awake and thus cause the issue of not tracking your sleep. This is best suited for those who sleep like a log.

To change the setting, you can do the following:

On your phone:

  1. Open the Fitbit app on your smartphone, click on your profile and go to settings.
  2. Go to ‘Activity & Wellness’, then ‘Sleep’.(Click through to ‘Advance Settings’ for older devices)
  3. Scroll until you find ‘Sleep Sensitivity’ and click on it.
  4. You now have the option to choose between the two modes.
  5. Choose ‘Normal’ or ‘Sensitive’.

Tip: If you already were running one of those options, try changing them to see if it makes a difference.

On Laptop/PC:

You may not have the option to change the sensitivity on some Android phones. In that case, you can use your PC.

  1. Sign in to your account.
  2. On the dashboard, you will notice the gear icon, located in the top-right corner. Click on it.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select ‘Settings’. Scroll until you find ‘Sleep Sensitivity’ and pick the mode you want to set.
  4. Click ‘Submit,’ and you are done.

3. Wear your Fitbit on the Wrist

Try wearing your Fitbit above the wrist which is about an inch above the wrist bone as shown in the picture below, so your Fitbit isn’t loose and can track the sleep and movements accurately.

Make sure it’s not too tight, though. You should be able to fit a finger under your Fitbit strap.

4. Sync With App

Fitbit app usually takes a little time to display sleep data from the night before.

If you notice that the data is missing, sync the app with the watch and wait for the data to upload.

  1. To sync the device to the app, go to the Fitbit app and click on ‘Sync Now’.

That should help your Fitbit and your app to be on the same page.

Tip: It’s always a good idea to sync your Fitbit 2 hours before you go to bed.

5. Remove/re-add your Fitbit

Remove your Fitbit device:

  1. Launch the app, and you will land on the Fitbit Today tab.
  2. Tap your profile picture.
  3. Choose the device you want to remove.
  4. Scroll down to the option Remove this device.
  5. Remove your device by clicking the button.

Re-add your Fitbit device:

  1. Launch the app, and you will land on the Fitbit Today tab.
  2. Select “Set up a new device.”
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to add your Fitbit as a new device.

6. Clean The Watch’s Sensor

As the sensor on the watch gets dirty, it limits the functionality of the watch.

Wipe the sensor before you wear the watch to bed, getting rid of any dirt or oil that may limit readings as you sleep.

You can wipe it clean with a damp or dry cloth.

If the sensor is still dirty, use an electronic cleanser spray along with a wipe.

This step is especially important if you do the workouts or some outdoor activities with your watch on.

7. Change The Position Of The Watch

Wear the watch on your inner wrist, with the strap lock on the outer wrist, before you head to bed.

This may help the sensor monitor your sleep better.

Make sure the watch is snug, but not too tight.

Otherwise, it may make it uncomfortable for you to sleep.

Tip: You can also try switching the hand you are wearing your Fitbit on altogether.

8. Factory reset your Fitbit

If nothing so far has worked, let’s try to reset your device to factory settings.

  1. From your tracker, go to the ‘Settings’ menu.
  2. In the ‘Settings’ section, find the ‘About’ tab and tap it.
  3. Scroll to ‘Factory Reset’ or ‘Clear User Data’.
  4. Confirm the decision to clear your Fitbit to its factory settings.

Final Thoughts

More often than not, you can fix sleep tracking issues with your Fitbit yourself by resetting, cleaning the watch, or changing sleep settings in the Fitbit app.

Let’s sum it all up. What to do when your Fitbit isn’t tracking your sleep?

Restart your Fitbit. Wear it higher on your wrist (about 2-3 fingers width or 1 inch above your wrist bone).

The band should feel secure but not too tight.

Sync your device and your app 2 hours before bed. Adjust the sleep settings.

The Normal mode is best for light sleepers. The Sensitive mode is best suited for those who sleep like a log.

If the watch still fails to track sleep even after trying the methods mentioned above, you may have to take it to a Fitbit technician to determine the cause of the issue and resolve it.

I’ve been working with technology in one way or the other all my life. After graduating from university, I worked as a sales consultant for Verizon for a few years. Now I am a technical support engineer by day and write articles on my own blog here in my spare time to help others if they have any issues with their devices.