Fitbit will now tell you when to go to sleep

WATE 6 On Your Side staff - KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Exercise and a healthy diet are key elements in weight loss, but recent research has shown that sleep can also play an important role in weight management.

Available Monday to all Fitbit users on the Fitbit app is a new feature that tells users when they should go to sleep. The feature is available for free on the Fitbit app and compatible with all device.

Fitbit said the Sleep Schedule allows users to personalize their sleep goals based on their sleep data to achieve the optimal amount of sleep each night, customize bedtime and wake-up targets to establish sleep consistency and also has reminders so that users can stay on schedule. According to Fitbit's sleep experts, adhering to a consistent sleep routine is one of the most important things people can do to improve their sleep.

"If you're constantly changing your sleep routine, it can have the same effect as giving yourself jetlag because you are continually changing your circadian rhythm, also known as your internal clock, which can negatively impact your health and wellness," said Michael Grandner, PhD, MTR, CBSM. "To improve your physical performance, mental health and cognitive functions, you should aim to get a sufficient amount of sleep each night and be consistent with the times you go to sleep and wake up each day."

Related: Is your fitness tracker working for you?

Fitbit said their data shows a correlation between consistent bedtimes and daily active minutes, especially for users who go to bed early each night. They also said users who sleep an average of seven to nine hours nightly also have a lower body mass index than those who sleep only three to four hours per night, while those who are overweight or obese sleep over an hour less per week than those with a normal BMI.

"What's great about the new Fitbit Sleep Schedule feature is that it looks at your sleep data from your Fitbit device you're wearing day and night, analyzes it for patterns and creates a personalized schedule just for you," said Tim Roberts, Executive Vice President, Interactive at Fitbit. "This is a great example of how we're providing guidance using Fitbit data to help millions of people develop healthier habits and routines, and is just the first in a series of new sleep features that we're working on to help our users improve their health through data and coaching."

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