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REM sleep and FitBit
#1
REM sleep and FitBit
I got a FitBit. How reliable is it in measuring sleep phases (R.E.M. in particular)?

Also, what are the good values in your experience? Thanks 

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#2
RE: REM sleep and FitBit
Fitbit’s are reasonably accurate according to TheQuantifiedScientist on YouTube, who is a PhD student that studies smart devices.

https://youtu.be/6oNGpQZakxU
Insanity takes its toll. Please have exact change.
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#3
RE: REM sleep and FitBit
I have compared output from the Fitbit with output from the Dreem headband, which has an EEG function. I also looked at both in relation to my Oscar charts.

I was underwhelmed by the Fitbit, which attributed REM sleep to me during times when I was clearly awake and missed both REM and deep sleep (per the Dreem, with the REM indicated also by the Oscar respiration rate).

But I could see some value in using the Fitbit to follow trends. To me, that would make more sense than using it as a basis for concluding that you get too little or too much of the various sleep stages on any given night.
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#4
RE: REM sleep and FitBit
I use my FitBit as a guide to reading OSCAR. It's probably about 75% accurate. You will notice if you lay still for a while it will think you're in various stages of sleep. I've owned 3 of the devices. It's most reliable at tracking when you're awake vs when you're asleep. The stages themselves are somewhat hit or miss. But you can line it up with your OSCAR graph and learn to read how tidal volume, flow rates etc change when you enter REM sleep and compare the two.
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#5
RE: REM sleep and FitBit
I consider actigraphy (what these use to determine sleep stage) to be of minimal use, it isn't accurate enough at determining sleep stages to be used for that purpose. Mostly it is just good for getting an idea of sleep vs not sleep.

Uptodate (a website for doctors information, like wikipedia) has an entire article on the subject and it gets summed up well with this one sentence.

"When actigraphy is compared with polysomnography, its accuracy is approximately 90 percent for total sleep time but only 55 percent for determining the correct sleep stage [7]."
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#6
RE: REM sleep and FitBit
Thanks a lot to all who have replied. How do I go about comparing my Oscar data with the fitbit sleep data?

Shall I post both dataviz here and see how the experts here can relate the two things?
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#7
RE: REM sleep and FitBit
The only thing you might be able to compare is periods of rem sleep and your OSCAR data is probably more accurate than your fitbit once you learn how to interpret it. 

Rem sleep is notorious for odd shaped breaths and this is primarily obvious in the flow rate chart (when looking at zoomed in data) but it often also influences the respiration rate chart because of odd shaped breaths crossing the 0 flow rate line more often than regular breathing. Rem sleep usually first occurs ~ 90 mins into sleep and roughly every 90 mins and in longer durations as the night goes on which helps differentiate it as well.

For example here is a screen shot of my OSCAR data last night with my rem sleep periods boxed. The boxes were determined based on the respiration rate graph and confirmed by looking at flow rate chart. From my experience I know this is my rem sleep for a number of reasons but obviously there are some limitations like at at 5:37 I am pretty sure I had an arousal and was out of rem for a certain amount of time but it isn't clear for how long, it does appear that I did go back to rem sleep the question is just how much of that more regular breathing was rem vs nrem. 

   


And here is an example of rem breathing. The breaths look odd because of the partial paralysis body undergoes in rem sleep affecting some of the minor breathing muscles. There are also phasic twitches that occur in rem and I believe those attribute to some of these odd shaped breaths as well. 

   
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#8
RE: REM sleep and FitBit
There has been research on that by a Dutch scientist, which he reports in YouTube videos. I think he calls himself the Quantified Scientist.

He's compared the sleep stage results produced by the Fitbit Charge watches (and some of their other models) with the results produced by scientific equipment used in sleep research.

His conclusion is that the Fitbit sleep stage data (REM, deep, light and awake) are fairly reliable - and far more so than any of the sleep apps and other watches& bands that track sleep.

In summary, while Fitbit is not perfect but overall provides reasonably accurate REM data.
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#9
RE: REM sleep and FitBit
Thank you Kadenz, and thank you Geer. You guys are really awesome.

Geer, here is the FitBit and Oscar report for the same night adjusted and set side by side. Is there anything you are able to say? Can you see patterns that relate the two graphs? How is REM reflected in the Oscar data?

Thanks a ton.

Fillmore


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#10
RE: REM sleep and FitBit
You have to look at the individual breaths in flow rate like in the example I posted earlier. It will take a bunch of practice before you get it figured out but just looking at a summary like this and trying to determine is guessing at best (until you know how your specific data is affected in rem sleep, it is different for everyone).

Frankly I have never worried about this stuff (only figured out rem sleep correlation trying to understand why the weird breathing looked the way it did) and I don't believe there is any reason to track or worry about it because there is nothing you can do to change or control it by knowing what your sleep stage is at. The only thing that would help imo is full EEG data so you can tell when each arousal occurs but this data (and other actigraphy) is nowhere close to telling you that info.

Instead of focusing on sleep stages try focusing on learning to distinguish issues in your breathing or other sleep aspects and treat those. My recommendations are to learn OSCAR in and out and if you want to dig further use a camera to record sleep.

As some examples I would look into you can see the reduced flow rates followed by RERAs at 3:15 and 6:15 in that data you just posted. Looks like there might have also been more unflagged less obvious ones at 2:15, 3:30, 4:10, 5:00, 5:15. These are worth investigating to see if you can find what is causing them and stop them from affecting your sleep.
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