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Your Activity Tracker Can Now Help You Sleep Better

Adam Kuylenstierna/EyeEm/Getty Images

We all know that sleep is important. Getting too little, or simply poor quality Z's, can up your risk of serious chronic health issues like heart disease and obesity—not to mention it can screw with your gym goals. (That, on top of these 6 shocking side effects of sleep deprivation, is more than enough encouragement to get into bed.) Yet, it seems like every night when your ideal snooze time rolls around, there's always something more important to do. 

Luckily, you aren't doomed to be stuck in this poor sleep cycle forever. FitBit announced a new sleep tool that makes getting a solid night of sleep much more attainable. Now available on their app and all their sleep tracking devices (including the new Alta HR), Sleep Schedule was developed by a team of three sleep experts and is designed to help you start (and more importantly stay on track with) a more consistent sleep schedule.

First, you'll set sleep goals based on your personal sleep data, which the app starts tracking as long as you wear your device to bed—you don't even have to manually hit the "begin sleep now" button in the app anymore. After tracking your habits for awhile, the app will start dishing out recommendations and adjustments for you to make, all in the name of getting an optimal amount of sleep each night. In other words, it's the perfect customization for those who've always found that eight-hour rule a little too one-size-fits-all. (Find out how much sleep you really need.)

But that's not all this sleep tool does. Remember when you lived under your parents' roof, and they constantly told you it was time to turn off the TV and hop under the covers? That's likely because they wanted you to hit the hay at the same time each night, as science proves that's better for your  health. The app does the same thing in a less naggy way, with its customizable bedtime and wake-up targets sending you reminders when bedtime is near—especially if you fall off the nocturnal wagon. 

Lastly, when you wake up in the morning, take the time to log into the FitBit app. In the sleep section, not only will you see your recommendations and how much sleep you got that night (and week), but clicking on a specific day lets you dive deeper into your insights. The app breaks down how much time you spent in each stage of sleep—awake, REM, light, and deep sleep—helping to explain why you either feel alert and ready to go, or tired AF with a desperate need for caffeine. (On the upside, you'll score these 8 health benefits of coffee.) Based on what you see, it may become more obvious than ever where you need to make adjustments in your bedtime routine. 

Sleep Schedule is just the first in a series of sleep-focused initiatives FitBit is developing with its panel of experts, so get under those covers and start snoozing your way to better health.