FitBit recently released a firmware update for the Flex that adds a useful feature. Once your Flex has been updated to version 81, it will automatically detect when you sleep and when you wake up so that you no longer need to remember to tap the device to put it into sleep mode and to take it out of sleep mode in the morning.
I like this feature because it addresses one of my key criteria for self-tracking: Ideally, a self-tracker should not have to do anything beyond their normal activity in order to track the activity.
In the normal course of my day, I walk. I don’t have to anything to track those steps beyond wearing my FitBit. I don’t have to tell my FitBit that I am walking. It knows when I am walking, when I am running, and when I am idle, and detects and tracks these activities automatically. Prior to this recent update, however, I had to take an action to tell my FitBit when I was going to sleep, and when I woke up. It was a simple action, tapping the device to put it into sleep mode, but it was still something I had to remember to do. You lose one stat with automatic sleep mode—how long it took you to fall asleep. But you can get that back by continuing to put the Flex into sleep mode manually. How long it takes me to fall asleep is one stat that I don’t really miss.
With the recent update, FitBit has eliminated those actions, and there is one less thing for me to remember.
If you don’t have the recent update and are interested in getting it, you can follow FitBit’s instructions for updating your tracker.