As more and more people are turning to a healthier lifestyle, tracking your health results is no longer limited to the number of steps you take and the hours of sleep you have every night. With that in mind, Fitbit’s newest Versa 2 wearable is designed to deliver more features to help you stay on track for a healthier life.
Evolved from the brand’s best-selling Fitbit Versa smartwatch, the Fitbit Versa 2 delivers a new precision-crafted swim-proof design and includes innovative sleep features such as sleep score and smart wake. Apart from even more advanced health, fitness and smart features, the wearable also debuts an on-device microphone which enables Fitbit’s first-ever Amazon Alexa smartwatch experience.
For outdoor runners who are always listening to Spotify, the Fitbit Versa 2™ also solves your problem of having to access your phone screen to skip a song by introducing a Spotify app connect to your watch so that you can control your music and podcasts on your wrist! Coupled with even faster performance, thousands of apps and a crisper display with an optional always-on mode, the wearable’s battery life is now upgraded to last for as long as six days.
While many people have been relying on Fitbit wearables to track their fitness progression, Versa 2 is designed with a focus to help users achieve better sleep. According to a survey conducted by Fitbit, nearly 64 per cent of participants list sleep as a very important health and fitness priority, but as many as one-third of American adults actually don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis.
As such, the latest sleep features introduced in Versa 2 will not only help users better understand their sleep but provide the features to help them improve it. The four features to look out for are:
Sleep score: Users will receive a nightly score in the Fitbit mobile app for better insight into their sleep quality. The score is based on heart rate (sleeping and resting), restlessness, time awake and sleep stages.
Smart wake: Coming soon to all Fitbit smartwatches, smart wake uses machine learning to wake users during an optimal time of their sleep cycle while in light or REM sleep based on a pre-selected 30-minute interval so that they’ll wake up feeling more refreshed.
Sleep mode: This function simultaneously disables your screen display and silence notifications for a night free of disturbance. The mode can also be used anytime you don’t want to be interrupted, such as during a workout or in a meeting.
Estimated oxygen variation graph: This graph will provide users with an estimate of the variability of oxygen levels in their bloodstream. The data is derived from a combination of the red and infrared sensors on the back of the device. This can help users to be aware of short-term variations in the oxygen levels in their bloodstream which may indicate variations in their breathing during sleep.
During the launch of the product, we had the opportunity to join a panel discussion with Louis Lye, regional director for Fitbit in Southeast Asia, Dr Raymond Tan, Consultant ENT, snoring surgeon & sleep apnea specialist, and Linora Low, wellness coach and YouTuber, as they discussed the importance of sleep in our daily life.
1. Why is sleep so important for our health?
Raymond: People always discount sleep as a waste of time. They often think “If I could do with less sleep, I could do more work, be more productive and achieve more”. What they don’t know is that it’s quite the reverse. When we sacrifice sleep, we become more tired, less alert and less creative. Having a good night sleep is important to reduce the number of natural killer cells which play a crucial role in fighting cancer.
2. Linora, you lead a healthy lifestyle. Tell us about the role of sleep in your life.
Linora: For me, it’s very crucial to have sleep. I’ve done fat loss courses with my coach and one of the key things you need for effective fat loss is to get sleep. I’m sure many of you will know, the minute you don’t get a good night rest, you’re bound to wake up the next day with brain fog. I’ve been listening to lots of podcasts and they said that the number one thing you need to do for a good night sleep is to guard your last hour before you head to bed, because that’s the time you need to wind down and relax after your body has been high on adrenaline throughout the day.
3. Is it during deep sleep or rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that the body repairs itself during sleep?
Raymond: Physical repair and restoration mostly happen during deep sleep but when it comes to mental restoration, it happens in REM.
Linora: The minute you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll find that two things are going to happen: your weight will increase because of water retention and you’ll look very swollen. If you don’t sleep right, your brain cells will die faster and for ladies, your hormones will be greatly affected.
4. How does Fitbit or a wearable affect your sleep and lifestyle?
Louis: It can help you through data and insights on how you’re performing and let you know the key parameters to watch out for.
Linora: I’ve been using Fitbit for more than two years and it’s good at tracking my sleep. I do like to keep track of my REM, deep sleep and light sleep. The two main things I look out for is deep sleep and REM because I’m a very active person. Sometimes I realize I’m very lethargic and have lots of brain fogs if I don’t get enough REM sleep.
Raymond: I’ve been using Fitbit for a few weeks and I like how it tracks the frequency of your exercises and sleeping pattern so you know what you’re doing. It’s so much more convenient compared to logging everything manually into a journal. It’s also very cute because you can achieve badges for certain accomplishments.
The Fitbit Versa 2 and Fitbit Versa 2 Special Edition are now available in Malaysia for RM998 and RM1068 respectively.