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MyFitnessPal links food and sleep with tracker connection
- November 6, 2023
- Steve Rogerson
Nutrition and fitness tracking app MyFitnessPal is connecting with sleep trackers so its users can make connections between foods eaten and their quality of sleep.
The app can now capture sleep data from a wide assortment of popular apps and trackers across iOS and Android. As users log in and access the sleep section of the app, sleep data from the day before will be presented, alongside their food diary and nutritional information. Premium users will also have the ability to see time-stamps associated with logged food entries.
“MyFitnessPal is constantly evolving in our mission to bring users quality data and insights that can inform their food decisions to meet their goals,” said Jason Peterson, chief technology officer for Texas-based MyFitnessPal. “It’s no secret that both nutrition and sleep are important to our health, but the relationship between the two is often overlooked. We’re excited to bring new understanding to the quest for a good night’s rest and continue supporting the journey to overall health and wellness.”
The sleep feature can be accessed when users pair the app with Health Connect for Android users or Apple Health for iOs users. It displays the data from Health Connect, pairing with Google Fit/Pixel, Oura, Whoop, Fitbit, and Samsung, while Apple Health users can pair their Apple iPhone and Watch, Oura, Whoop, Sleep Cycle, Pillow, Withings, Sleep++, and Auto Sleep.
“What you eat, drink and do in the hours leading up to bedtime can make or break how well you sleep,” said sleep expert, neurologist and MyFitnessPal partner Chris Winter. “MyFitnessPal is giving users clear, direct insight on the impacts of nutrition on their quality of sleep in the palm of their hand with the new sleep integration. Whether trying to figure out how to stay asleep or determine the foods that support sleep the best, this is a great tool to utilise to maximise nutrition and break the cycle of exhaustion.”
To understand users’ relationship between sleep, nutrition and other impactful external factors, MyFitnessPal commissioned a survey fielded in September 2023 with 4021 people aged 18-64 across the USA, Canada, UK and Australia that revealed nearly a quarter (23%) rate their quality of sleep as poor, and nearly a third (32%) say their sleep quality has become worse in the past year. Sleep can be difficult without a consistent routine, which 48% of respondents say they are missing. An irregular sleep routine is one of the key contributing factors for those who struggle to fall or stay asleep, along with stress, anxiety and excessive use of electronic devices before bed.
Nearly half (47%) of survey respondents agree that they tend to consume unhealthy snacks late at night when they have trouble sleeping. When late night snacking, 33% report they indulge in sugary or high-fat snacks, doing so at least one to three times a week. However, 41% of people do try to make an effort to avoid eating during late-night hours (9 to 11pm) to improve sleep quality.
Over half (58%) of people say exercising has a positive impact on their sleep quality. However, when experiencing poor sleep, 77% will opt for additional sleep rather than exercise. A third (33%) of people still strive to maintain a balance between the two.
“External factors greatly impact our sleep quality, as demonstrated by survey results showing stress, anxiety and phone time before bed disrupting a full night’s rest,” said Winter. “With these factors at play, leaning into good nutrition habits, hydration and a solid sleep routine is an easy way to create structure and positively impact sleep.”
MyFitnessPal is also offering users a free eat right, sleep tight plan that aims to help them break the cycle of exhaustion with a five-day plan that addresses meal timing, hydration and a bedtime routine for a restful, restorative night’s sleep.
MyFitnessPal (www.myfitnesspal.com) is a nutrition and food tracking app for achieving health goals. Since 2005, it has empowered more than 200 million users in over 120 countries to log food intake, record exercise activity and weight, track wellness habits, and achieve their health and fitness goals. It has one of the largest food databases in the world comprising 18 million foods and access to over 500 recipes. It has more than 50 workout routines, 80 exercise demos and over 35 connected fitness partners.