Sleep Study Kit
Sleep Ecology Study Kit
As part of a contracted project with Philips Sleep, I created a way to record patterns and behaviors to investigate how college students sleep.
The project brief was very simple: explore the idea of designing around sleep and wellbeing, in the context of young adults (college students). Additionally, we were encouraged to design probes or kits to help us conduct additional research, as part or all of the project. The final outcome was a physical kit to collect data from participants about their bedtime routine. I tested the kit with several participants, and integrated the kit into Philips’ existing sleep product lineup.
As a class, we began to discuss various ideas to frame the project. I was personally intrigued by the idea of framing my project around a bedtime routine, mostly inspired by my own personal experience. From my own experience, following a bedtime routine by taking the time to prepare myself for sleep often leads to an enhanced quality of rest and me falling asleep more quickly.
By bedtime routine, I don’t necessarily mean the time someone goes to bed, though that could be part of it. Rather, I’m more interested in the series of activities or rituals that someone partakes in to get ready for bed and feel more rested.
Going farther down this path, I wanted to to figure out the answers to some of the following questions:
To answer these questions, I designed a kit to help people track their own bedtime routine. To begin, I conceptualized the idea of assigning points to different aspects of one’s bedtime routine. Simple activities are worth less points, but more complex, self-care activities are worth more points. For example, a one or two-point task might be something simple like brushing your teeth or putting on pajamas, while a three or four-point task could be reading a chapter of a book or putting on a face mask. In the final kit, I used differently-sized and colored lego pieces to help represent different tasks.
After a very thorough research process, I created a hybrid analog/digital kit that integrated with Philip’s existing sleep app and hardware to help participants keep track of their own complicated sleep routines over the course of week.
In the final kit, people who receive the kit receive instructions to fill out their own point cards and track their bedtime activities for a five-day period. The kit helps them visualize how many activities they do, how many points they “earn,” and see if there’s a correlation between quality of rest and the way they prepared for bed.
Along the way, I also did an audit of Philips’ SmartSleep headband and app, which aims to quantify sleep quality by assigning points. I designed a way to integrate my sleep kit into the app, so that users could add points from their bedtime routine to their SmartSleep score.
I gave participants my final kit to use for five days to perform some basic user-testing and validation, as well as collect feedback for future iterations and changes of the kit. Participants noted that they enjoyed the physical/analog aspect of the kit, as opposed to a purely digital way to track their sleep routine. They also said that the idea of being mindful of their bedtime routine was new to them, but they saw the value from being more cognizant of their bedtime behaviors,
I presented this project to Philips Sleep in Pittsburgh, PA, which was an extremely fun and collaborative process. They gave me great feedback on my work. The team was also really eager to brainstorm different ways to branch and move the project forward. At the end of the project, I licensed my work to be used by Philips’ research teams.