Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Design Brief #2: Exploration - Sleep Over Screens

I wanted to understand which sleep aid is effective and more about people's sleeping habits so I did a verbal survey with a group of 25 people, age 18-35. Here are the findings.

What do you need in order to sleep?

Blanket: 22
Bolster: 16
Pillow: 18
Comfort objects: 14
Total darkness: 13
Aircon: 20
Night light:4
White noise (TV): 4
Chatting with room mates / siblings: 3
Essential oils / candles: 6
A relaxed state: 4
Complete silence: 2

What is one thing if I remove from your bedroom and you can’t sleep without it?
Blanket: 14
Comfort objects (including bolsters): 11

What do you do before sleep?
Watch feel-good shows / comedy shows: 8
Read e-books: 3
Eating: 2
Social media: 8
Texts / Calls with friends / family: 3
Play with pets: 3
Play mobile phone games: 7

What do you do before sleep if you don’t have mobile devices?
Count sheeps: 4
Visualise happy places: 5
Sing myself to sleep: 4
Chit chat with friends / family: 2
Self-soothing techniques (Foot rubbing, stimming (fabric rubbing), love-making, self-body pleasure): 3
Self-care routine - beauty and body masks: 2
Meditation: 3
Breathing exercises: 6
Stoning: 3

Any habits / quirks to help you sleep?
Drink chamonille tea: 3
Listen to soothing music / sounds: 5
Drink melatonin supplements: 2
Comfy silk/cotton pyjamas/lingere: 3
Yoga poses - putting legs up on the wall (Juna)
Everyone must sleep first before I can sleep (Jane)
Listen to chewing sounds to sleep (Rachel)
Eat till full so can sleep (Mint)
Drink red wine to sleep (Maggie)
Looking at the sleep glowing lights on FitBit: 1
Rub my feet against cotton sheets to calm myself when sleeping: 2
(sensation of brushing against a mildly rough texture)
Use pointy edges of a fabric to soothe my finger tips before sleeping (twiddling): 1
Use eye masks: 2

What do you do if you wake up in the middle of the night?
Check time on phones to see how many more hours to sleep: 3
See if there’s any messages - group: 4
Try to get back to sleep: 15

Why do you use/have phones in bedroom before sleep?
Boredom: 11
Not sleepy yet: 10
Need alarm clock: 25

Other interesting findings:
Lynn: Listen to music. There is this Vitafusion sleepwell melatonin drink that I take sometimes but it has side effects such as headache, sometimes I do meditation.
Li Rong: I have conversations with roommates or watch feel good shows. In my country at Dongbei, we sleep on concrete beds, and during Winter we use charcoal to heat up the bed, it works like a stove.
Mint: Sometimes I wake up to check to know what time is it so I get happy to know how many hours I have left to sleep. I also like to eat before I sleep. I need my blanket and teddy bear.
Jane: I try not to take a nap no matter how sleepy I am in the day, I need a blanket, cold temperature and total darkness. Also, everyone must sleep first since I am a light sleeper.
Juna: I put legs on the wall - blood flows down and I will feel weak and drowsy, I learnt this from youtube.
Linda: I would close my eyes and count sheep when I cannot sleep and its effective. I also fidget with my pillow corners to sleep.
Jayne: There was once I tried bubble meditation and its not only fun but also quite effective.
Rachel: I watch Mukbang videos as I fall asleep to chewing sounds.


Since there are so many sleep aids out there and I wanted to find out which senses when triggered can help to induce sleep, I took the data and put them into a table. It is also not just about enhancing senses; it is about balancing the right senses. In recent years, sensory deprivation floatation therapy has increased in popularity with scientific evidence (Kjellgren & Westman, 2014) that suggest benefits such as muscle relaxation, decreased stress and better sleep. It is a zero-gravity-like environment cut off from external stimuli such as sound and light to allow the body to enter a deep meditative state. This is similar to having a relaxing and feel-good bedtime ritual so the mind is able to settle into a calming state, making an easier transition to sleep. So it is also important to understand which senses to activate and reduce to enhance overall wellbeing.

Current Sleep aid /interventions out there with positive reviews:

  • Smart bed: Sleep number 360 smart bed: it senses shifts and people can adjust mattress pad / regulate temperature and positioning 
  • Smart pillows, sleep dot: Tracker that sticks to corner of pillowcase, track body movement, sleep cycles and wake ups during the night. 
  • Vibrating mattress
  • Rocking chair
  • High tech pyjamus / sleepwear
  • Wake up light / alarm clock (Philips Sommeo) - It stimulates sunrise and sunset, has light guided breathing helps to relax to sleep
  • Dreem headband - Tracks sleep, analyse brain activity, respiration and heart rate. it has sounds to help you get a deeper sleep. 
  • Lectrofan white noise sound machine - - 10 different fan sounds and noise variations 
  • Bose noise masking sleepbuds - block out noise and play soothing sounds to cover unwanted outside noise, can set wake up alarms
  • Circle home - monitors tech use - bedtime and pause, it helps by automatically disconnecting and reconnecting to internet at scheduled times. 
  • Reverie 4m adjustable foundation - move and adapt to form many positions, like a mattress that has massage, anti-snore, 
  • Somnilight red led night light - to replace blue light lamps, the leds do not interfere with melatonin production and feature a dawn/dusk sensor - automatically shutting off in the presence of light. 
  • Sleep tracking mat - monitor sleep cycles, heart rate, snoring, 
  • Sound + sleep high fidelity sleep sound machine - 64 immersive sound environments for better sleep, relaxation and sound masking
  • Smart duvet breeze - network of small air channels to deliver air that is either air doncnditioned or warm, dual zone control. 
  • Dodow sleeping light system - reflect a blue light on the ceiling that will synchronise breathing - inhale when light expands and exhale when light retracts. 
  • Huggable sleep robots - Somnox robo-pillow - adjust breathing patterns, 
  • This Works Deep Sleep Pillow spray - aroma therapeutic blend of lavender, chamomile that soothes to sleep
  • Foot warmer hot water bottle slipper 
  • Temperature regulating sheet set. consistent temperature all night long. Outlast fabric technology, developed for NASA to deal with temperature fluctuations in space. it absorbs and stores excess heat from body. 
  • Sleep Envie pillows - infused with lavender and has cooling technology - ice yarn cover on the outside. 
  • Blue light blocking sunglasses while watching Netflix on bed
  • Weighted blankets
  • Hot + cool gel bead sleep mask / eye mask - grace and stella
  • Dream pad sleep pillow - plays soft and audible music through vibrations, white noise experience
  • Sheex luxury cotton bed sheets 
  • Aroma diffuser - Muji
  • Cooling weighted blankets - https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/g28402564/cooling-weighted-blanket/
  • Cooling pyjamas - Lunya fabric technology absorbs body heat and convert into a form of infrared energy thats reflected back into skin and tissues to help recharge human body while sleeping

From these findings and current interventions, I will be identifying gaps and work on possible ideas.

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