Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Pilot Sleep Study with Dr Richard

After testing with 6 participants of the focus group and learning that the set-up is suitable and ready to be incorporated into the bedtime routine, I arranged for the sleep experiments.

The participants from experience testing shared that they became sleepy, almost dozed off and feel that the multi-sensory experience helps to set the mood for sleeping faster. I wanted to test if it is truly the case. When I designed the products, I designed them with the intention to induce sleep and included design elements that may facilitate 'meaningful screen-use' or minimise excessive recreational screen-use. For blanket, I made sure the weights are evenly distributed for arm / shoulder area to 'tire' the users' hands when they use screens for a prolonged period of time. The sheer top mesh layer should also create a 'blurriness' effect to discourage users for using their screens for too long. For both pulsing light effects and music, they are meant to be hypnotising, to relax their senses and hopefully the participants will feel sleepy faster and they will automatically put their phones down.

I will do a pilot sleep study and carry out the intervention testing (multi-sensory experience) with 3 participants, 2 participants are from the original focus group and 1 participant has not done the design testinghas never interacted with the prototypes and has only played the card game before).

As I shared in an earlier post, Ricco (Dr. Richard Swinbourne) is really helpful and is kindly supporting me as I carry out the sleep testings scientifically to quantify the data with the 3 participants. He has programmed 2 research grade sleep watches and lent them to me for the testing. He also provided the participants with a sleep diary template to record the data.
Watches and sleep diary template provided by Ricco.
Screen shots from the Readiband App by Fatigue Science

The 3 participants are conscious of their recreational screen-use during bedtime and are looking to improve their screen-usage mindfully thus when they took on this sleep experiment, they are aware that this sleep experiment is meant to induce sleep and supposedly help them put down the phones earlier. What they don't really know is the full extent of the 'secret' design intentions - 'hypnotizing effects, the weights on their shoulders' as I didn't share most of it with them.

They are tasked to switch on the music and lights once they enter their bed, whether or not he/she has the intention to sleep or engage in other activities. And when they are in bed and using their phones, they must slide their hands through the blanket panels and use the screens under the mesh. I wanted to see if the 'mesh' and weighted parts had a negative or positive effect on them and also if the pulsing light effects and music can help them put down their phones in any way.

Objectives of the Pilot sleep study:

1. Collect qualitative data on how participants feel with the intervention testing, 
  • Did they minimise excessive recreational screen-use? Did the interventions help in any way?
  • How is the pre bedtime experience? How do they feel about the multi-sensory experience? Do they find it sleep inducing? Do they find it intrusive or troublesome? Is it a positive or negative experience?
  • How do they feel about their quality of sleep after the intervention testing? How would they compare with their regular pre-bedtime routine or sleeping environment?

2. Collect quantitative data on participants’ sleep latency (time taken to fall asleep) and their sleep quality, to see if the interventions have helped them in any way.
  • Did the interventions help with their sleep latency? Making it easier for them to fall asleep?
  • Did their sleep quality improve?

How the sleep experiment was carried out for each participant:

1. Baseline data collection 2-3 days
2. Intervention testing 3-4 days
3. Participant will be given an ethics form for consent before going through the testing
4. Participant will wear a research grade watch, Fatigue Science Actigraph provided by Dr. Richard Swinbourne and support from Singapore Sports Institute.
5. Participant is required to wear the watch when he/she enters the bed, whether or not he/she has the intention to sleep or engage in other activities.
6. Participant is required to sync the watch to the ReadiApp and fill up his/her Sleep Diary every morning.
7. Intervention testing will be conducted at participant’s own home with multi-sensory interventions set up by researcher.
8. Intervention testing includes a multi-purpose blanket, pulsing light and background music. All three components will dovetail to provide a holistic multi-sensory experience for the participant
9. Participant will be requested to take part in a video interview after the intervention testing and a follow-up video interview in 2 weeks.

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