Living in a fast-paced city like New York City for 5 years led me to realized how people are working hard but often fail to manage their time to sleep. Sleeping is your brain’s ‘recycle’ system where it clear out toxins, repairing the body, make order from chaos and create memories.
I started to look into how to develop a quality of life in general. Researched into psychology, medical, technology and products out there in order to help me to sleep better. The more I dig deeper into it, the more I see that I wasn't the only one suffering from it and seeking out a way to make it better.
That is why I chose this topic to be my graduate degree thesis.
understand how the brain works
1. Sleep routine / help people to have better sleep using ‘sleep cycle’ principle.
Sleep is regulated by the circadian biological clock which is our rhythm that dips and rises during different times of the day. The circadian rhythm takes cues from the environment around us, such as: light exposure, temperature and sound.
A sleep cycle lasts about 90 mins and it’s repeating several cycles every night.
2. Rewarding system. A symbol that would count your small steps and as a personal notification or reminder to do things.
USER TEST :
I started from giving tasks to people who has completely different occupations and routines by using the methods I've found from sources such as
: Arianna Huffington - Huffington Post
: Tim Ferris - Lifestyle blogger
: Dr. Micheal Breus - Author of "The Power of When"
The result has shown that syncing the alarm with sleep cycle and understanding circadian rhythm has the most benefit and create an awareness to preparing themselves to bed the night before, which will result a well rested morning. I then decided that this project will be called 'WAVE'
WHY LIGHT & SCENT ?
Studies have revealed how the timing, intensity, duration, and wavelength of light affect the human biological clock.
Odors are especially effective as reminders of past experience, much more so than cues from other senses.
I see that this is an opportunity to combine scents with other senses to create an ultimate cue and reward for people to continue practicing this exercise.
Wave will notify you to use it by calculating your perfect sleep time according to your sleep cycle and your biological clock using your visual and olfactory senses.
WAVE is designed to blend into your sleep cycle. It guides you through a breathing exercise through a light animation, which allows you to shift your focus from other distractions.
Once you are done with the exercise, a pleasant scent will be emitted, creating a cue for your brain to go to sleep and induce the production of melatonin which is a chemical that helps you to sleep better and sets your daily internal clock.
Low-fi paper prototype
user feedbacks revealed that the design and software were effective.
They told me that using light is very pleasant and having a portable physical device helped made it easy for them to use it so much better than an application alone.
Focusing exercise using sight and scent is surprisingly effective for the ones who get easily distracted.
USER INTERFACE DESIGN
NEXT STEP :
I want to continue to work with light and smell to figure out how I can accurately record the right blend as light and scents has the power to make us feel comfortable and secure.
My ultimate plan for WAVE is to experiment with other smart home devices namely Google Alexa and Phillip HUE light in hopes that they could complement each other in catering to our desired behavior change and achieve our better self.