Team Sleep is made up of
Simon /Denmark – product engineering/
Amanda /Singapore – year 4 visual communication/
Yu Hui /Singapore – year 3 visual communication/
Rachel /Malaysia – year 2 product design/
Before sleep (Week 4 – Week 5)
Our journey began as an open exploration of the various problems faced by the NTU community. We wanted to find a topic that speaks to us and speaks to our peers, a topic that majority would be able to relate to.
Our process of doing this was simple.
Step 1: Go around the campus
Step 2: Talk to people
We divided ourselves into 2 teams and went around the campus, striking up conversations with friends and random strangers whom we did not know until we spoke to them. (The process of making strangers more open to talking to you can be made easier by buying them snacks!) Following which, we came back together as a group to share and discuss what insights we might have gotten from those conversations. What were the thoughts and emotions of the people whom we spoke to? How did they look like they were feeling when they shared their personal experiences and opinions regarding certain topics?
Here are some of the topics we were initially inclined to:
Issue of food
Many of the people whom we spoke to expressed that they would like to see a greater variety of food in NTU, especially local dishes such as Char Kuey Teow. A large portion of these people also mentioned that they would not mind paying more for better food. There is also the issue of food not catering to all demographics, which results in our Muslim and vegetarian friends having very limited choices when it comes to food.
In NTU, studies and results are at the top of the priority list for many. This competitive culture is hostile and unfriendly and there could be more campus events that allows people to network and bond.
Issue of Sleep (Week 6)
Initially, our group wanted to focus on the vibrancy of the NTU community. However, upon further research, we found out that NTU actually does host a wide array of activities for the students to get together and make friends. However, not many attend such activities as they are ‘too busy’ or ‘too tired’. Thus, we switched our focus to solving the issue as to why students are so tired and busy all the time. Are we really being productive when we are awake? Do we really get much work done when we pull all-nighters?
We did some research to find out about the importance of sleep. The average adult should be getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep, depending on individual. Sleep is a time for biological maintenance and skimping on it could lead to dire mental and physical health consequences in the long term, for example, an increased risk of developing depression and heart disease. Short term consequences such as feeling irritable and lack of the ability to focus may also arise from being sleep deprived. The lack of ability to focus and feeling groggy increases the risk of injuries and accidents, and can negatively impact the people around.
Adequate good quality sleep on the other hand, improves the general mood and focus, and it is no secret that well-rested individuals are much more efficient compared to their sleep-deprived counterparts. Sleeping well regularly reduces the chances of getting health complications such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. The immune system is also much stronger when we are well rested.
Over the next couple of weeks, we carried out 2 surveys, asking students of NTU various aspects about their lifestyles such as how many hours they spend sleeping on average, how many hours do they spend on schoolwork daily, do they think what they are doing is enough, do they feel they are getting sufficient sleep, what emotions do they feel when they sleep well compared to when they are not.
Profile of Target Audience (NTU Undergraduates)
A large portion of our target audience feels overwhelmed with the amount of work that they are expected to do in order to keep up in school even though they have already devoted quite a large portion of their time to doing schoolwork. Sleep is definitely last on their priority list, when they are faced with a large amount of work, sleep is usually the first to go (compared to social life).
The students are aware that not sleeping enough negatively impacts their lives and they feel very frustrated when they do not get enough sleep. However, they also think that it is normal to feel this way, that it is a part and parcel of university life.
After the survey, we felt that there was a need to change the mind set that sleep is not so important. Sleep should be a priority. We wanted to show our target audience how to improve the quality of their sleep, that improving their quality of sleep will also improve their quality of life. We hope that our project will be able to educate people on the importance of getting good quality sleep and reduce the stigma associated with sleep, that sleeping equates to laziness. Sleeping could potentially lead to even better results as the individual will have much better mood and focus.
Sleep Hygiene (Week 7)
Our research brought us to the topic of sleep hygiene.
” The term “hygiene” is often misunderstood as strictly being synonymous with “cleanliness.” The true meaning of hygiene has to do with sets of practices, habits, and environmental influences that impact one’s health.” – Alaska sleep clinic
We also found some case studies of existing attempts to address the issue of lack of sleep in Singapore.
While some of this case studies may not be specifically targeting the quality of sleep, we feel that there is much we can learn in terms to how to engage the audience and present our solution.
At this point, some of the raw ideas in our head were campaign and app design. We also received a 102 class contributed solutions (thank you!) which included napping pods, product design and reward systems.
Proposed Ideas (Week 8 – Week 9)
Napping Pods around NTU
Besides being a space for tired students to rest and catch some shut-eye, the display of napping pods around the campus could also bring up the issue of how tired and sleep-deprived everyone is and generate discussion around this issue.
We could also hold a campaign, especially targeted at hall residents, to build a culture where students are more considerate of their own as well as their roommate’s sleeping needs. Participants of the campaign will also learn about the short and long term consequences of being deprived of good quality sleep. Through this campaign we hope to get more people to understand the benefits that quality sleep brings, and thus, prioritize sleep more.
Game app design
An idea we were quite keen on was to create a game that educates as well as lets people keep track of their quality of sleep. The app would come with tangible real-life rewards and also a buddy system so that students can enjoy the app with their friends.
We could have an interactive survey installation that surveys people walking past and enable them to immediately see the results of the survey. This aims to create awareness of students sleeping patterns, sleeping schedule and habits. We would like to create a comparison between quality and quantity of sleep and showcase how important good quality sleep is.
We were also thinking of handing out stickers which promotes sleep hygiene (as opposed to flyers usually handed out during campaigns). Stickers are more attractive to students and the sticker can also serve as a daily reminder if the students chose to adhere it to their laptop or notebooks. This would mean the message stays with the target audience for a longer time than the traditional flyer does. The down side to this would be that flyers are much more informative. However, information can be shared at our campaign booth.
Final Solution & Prototyping (Week 10 – Week 12)
As justified by our past research and surveys, quality sleep deprivation is a big problem among students in NTU. It is a problem which team sleep faces as well. This leads to many dire health consequences which can be easily prevented. Having quality sleep also brings about benefits which are in line with the goal of students – focus and academic results.
Our target audience is NTU undergraduates who are experiencing quality sleep deprivation. We hope that we will be able to improve the quality of sleep that they are getting and by doing so, positively impact other aspects of their lives, such as concentration and mood, as well.
We plan to carry out our campaign at the North Spine Plaza as many students are likely to pass by and experience our campaign. The students here are also less likely to be in a rush as it is a meal area. They could participate in our campaign while waiting for their orders to be ready.
We carried out a social campaign to raise awareness about good sleep hygiene and get people to implement it in their everyday lives. Our campaign takes a 3 step approach, attention, awareness, and action.
Attention – Freeze Flash Mob
We carried out a freeze flash mob at North Spine Plaza to attract the attention of students towards our campaign booth. This free flash mob acts as an opening introduction to make them interested in the rest of our campaign. The mob worked well in attracting attention. People were interested and we were able to explain our cause afterwards.
Some improvements that could be made to the flash mob would be to greater publicize our facebook page on the signages that the flash mobbers were holding. There is also the possibility of carrying out the flash mob to more locations around the campus.
One of our flash mobber shared that she felt more tired afterwards. The flash mob could also be altered to become a monthly power nap activity, where people lie down and take a power nap together. Power naps, besides improving focus, can also be a good complement to sleeping at night if done correctly. A monthly activity would work well in spreading awareness.
Awareness – Interactive Poll & Campaign Booth
Our interactive poll and campaign booth served to raise awareness that when it comes to sleep, quantity does not equate to quality. Campaign booth held the sleep hygiene signage used in the flash mob as well as stickers illustrating sleep hygiene habits.
Many people were happy to participate in our interactive poll and also understood that orange represented bad quality and blue represented good quality. However, people voted out of their opinion of what good and bad sleep is, and this leads to inconsistency in the results on what good and bad quality sleep is. We could have a graphic to explain this.
We felt that our campaign booth could be much more informative and also better publicize our facebook page. This is to ensure that a wider audience can learn about sleep hygiene as it is slower for us to approach people and explain it to them. Some people might prefer to read up about it in a poster or another format.
Action – Facebook Page
We have created a facebook page which shares articles and videos about sleep hygiene. The livestream of our flash mob and booth was also shared there.
Initially we planned on doing a 7-day social media challenge where we get people to practice good sleep hygiene for 7 days and document their experience on our facebook page. However, we have decided to only carry it out on ourselves as it is nearing the end of the semester and it would probably be difficult to get people to commit to the challenge. In addition to that we found out (through prototyping the challenge on ourselves), that 7 days is not enough to experience the benefits of practising good sleep hygiene. In fact, the first week actually made us feel much worse compared to before we started because our bodies were not used to it.
Something that could be improved about our facebook page would be to create a community. Our campaign was great at getting attention and raising awareness. However, the action which we hoped for did not happen. This could be because people are busy during this period. We also did not publicize our facebook page well enough.
Improved Campaign (Week 13)
This is how our improved booth could look like.
Explanation of what we mean by good sleep and bad sleep will be printed on the same graphic as the question and placed above our interactive poll. This will make it clearer for the people participating in our poll.
Sleep hygiene poster to be near our booth so people understand the purpose of our campaign immediately when they see our booth. facebook page promotion added.
Roll up banner to showcase the various sleep hygiene habits, the name of our facebook page has been added to the bottom of it. We propose to have this beside our booth.
Facebook page name added to our sticker freebie to better promote our facebook page.
That’s all thank you!
Check out our group blog at aplussleep.wordpress.com!