SleepBeta: co-designing technology with young adults to promote healthy sleep

The aim of the SleepBeta project is collaborate with young adults to promote healthy sleep. Sleep, together with healthy diet and exercise, is a key pillar for a healthy lifestyle. It is important to feeling well and to performing well at school and in university. However, young adults often have unhealthy sleep habits due to stress caused by exams, leisure activities and work commitments, and digital technologies used at night-time.

Over the last few years, we explored different sleep and lifestyle tracking technologies with young adults. In a recent study (see we found that young adults were interested in learning if they got enough sleep and what they can do to improve their sleep. However, we also found that self-tracking technologies were not well suited, because they were designed for a different age group and did not reflect the priorities and questions of young adults. Instead, young adults learnt more from a set of cards that described the relationship between sleep and different lifestyle factors (e.g., drinking caffeine, social media use at night.) Finally, the personal focus of sleep-tracking technologies did not allow for young adults to engage with peers and family members to reflect on wellbeing issues.

Hence, the aim of this research project is to engage with young adults through a co-design approach to (1) understand their sleep and digital technology practices at night-time, and (2) to collaboratively design and trial technologies that promotes healthy sleep.

Chief Investigators


phone in bed