Relax! A fresh look and relaxed feel for sleep tracking with MyKokoon
Hannah, Product Manager at Kokoon
As an athlete and self confessed tech geek, Hannah is obsessed with how technology can be a force for good. When she's not racing her Garmin or blitzing her Nutribullet, she's pouring her energy into crafting award-winning products in the health space, from fitness apps to prescription sunnies. She's found her latest challenge in Kokoon, working closely with our team of sleep scientists to bring to life a sleep aid that our customers simply cannot live without.
I’ve always loved to run. But recently, running and I fell out of step. To rediscover my mojo, I enlisted the help of a running coach.
Her advice was surprising - “run naked”... keep your shorts on, but lose the smartwatch. Instead of fixating on the data and pushing the pace, I was to run by feel and measure by enjoyment. If I wanted to see my pace go up, I had to stop trying so hard.
We’re more empowered by biometric data than ever before, and seeing it can encourage us to adopt positive lifestyle changes; monitoring your daily step count prompts you to be more active, and reading your heart rate can ensure your exercising at an optimum intensity. But is seeing this data always a good thing?
The information we see shapes how we experience our lives. Seeing a slower pace on my watch can quickly override my happy post-run feeling. Knowing the fat content of that donut might distract from how delicious it tastes. The very thing that makes data an asset to our health can work to the detriment of our wellbeing.
Sleep makes for an interesting case study. Whilst successful athletes might use data to track performance, successful sleepers barely think about sleep at all. We spoke to our community of members, sleep scientists and CBT specialists to understand the positive, and negative experiences with sleep tracking.
Whilst the vast majority of our community want to see sleep data, many explained how an overly quantified view of sleep felt less like relaxation and more like a performance. One member explained how when he fell short of a sleep ‘target’, he felt a greater sense of failure and helplessness. Indeed, research shows that fixating on numbers can compound sleep anxiety, complicating a troubled relationship with sleep even further.
Similarly, reviewing sleep data with the perceived notion of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ sleep can have negative placebo effect - one member shared the anxiety felt in mornings where his wearable displayed a sleep line in red (bad), rather than greed (good). This binary design can lead many to believe they have serious problems with sleep, whereas in reality, they might be sleeping just fine. If you were to wake feeling energised, would it help to be informed that you were 2hrs short of your sleep target? Or would a message of reassurance have your day begin with a more relaxed, sunnier mindset?
Of course, to anyone who has suffered from sleeplessness, advice to ‘focus on feeling energised’ alone might feel a little underwhelming. So, we designed the approach to Sleep Tracking in MyKokoon specifically to balance empowerment with wellness. Here’s how:
Sleep on your terms: no targets
Your sleep is as unique as you are. For some, 7hours of sleep is enough to function well. Others may struggle with 7hours, and need closer to 9. We are all different.
Portraying your sleep in binary terms of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ over-simplify a complex, highly individual experience, and risks compounding irritability, perceived fatigue and potential anxiety over one’s energy levels during the day.
We designed the Sleep Dashboard to show how you slept in conjunction with your own sleep schedule, allowing you to spot patterns in the consistency and timing of your sleep to understand when, and how, you sleep the longest, deepest or fastest.
One clear outcome
As a wellness product, we have a responsibility to drive positive experiences and outcomes for our customers. And just because we can display detailed sleep data, it doesn’t always mean we should.
At best, too much data can lead to a cognitive overload, making it harder to interpret and action (some members of our community reported tracking metrics in other apps that they didn’t fully understand the significance of). At worst, as we detailed above, too much data can have a negative impact.
Rather than share every aspect of your sleep on a daily basis - and risk that fixation on the number of hours slept - we wanted to focus on the single, most useful feature in helping you overcome sleeplessness. So, upon waking, the app delivers one, clear metric: sleep efficiency.
Sleep efficiency % = Time spent sleeping / Total time in bed (x 100)
Sleep Efficiency measures how much time you spent trying to sleep versus being asleep, encapsulating length and quality that is relevant to you.
Timely, and Relevant
We want to remove the stress and noise around sleep (yes, literally). To do this, we won’t disclose stats on the basis that they ‘might be good to know’, but when those stats will genuinely be useful in improving the wellbeing of a member.
One cannot base lifestyle changes and decisions from one night's worth of sleep data. Therefore, our Sleep Dashboard displays and shares average sleep measures of length, time to sleep and consistency, helping to create a truer picture of your sleep to empower your lifestyle choices.
To help track your progress, you can toggle between This week and Last week to see the impact of changes you may have made.
More than numbers: mood, habits, sound
There are so many factors that can impact our sleep. One of the greatest frustrations we heard from our community was being met with ‘generic’ sleep advice that doesn’t seem to consider their needs.
We wanted to create an interface that truly empowered members to understand their sleep. So, our Dashboard allows you to see the impact of both mood and habits, such as exercise or drinking caffeine, in conjunction with your sleep consistency, length and depth, to help provide clarity on what works for you personally.
We’ve designed our tracking features with simplicity in mind, in a way which we believe will provide the most clarity, impact and enjoyment for our members.
This doesn’t mean limiting the tracking information that we share, but considering the timing, context, colour and tone in the delivery of this information in a way that will have the greatest impact on both behavioural change, thoughts and feelings for the wearer’s wellbeing.
We’re excited to introduce a more enjoyable, outcome-driven way to view your sleep with MyKokoon this Spring. Until then, as always, we value your feedback, and welcome you to share any thoughts, ideas or experiences on our community board.