Kanne_abac
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:58 pm
Occupation: Parent

Can we study activities effect sleep without participants?

Postby Kanne_abac » Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:50 pm

My daughter wants to do science project about activities within 30 minutes before bed time such as screen time(TV, iPad), excercises ( sit up, treadmill), read a book, listen to music can effect sleep by wearing Fitbit watch to sleep so you can see how long of your deep sleep, awake and asleep on Fitbit App.
Due to Pandemic, I am wondering if she can do it by herself instead of ask participants to do it. She can study with 1 activity per night and up to 20-40 activities for study and correcting data from Fitbit App. Please advise or different approach on this study. Thank you.

probiotics
Student Expert
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2016 7:52 am
Occupation: Student

Re: Can we study activities effect sleep without participants?

Postby probiotics » Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:23 pm

Hi!

This sounds like a really cool project to learn more about healthy sleep habits!! I'm sure that it will be really fun and exciting for her to carry out the experiment!

Yes, it would be possible for her to do it by herself! However, there are a few things to be noted. Since she would be the only participant, the sample population for her study would not be very representative. Normally, when studies are conducted on people, they select a random, representative sample population to make sure that the results they achieve are generalizable for a larger population. For example, a good sample population would include multiple ages, races, health conditions, and genders.

However, for the goals of a science project, it isn't necessary to have a complete sample population, so she can carry out the experiment solely on herself. If she were to write down or present her results, it would be important to state that her results can only be generalized to herself, or other girls her age!

Additionally, the sleep quality of one specific night has the ability to impact the next night of sleep. For example, if you sleep really late one night, you may tend to sleep longer the next day because of fatigue. Therefore, in order to ensure that the impacts of the different activities stay independent, you may want to test activities every other day. In addition, it would be good to ensure that other variables are not changed, such as bed, blankets and bedtime.

Hope this helps!
Thanks, Probiotics

Kanne_abac
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:58 pm
Occupation: Parent

Re: Can we study activities effect sleep without participants?

Postby Kanne_abac » Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:36 pm

Dear Probiotics. Thank you very much for very informative reply. You make very great points and interesting point on sleep patterns especially do sleep study every other day.

Very much appreciate your time.

cnoonan180
Student Expert
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:33 am
Occupation: Student

Re: Can we study activities effect sleep without participants?

Postby cnoonan180 » Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:51 am

Hello!

Your daughter doing the project by herself is definitely acceptable! Just make sure to document somewhere in your written science project/fair/research report some information about the "sample size" which just means the number of participants in your study. Make sure to specify that due to the pandemic and for everyone's safety, your daughter used sample data only from herself, and explain why this data is useful.

Another approach to this project would be to write in the conclusion section about why you chose the specific activities to test before sleeping. For example, your study could also include some internet research findings on why listening to music or exercising before sleeping affects sleep patterns, and how these activities are predicted to affect sleep patterns (which could also be part of your hypothesis). By doing this, your project would have two final deliverables: the sample collection data from the Fitbit app, and a summary of the effects of certain activities on sleep that have been proven by other studies, which could be verified by the data collected from the Fitbit app for your daughter's project. You could summarize these findings in the form of a simple chart. For example, scientists believe that exercising before sleep could improve sleep quality. Your chart could label exercise as a certain color to display better sleep quality (i.e. green) and if your data backs this up, you could write yes in another box and color it green. Let me know if you would like a further explanation about how to do this!

You could also perform a few trials with the different sleep tracking apps that are out there, using the same activities before sleep and the same additional variables that are part of your project to see how the different sleep tracking apps compare. This could also be included in your conclusion or discussion section as a suggestion for future research if you don't have time to test this.

Hope this helps and good luck with your project!
-cnoonan180


Return to “Grades K-5: Life, Earth, and Social Sciences”