Fig: 1 – Sleep cycles change according to our body clock (Credits- Ryan Sebastian/Istockphoto)
Early humans were nocturnal so they could hunt without worrying about predators. It is hypothesized that in the course of evolution, sleep cycles changed as we developed intelligence.
So now we have evolved to be diurnal (awake during the day and asleep at night). Our circadian rhythms are lined up with the sun. That’s why as soon as the sun sets, we start feeling drowsy and our bodies get ready for sleep. Without sleep, we can easily lose concentration, have poor reaction times, and are unable to complete basic tasks without feeling drowsy or unfocused.
Over time, lack of sleep can place an individual at a higher risk of heart problems, obesity/anorexia, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to that, it is proved that a lack of rest results in impaired learning, mood swings, poor decision making, unusual making, reaction times, lack of motivation, and may also affect memory.
Despite knowing that sleep is a major contributor to our overall health, 62% of adults say that they can't/dododon't sleep well at all.
Fig: 2 –Work-life imbalance (Credits-Gettyimages)
The working culture in human history has evolved from hunting, working in factories to working within cubicles. With innovation and technology, the convenience and speed of working have increased ten-fold, but unfortunately, it doesn't apply to the work-life balance.
The nature of occupations and work has and is evolving with the needs of humans/region/country. While hunter-gatherers wholly worked for providing for themselves, today we work for fuelling a wider spectrum that includes our passion, the company, the society, and much more.
With changing work models, an overload of information and the way we associate it has evolved into thinking about it for 24 hours, even if we stop working. It has become a work-eat-sleep repeat model, where one doesn't even get enough sleep. Also, with the increase in trends of remote and nomadic working people are spending more time juggling office work, social life, and personal commitments. This has led to sleep deprivation in many adults which can also potentially lead to physical and mental health crises.
Fig: 3 – Sleeping pod (Credits- Hammacher and Schlemmer)
Sleep is not only important for overall health but also maximum productivity. While 8 hours of sleep is of utmost importance, in some work cultures taking a nap for 10-15mins after lunch is a norm and helps in productivity.
This has proved to not only help the employee feel rejuvenated but also has helped to produce quality and energy to work more.
Can we provide a physical dimension to this nap system?
Can this dimension be a prototype that can not only help us sleep well but also in any conditions favourable to our bodily needs?
For better convenience and efficiency can there be any more retrofits for everyday sleep?
Brief: Design a prototype of a sleeping pod that redefines the way we sleep.
Design should be based on today’s work conditions and nomadic/remote lifestyle.
Research: Investigate the science of sleeping and design elements in the pods accordingly.
Working: Defining stationary + mobile states for the habitat.
Feasible: Design should be feasible and practical to apply in both public/private areas.
Interior: Essentials for sleeping, lighting, materials, sound management, temperature control.
Modular: Versatile and adaptable enough to be replicated in different locations.
The following objectives are a path to conceive the design. Participants can add to the existing functions of their design.
Design for adults over the age of 18. Other than the transportation need, it must cater to basic requirements of sleeping while keeping in mind the following:
In Mobile State: Maximum permissible covered area is 16 sq. mt with minimum corresponding volume.
In Static State: The total covered area used for stretchability/expandability should not exceed 50% of 16 sq. mt.