Study level

  • PhD
  • Master of Philosophy
  • Honours


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Research centre


Dr Bernd Ploderer
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science
Dr Sirin Roomkham
Lecturer in Computer Science
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science

External supervisors

  • Dr Zilu Liang, ​Kyoto University of Advanced Science (KUAS), Japan


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.

Research activities

This research project may involve the following activities:

  • qualitative research through interviews and short self-tracking experiments with young adults and families to understand their sleep habits, technologies used at night-time, and their wellbeing concerns and questions
  • co-design workshops to create technology prototypes with young adults that promote healthy sleep. The prototype may build on the existing SleepBeta cards to create a virtual coach, or to use the cards within families or within peer groups.
  • field studies where young adults trial prototypes in their everyday lives.


Upon completing this research, we expect to develop:

  • novel interactive technologies designed with and for young adults that promote meaningful insights into their sleep and technology habits at night-time
  • new human-computer interaction theories describing how these technologies influence sleep
  • co-design methods to engage teens with wellbeing and technology design.

Skills and experience

To be considered for this project, you must have a strong background in human-computer interaction or interaction design, ideally with some experience in qualitative research with end users and in technology prototyping.

Experience in working with teens and their families is desirable.


You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.

Explore our research scholarships



Contact Bernd Ploderer for more information.