How do you know if you are awake or asleep?

Video filmed by Amixa-Ray Calzado and edited by Annie Xu

We began with the question: how might we determine the difference between being awake and asleep? The answers we found led to our final concept, REM, which gathers sleep data and soothes people in sleep paralysis.

Initial Task Analysis
Based on some preliminary Internet research and my own experience, I tried to figure out a process to determine whether one is awake or asleep. Some of the points of tension were in lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis (when someone's body is asleep but their mind is awake), the latter which seemed an interesting design opportunity to explore further since my two groupmates had often experienced this phenomenon.

Situational Storyboard
This process storyboard imagined a device which would ask questions to guide someone struggling with sleep paralysis to a state of wakefulness by asking questions. However, we realized that asking questions would likely add to the confusion, and decided in the final product to have the device evaluate through brainwave detection whether they are in sleep paralysis, and to wake them up if so. We found through research that alpha brainwave activity increases during sleep paralysis, making detection scientifically plausible.
My primary contributions were in ideating, sketching out the situational storyboard, acting, and adding special effects.
Created for Design 215: Visual Storytelling

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