Secrets Behind Sleep
Melissa Balun
St Thomas Aquinas
Floor Location : J 161 H

I held a nine week experiment with four people as my test subjects. These weeks were split into three week intervals. In the first three weeks, the testers were required to drink a cup of coffee one hour before going to bed (and throughout the day as the wanted to). The next three weeks, the same procedure was preformed but instead of caffeine, they must consume only decaf. The last three weeks, they could not consume any caffeine or decaf coffee whatsoever. Each night throughout these nine weeks, these four people tracked their sleep using an app (either MotionX24/7 or Sleepbot). Every week to three weeks, the testers would email me the recording the app tracked. I analyzed the data. Since deep sleep is the healthiest part of our sleep cycle, where our body is restoring energy, relaxed, etc.., I chose to base my results of it. By calculating the amount of hours each person slept in deep sleep, I determined which time period that person had the best sleep. Looking for a broader result, I the overall minutes of deep sleep slept during each three week interval. From that result, I determined the overall percentage of deep sleep for each time period. My results half matched my predictions, nonetheless, my conclusion was unexpected but actually provided me with a better and deeper explanation. I saw that the two people in my experiment who were regular coffee drinkers had their best sleep with decaf. This made me recognize that their body must of grown a tolerance to coffee. Decaf was their perfect option because it wasn't a powerful as caffeine , but was still something their body was familiar with. Whereas their weeks without either was a big shock to their bodies, resulting in their worst sleep. My other two testers drank coffee occasionally, therefore their bodies had not grown a tolerance to it. These two people followed my predictions, having their best sleep without either, then with decaf, and lastly with coffee. My results showed me what would happen to people who were tolerant to coffee and people who weren't. Therefore, I feel that my results were better than I had expected because I now know what option is best for two groups of people health.