Incentives to Sleep

Last registered on February 22, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Incentives to Sleep
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007232
Initial registration date
February 20, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
February 22, 2021, 12:08 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Pittsburgh

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Upitt
PI Affiliation
Maastricht University
PI Affiliation
University of Pittsburgh

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-02-01
End date
2021-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Sleep deprivation is prevalent in modern societies leading to negative health and economic
consequences. However, we know little about why people decide to sleep less than the recommended
number of hours. This study investigates the mechanisms affecting sleep choice
and explores whether commitment devices and monetary incentives can be used to promote
healthier sleep habits.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Avery, Mallory et al. 2021. "Incentives to Sleep." AEA RCT Registry. February 22. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7232
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Subjects will be assigned to a control condition and one of three treatments.
Subjects in treatment group will be notified of the intervention at the end of the baseline period. In the control group, participants will be asked only to wear the device, allowing their Fitbit data to be recorded, and to respond to surveys during the experimental
period.
Subjects in the first treatment condition will also complete incentive surveys
in the treatment weeks: as part of this survey, treated participants will be asked to choose
a bedtime target (between 10 pm and 1 am) and a sleep duration target (between 7 and 9 hours)
for Monday through Thursday nights of the current week and received incentives for achieving
the targets.The sleep duration targets will be set between 7 and 9 hours to reflect the recommended
number of hours of sleep. A target will be met if someone fell asleep
earlier than the bedtime target and slept longer than the duration target.

In the second treatment, subjects will be offered the choice between 2 contracts. A first contract A) which corresponds to the first treatment and a second contract B) where subjects only receive rewards if they would achieve the target but would not be penalized if they missed it.

Finally, a fourth treatment will ask subject to select a sleep duration and a bedtime target, but with no monetary incentives.

The intervention will last three weeks. We will then follow the subjects for three more months to observe post-treatment behavior
Intervention Start Date
2021-02-22
Intervention End Date
2021-03-12

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
sleep duration, sleep quality, heart rate, steps, physical activity, self-reported health, cognitive skills
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
NA

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
NA
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
NA

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Subjects will be assigned to a control condition and one of three treatments.
Subjects in treatment group will be notified of the intervention at the end of the baseline period. In the control group, participants will be asked only to wear the device, allowing their Fitbit data to be recorded, and to respond to surveys during the experimental
period.
Subjects in the first treatment condition will also complete incentive surveys
in the treatment weeks: as part of this survey, treated participants will be asked to choose
a bedtime target (between 10 pm and 1 am) and a sleep duration target (between 7 and 9 hours)
for Monday through Thursday nights of the current week and received incentives for achieving
the targets.The sleep duration targets will be set between 7 and 9 hours to reflect the recommended
number of hours of sleep. A target will be met if someone fell asleep
earlier than the bedtime target and slept longer than the duration target.

In the second treatment, subjects will be offered the choice between 2 contracts. A first contract A) which corresponds to the first treatment and a second contract B) where subjects only receive rewards if they would achieve the target but would not be penalized if they missed it.

Finally, a fourth treatment will ask subject to select a sleep duration and a bedtime target, but with no monetary incentives.
Experimental Design Details
Subjects will be assigned to a control condition and one of three treatments.
Subjects in treatment group will be notified of the intervention at the end of the baseline period. In the control group, participants will be asked only to wear the device, allowing their Fitbit data to be recorded, and to respond to surveys during the experimental
period. Subjects will be told that one week will be randomly selected to determine the incentives paid. The payment will occur at the end of the intervention.
Subjects in the first treatment condition will also complete incentive surveys
in the treatment weeks: as part of this survey, treated participants will be asked to choose
a bedtime target (between 10 pm and 1 am) and a sleep duration target (between 7 and 9 hours)
for Monday through Thursday nights of the current week and received incentives for achieving
the targets.The sleep duration targets will be set between 7 and 9 hours to reflect the recommended
number of hours of sleep. A target will be met if someone fell asleep
earlier than the bedtime target and slept longer than the duration target.

In the second treatment, subjects will be offered the choice between 2 contracts. A first contract A) which corresponds to the first treatment and a second contract B) where subjects only receive rewards if they would achieve the target but would not be penalized if they missed it.

Finally, a fourth treatment will ask subject to select a sleep duration and a bedtime target, but with no monetary incentives.

The intervention will last three weeks, while we will keep following the subjects for three more months to observe post-treatment behavior.
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individuals
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
200 students
Sample size: planned number of observations
18200 (200*7*days*13weeks)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
50 in treatment 1, 50 in treatment 2, 50 in treatment 3, 50 in control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Pittsburgh Istitutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2019-09-04
IRB Approval Number
STUDY19080310

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials