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Nov 3, 2016

Lifestyle Factors and Lumosity

Sleep is one of a number of lifestyle factors that our team is interested in exploring: for instance, “Is there a relationship between sleep and Lumosity scores?” For several years, our Data Science team has collected information from Lumosity users about sleep, mood, and the time of day they play Lumosity. Below are some of the findings from their early analyses.

An Initial Investigation into Sleep

In 2013, we looked at the relationship between sleep and users’ Lumosity performance based on participants’ self-reported hours of sleep. The resulting analysis was published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. That same year, our data scientists also presented data about Lumosity performance and time of day at ESCoNS.

This early work told us about the difference between game performance across people with different sleep and training habits, but the team was eager to expand on these initial findings.

Sleep, Mood, Time of Day and Your Lumosity Performance

In follow-up research, our scientists wanted to get more specific and look at differences within individuals. Our data scientists presented this new analysis, titled “Estimating sleep, mood, and time of day effects in a large database of human cognitive performance,” at the annual Society for Neuroscience conference in November 2014.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the new research found that highest overall Lumosity performance was correlated with a positive mood and after seven hours of sleep. Although sleep is inherently personal and there is no consensus amongst sleep researchers, some other independent research also suggests that seven hours of sleep may be ideal for certain cognitive and health factors. You can read an overview of similar sleep research in the The Wall Street Journal and in the journal Sleep.

But performance on individual games varied by time of day. Memory, Speed, and Flexibility game scores were typically highest in the morning. Scores on crystallized knowledge tasks like arithmetic and verbal fluency peaked in the afternoon.

Here’s a breakdown of peak performance times over the course of the day:

7:00 -- 9:00a.m., Pinball Recall (working memory)

9:00 -- 11:00a.m., Color Match (stroop task)

9:00 -- 11:00a.m., Ebb and Flow (task switching)

10:00 -- noon, Memory Matrix (visuospatial memory)

10:00 -- noon, Speed Match (N-back)

10:00 -- noon, Lost in Migration (flanker task)

1:00 -- 3:00p.m., Word Bubbles Rising (verbal fluency)

2:00 -- 4:00p.m., Raindrops (speeded arithmetic)

6:00 -- 8:00p.m., Chalkboard Challenge (arithmetic reasoning)

Methods and Looking Ahead

Our data scientists analyzed over 60 million data points from 61,407 participants while conducting this research. Over the course of a year, these participants completed 100 or more daily surveys on sleep (“<5” to “9+” hours of sleep) and mood (very bad, bad, neutral, good, or very good), which were compared with their performance on the Lumosity games listed above.

Our team is excited to build even further on these results. In the future, it might be possible to combine these findings with health and lifestyle data from smartphones and wearable technology — helping us better understand the relationships between cognitive performance and other everyday activities.

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