What Makes People Happy? We Have The Data.

Which parts of your daily routine have the greatest impact on your mood? Do you wake up happier when you sleep more, or exercise more? What can you do to improve your mood?

At Jawbone, we strive to improve the overall wellness of our users by helping them track, analyze, and improve their health. We also provide a platform for our users to track another aspect of their wellness – their mood. In our UP app, users can log when they’re feeling “Amazing”, “Totally Done”, or anything in-between. Hundreds of thousands of UP users have used the app to keep a log of their mood through the past year.

Our data science team looked at this unique data to find which parts of our daily routine impact our mood throughout the day.

Everybody knows that getting a good night’s sleep is important, but what does a good night’s sleep really mean? Our data shows that longer sleep duration is correlated with improved mood, until you get to 8 hours of sleep. We see that people who sleep between 8 – 9.5 hours during a night tend to wake up happier than those who slept less or more than that. There was also a clear relationship between steps on the previous day and the mood of the user in the morning: better moods correlate with more steps.

Sleeping for more than 8 hours on a daily basis doesn’t always work for everybody though. So the question is, what can you do to improve your mood? Turns out that on nights that you get an extra hour of sleep compared to normal, you wake up 5% happier than you usually do. However, over 2 extra hours of sleep doesn’t significantly improve your mood. The effects of sleep deprivation are even more drastic. People are twice as unhappy when they’ve lost 2 hours of sleep than they are happier gaining 2 hours of sleep.

We also looked at how the mood of the UP Community evolves through the day [1][2].

People tend to be happier in general during weekends than they are during weekdays. People are also happiest towards the start of their day and mood generally drops as the day goes by. On weekdays, people are happiest at 11am on Friday and unhappiest at 2am on Wednesday. On weekends, people are happiest at 10am on Saturday and unhappiest at 11pm on Sunday. It’s interesting to note that during weekdays, we see a spike in mood starting at around 5pm. We don’t see any such variations in mood during weekends. We can relate this mood improvement to the time people start to go home from work.

Stay tuned for more data stories as we dig deeper into this dataset.

Technical Notes: This study was based on hundreds of thousands of UP wearers who have regularly used UP by Jawbone over the past year to track their sleep and mood. We analyzed over 5.6 million mood entries and over 80 million nights of sleep. Mood is scored between 1 (saddest) and 10 (happiest). For the sleep analysis, we looked only at moods logged within 3 hours of the user waking up to reflect the impact of the user’s last sleep on the user’s mood. All data is anonymized and presented in aggregate.

[1] : Pulse of the Nation: U.S. Mood Throughout the Day inferred from Twitter
[2] : Diurnal and Seasonal Mood Vary with Work, Sleep, and Daylength Across Diverse Cultures

About The Author

Sukrit Mohan

Sukrit works on all parts of the Jawbone data pipeline, right from data ingestion to building data products. His earlier experience spans the entire product stack - building great user experiences, designing large scale backend systems, and in diverse areas of data engineering and algorithms. In his spare time he enjoys watching movies, playing his guitar, and kicking back with some good single malt whiskey. Find him on LinkedIn.