Sleep Math: Crunching the Numbers
Last updated: May 2023
Aren’t Facebook reels and TikTok videos the best? On a daily basis, you can find at least a dozen videos that relate directly to your job, your life as a parent, or any number of your inner frustrations. If you are like me, these videos never get old. My favorites, by far, are the ones that relate to sleep, or rather the lack thereof. These are some of the most relatable social media posts out there, and I laugh (and maybe cry) at every 1 of them. As someone who uses sleep math with insomnia, they hit home in a very real way.
Counting sleep hours is painfully relatable
Recently, I scrolled upon a fantastic Facebook reel from a favorite influencer. She was calculating the number of hours she might be able to sleep if she went to bed immediately. The problem was she would only get 3 hours and 45 minutes, and that math just did not add up. Her other unacceptable option was to not sleep at all. Neither option brought her joy, and neither option offered much-needed rest.
While her video was funny, and garnered thousands of likes and comments, it was painfully relatable.
My experience crunching the numbers
I often find myself crunching the numbers, too. Most of the time my mathematical skills come into play late at night when the rest of the house is quiet and the loudest thing around is the sound of my racing thoughts. Looking at the clock, which I do not recommend, I will do some quick subtraction and figure out how many more hours/minutes I have left to fall asleep and actually get some solid rest before work.
Quite honestly, those numbers typically add up to less than 5.
Carefully timing sleep aids
Another little algorithm I use deals with sleep aids. There exists a sweet spot in which I have just enough time to take melatonin and not wake up groggy and useless the next morning. Many nights, I have found myself in bed staring at the ceiling hoping to fall asleep before I miss that window altogether.
Sleep aids are a last resort for me because I am not a fan of pills or gummies, but some nights my insomnia begs for assistance. Over the years, I have discovered that if I take melatonin or Benadryl after 11:30 PM, I can hang it up. I will be a bleary-eyed mess the next morning. And that’s just if they work.
For me, sleep aids are never a guarantee.
Calculating sleep math with insomnia
Math was never my best subject, and I can honestly say that these late-night dilemmas lead to my least favorite types of word problems. Working backward from 5:30 AM, if I go to bed by 10:30 and sleep relatively well, I will have a good day. If my eyes are staring at the clock after 1 AM, well, you can do the math.
Math isn’t fun. Living with insomnia is a pain. But lying awake in your bed ciphering the hours away as you watch your workday grow closer – that’s an absolute nightmare.
Take it from one who knows.
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