Last year, I spent 7.56 hours in bed each night. I don’t have a way to measure actual sleep time so time in bed was the closest thing to a sleep indicator I had. This year, I wanted to try and get it to at least 7.8 hours per night this year as part of my resolutions. So far, I’m doing well at 8.06 hours per night. However, anything based on time means time for something else is being sacrificed for it. But how much time am I talking about here, in the long run, rather than just a half hour per night? When I did the math, it was a little smack in the face, even though I don’t have any regret about it given sleep is the most important thing one can do for one’s health.
At half an hour per night, for 365 nights per year, that’s 182.5 hours. It’s a big number, but a bit meaningless as people don’t generally talk about time in hundreds of hours.
- 11.1 days. If I considered being out of bed for 16.5 hours per day compared to last year, being in bed 7.5 out of the 24 hours each day, that’s 11.1 waking days lost! Eleven fewer days to work with compared to the previous year! What can one do in 11.1 focused waking days? I mean, seriously!
- 17.6 days. In losing 11 waking days from sleeping more, I don’t actually lose just 11 days. I lose a lot more. For example, I still have to get up and do my morning routine the same number of days, leap years aside, so it’s not like I lose 11 morning routines as well to get back some of the time lost. I also have to work the same number of days, given I take the same number of vacation days so it’s not like I get to cut out some work days to get some time back. Doing the math, I need to remove 43 hours a week for work time, work lunch time where I’m stuck at work, and a short but additive commute of half an hour per day, out of 16.5 x 7 = 115.5 waking hours per week of my own time that I’m really losing. That leaves me 72.5 per week or an average of 10.35 waking hours per day to do my own stuff, if work were spread evenly over 7 days. At 10.35 waking hours per day, 182.5 hours is a staggering 17.6 days!!
- 20.3 days. If I strip out the morning and bedtime routines at about 1.35 hours per day for not only a good estimate but a convenient number with the math, then I’m looking at losing about 20.3 days of active and potentially productive time!!!
20.3 days’ worth of personal time lost from last year for just a little extra sleep! Wow!!! That does smack me in the face! I mean, really! What can I get done in almost 3 weeks? If I can write a short novel in 3 days as I have done several times for the 3-Day Novel Writing Contest, or design and sew a garment in one, do a painting in less than one, all the while listening to 2.5 hours of podcasting, and so much more, what do you think I can do in 3 weeks?
Well, whatever I will end up doing this year, I will be three weeks’ short on what I might have done if I hadn’t been in bed 8 hours per night instead of 7.5 hours per night like last year. However, knowing the importance of good and sufficient sleep to my health, I won’t lose any sleep over it when it comes time to sleep, and there’s zero hesitation to require me to sleep on it any to see if I will change my mind. Nah, I’d rather put that time to dreams, which I am doing quite a bit of, apparently, at 77% of nights where I can remember my dreams the morning after to know I had dreamed. I don’t write them down, though. Not a great use of my time, especially with 3 fewer weeks to do stuff already this year!