The Parents’ Sleep Index
I was going to write something today, but unfortunately I find myself unable to put together a single coherent thought. My nine-month-old, who used to sleep through the night, seems to have decided that sleeping all night is for boring babies who are too dull to want to see what’s going on in the house from, say, 2:00 to 4:00 AM. My three-year-old also decided to wake up and scream for a while. He wasn’t scared or even upset. He was just screaming. For fun.
What I was marveling at this morning as I stumbled around my bedroom, too tired to remember how to find the bathroom, is how much more tired I feel when I am unexpectedly woken up. For some reason I function better when I’m regularly getting up with newborns than when I unexpectedly have to get up with older babies or children.
So, in lieu of whatever long-forgotten topic I was going to write about today, I present to you something I came up with at approximately 3:17 this morning: The Parents’ Sleep Index, a way to determine how many hours of sleep it feels like you got the night before.
Here is the formula:
t = total hours elapsed from time you got in bed at night until the time you got up for the day in the morning (i.e. amount of sleep you should have gotten)
e = number of children who woke up in the night
h = number of hours actually up with the baby and/or other children
a = baby’s age in months (for older children, age in years; if multiple children woke up, age of oldest child)
s = how surprised you were that you were woken up (scale of 1-10, 10 = most surprised)
w = number of times you had to get up
c = total number of children you have
y = number of hours of sleep you got the night before
It’s actually pretty accurate! (At least from my drowsy calculations while bouncing an overtired baby on my lap.) And, yes, you can get a negative number. There are definitely days where it feels like you somehow got negative sleep the night before.
Feel free to use this with any naysaying friends, family members, spouses, or bosses to prove how tired you are even if you technically got a reasonable amount of sleep the night before.
Meanwhile, I’m going to go count the seconds until nap time.