Opinion: Calculation my POGNS


By Danielle Wilson

One of the things my family teases me about, besides my love of well-done steak, is my almost freakish commitment to eight hours of sleep.

I frequently pass on once-in-a-lifetime experiences in favor of crawling into bed at 9 p.m. If that’s not nerdy enough, I also occasionally put on my math teacher hat and calculate my probability of getting a good night’s sleep. My POGNS. I’ve found that knowing ahead of time my chances of sleeping eliminates anxiety and ensures remedial measures (PM pills or AM coffee) are in place. Here are a few of the factors that come into play:

Kids/pets: In our house, the likelihood of a child or an animal coming into our bedroom is high. Nightmares, storms, the cat’s strange desire to lick my hair . . . you name it. So my chances of a restful eight hours based purely on the kid/pet factor is 6/7.

Husband: Doo radiates heats like a, well, a radiator. And he snores. Usually a pillow wall will do the trick, but sometimes there is no protection. POGNS: 4/5.

Me: Illness, anxiety, hunger and my mad hearing skills keep me awake about three times a month. POGNS: 9/10.

Lady parts: On certain days, fluctuating hormones can result in the sleep quality of a heroin addict in detox. POGNS: 5/6

Miscellaneous: Raccoons in the attic, teenagers’ kitchen rummagings, Tooth Fairy shenanigans . . . I never know what fun nocturnal surprises lie in wait. POGNS: 72/73. (I know this seems like a random fraction, but trust me on this. I’m a math teacher!)

Let’s say we only have decaf and I’m wondering if I need to make a grocery run at 8:30 p.m. I calculate the POGNS for all applicable categories and determine that the likelihood of my getting a good night’s sleep is 67.6 percent. Not bad enough for a Benadryl, but not good enough to risk a caffeine-free morning. To Meijer I go. Potential disaster averted. See?

So yes, I may be nerdy and prefer charred beef, but at least I’m using my powers for good. Peace out.

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