The Math Behind Sleep

Dec 7, 2018 | Fort Collins

Students, parents, families: it’s happened, it’s that time of year. What time of year you may ask? Well while in just a few weeks, fireplaces will be crackling with the sound of family and laughter in the background, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, the holidays!

A well-deserved break from school and brain refresh, most of you probably have at least some sort of countdown to that amazing last day of school.

The song certainly got it right, it really is the most wonderful time of year. Days are filled with joy, snow, much happiness AND it can also very easily be filled with stress, worry, and sleep deprivation.

For many students, large midterms or finals are coming up, final projects and presentations, family gatherings, activities filling every second you have. Sleep is often the first things to go, and in recent studies they have found that over 50% of adolescents and 75% of students are sleep deprived!

That is a significantly huge number, and many doctors consider this a current epidemic in our country. With the right amount of sleep (9-11 hours in children and 8-10 for teenagers) your school performance, mental health, and overall performance in all subjects go up…especially math!

Because math is subject that requires a significant amount of mental stamina, the brain needs to be fully fueled and rested to really allow for students to do their absolute best. It is crucial to have a consistent sleep schedule, this is because of our brains REM and non-REM cycles.

When we have a nightly sleep schedule our brain can fall into these patterns more quickly and get better, deeper nights of sleep. It can also help us fall asleep faster because our brain is habited of when our bedtime is. For many people, a big obstacle of going to bed is not being able to fall asleep.

Feeling like you’re just lying there when you could be working is a huge reason people stay up until they’re exhausted which causes the problem to worsen itself.

Luckily math can help with these problems!

Depending on your age, you might use different problems; however, when working on math problems it gives the brain something to focus on while it falls asleep, and at the same time you get to practice your math skills!

Try counting backwards with tricky numbers starting somewhere new every time, think about your multiplication facts, work on the Fibonacci sequence, find the prime numbers in order, cube different numbers…the list goes on and on!

Math is so amazing that it can help you better your sleep at night and in turn your focused, refreshed, and rested brain will help you be better at math!

For amazing other bedtime math activities and more about the science of sleep, click here!