sleep & caffeine

I’ve been meaning to share this here. Back in January & February, I started using Daytum to keep track of the hours of sleep and ounces of caffeine I consumed each day. I’m not sure how much being aware of the data gathering influenced my decision-making, but it felt about like normal, so this is probably a decent snapshot.

You can see more visualization options and analysis on the Daytum page, if you are so inclined.

2 thoughts on “sleep & caffeine”

  1. Anna, this is interesting data. I might suggest revising the actual caffeine axis though. Caffeine density is different, according to what you’re consuming. As an expresso drinker, I’m sure you know this. 😉

    According to Wikipedia, an acute caffeine overdose occurs at around 192 milligrams per kilogram in rats (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeine). I think the same or similar level might be anticipated for humans — of course, caffeine tolerance is another influencing factor, but let’s go with the Wikipedia number for now. Assuming you weight about 100lbs, that’s roughly 45kg. Doing a little multiplication, we arrive at 8709mg as a fatal dose. Converting that back to ounces yields, 0.31 ounces (with a pretty big margin for error in the hundredths place due to unit conversion and rounding). Now, I realize you’re talking about liquid ounces in your chart above, but we’ve already discussed how caffeine density can vary from one food or drink to the next.

    So I think what you might want to do is, rather than measure your intake in terms of weight ounces (which, as shown, is a rather small number), perhaps another relative measure. I propose “the number of books Anna can read per hour.” As caffeine is a stimulant, I think we can assume that as intake increases, Anna’s reading speed will also increase linearly into infinite. Of course, we’ll need find a way to keep you stock with books, but I think that may be where UR’s Kindle comes in. Is that hooked up to a University charge account? You’ll need to buy new books periodically. Hmmm. This might work.

  2. Brent, I like the way you think! This wasn’t intended to be an accurate or scientific comparison. And I do know the difference between actual caffeine intake and the volume of beverages consumed that contain caffeine.

    Unfortunately, all of the library’s Kindles are in use for class projects right now. Perhaps I can try your study over the summer?

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