Automating get-out-of-bed time

I have a very bad habit of lying in bed for up to an hour after my alarm goes off. Trying to find an automated way to break this. (I have tried those barcode alarm clock apps, but I find them a very unpleasant way to start my morning.)

Tools at hand: Android phone (IFTTT, Tasker, etc), Fitbit, generic smart scale

Right now my thought is use the IFTTT “daily goal not reached by X time” trigger, then set my Fitbit daily step goal to 100 and the time to 8 AM. So I can approximate my goal to get out of bed with the goal to get 100 steps by 8 AM. (This has problems though, like that I could “succeed” by staying up past midnight or getting up to go to the bathroom in the night twice.)

If there is an app I could integrate my smart scale with, which would then integrate with IFTTT, and somehow allow me to punish myself for not weighing in by a certain time, that would work too (very indirectly!)

I am super new to Beeminder and find all the charts and graphs very complicated and intimidating so please go easy on me. :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Welcome lesath!

I don’t have any direct feedback, but your post reminded me of a really similar recent thread. I don’t think I found it, but here are some the search dug up:

I don’t Beemind get-out-of-bed time, but I did recently start using the SleepCycle app, which “listens” to you sleeping to supposedly wake you when you are most alert, in a 30-minute window. So far it’s working really well for me. It doesn’t stop you from staying in bed, of course, but maybe waking more well rested could be a factor in helping you to get up more promptly?

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Hi @lesath! I have the same problem as you, especially on mornings when I’m not feeling well rested – I reckon we’re not alone!

I tried a “get out of bed” goal a few months ago using a smart scale, a Fitbit account, and IFTTT. (I don’t even use a Fitbit anymore but it was the easiest way to get my generic smart scale to talk to IFTTT.)
It was convoluted, but the path went: Weigh in on smart scale → Weight automatically connected to Fitbit app → IFTTT reads TOD[Date] for new Fitbit weight entry → IFTTT sends datapoint to Beeminder. It turned out to be a really good way to make sure I weighed myself daily, and a so-so way of getting myself out of bed.

It also led me to develop the annoying habit on some days of brushing my teeth, stepping on the scale, and then getting back into bed! Recently, I’ve had more success with making an appointment or gym booking for relatively early in the morning, and I’m curious about the utility of a Beeminder do-more goal for doing a short morning routine. I’m wondering if the psychology of a more “manual” Beeminder goal and an “Atomic Habits” style behavior chain turns the focus on adding in positive habits and replacing the lounging in bed habit.

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Thanks, Alice! I ended up landing on the same solution – with the obvious loophole that I could just manually log a new weight on my Fitbit, then fall back asleep. I think I am not weaselly enough to actually get back in bed, but the prospect of just hitting a button in bed might be hard to pass up. I remember when I used those aforementioned barcode alarm apps, there was an option to bypass the barcode requirement by pressing a button 1000 times – and I actually did this more mornings than not.

I appreciate the links to the previous threads, Ian. I’ll try to incorporate those tips!

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This made me think of an aspect of my experience with Beeminder. Not sure if it’ll be helpful but I’ll share it anyway.

I sometimes find myself doing similar tricks (with Beeminder goals). I then tell myself [often not immediately] something like “This graph isn’t here to track the mornings where I pressed a button a thousand times. It’s here to track the mornings where I achieved my goal of getting out of bed on time. So I’ll now delete that data point I’ve entered yesterday and derail.”

If I don’t feel comfortable derailing like this, I take that as a sign that I need to rethink what I am doing in the first place.

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How many :heart_eyes: can I give this?

I have the same problem (lying in bed for hour(s!) after my alarm) and I’ve just thought of a fix that should work on at least most days.

My housemate sleeps later than I do and in another room - both are necessary for this fix. I set an alarm in my room that I know will wake me. I set an alarm for a few minutes later on another device next to his room that would wake him if I did not get up in time to turn it off - and I know I’ll do that because I very much do not want to wake him.

Once I’m up, there’s a (I think) better than average chance that I’ll stay up, especially if I do extra things like putting toothbrush and toothpaste next to the second alarm device.

The biggest risk is that I won’t set up the second device each night, so I’ve created this Beeminder goal with a deadline of 9pm to set the device in place with the alarm active. This has a secondary advantage that it will (I hope!!) stop me using the device after the deadline, which is good because it’s one of my main sources of bedtime procrastination.

I’m sure I’ll find ways to sabotage myself, such as standing with the device at its correct location to finish a damn game for a stupid amount of time instead of going to bed, but with any luck I won’t do that often. :scream:

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Dang that is creative and powerful, though it sounds kiiind of like a socially inefficient commitment device in that there’s some probability each time that you’ll actually wake up your housemate and that is technically a deadweight loss in the econ sense.

Related to this, my most powerful beeminder goals are my “honor system” ones. In the clear light of day, it’s clear to me that it’s better to derail, pay the money, and preserve the usefulness of the tool than to cheat. After a few times of doing that, even in the throes of akrasia, I know that my future self is going to take the hit, so it motivates me to action.

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I had this same exact problem and actually built an app to solve it! I called it Paris, here’s how it worked:

  1. You set the time you want to be out of bed in the app. You can make it either a one-off time or one that recurs on weekdays or weekends.
  2. You set the location of your home
  3. When the time to be out of bed arrives, you have 10 minutes to check in to the app and be at least 100 meters from your house (distance adjustable). You could also set a location that you want to be at by a certain time, e.g. be at work by 9am
  4. If you don’t make it, $20 is sent to Beeminder using their charge API. There was an alternative punishment of a text being sent to a friend/family member letting them know that you failed, but that wasn’t motivating enough to me.

The app was loaded locally, meaning that it wasn’t publicly on the App Store and only I could use it. But if this idea sounds like something you would want to use, let me know and I’ll see if I can get a free open-source app up for others to use!

But it seems like some of the Beeminder <–> Location integrations might also be able to accomplish this, such as Get Out of the House.

P.S. Here’s the GitHub repo (front-end, back-end; separated them because I was in college and didn’t know better)

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