Beeminder Forum

Beeminding bedtime


#1

Hi, I just recently started reading here and I thought you guys might have some cool ideas for how to get to bed on time. I’m not the most akratic person in the world, but I make highly irrational decisions about staying up late to read something that really could wait even though I know I feel terrible when I’m sleep deprived. So I don’t think tracking wake time will trickle down and make me get to bed earlier.

I thought about using RescueTime if I could get it to say I spent time on the computer after my bedtime, which would probably work really well if I could configure it, but I’m not sure if I can (and still have it track productivity during work hours - it seems to only take one “special” period of time, right?).

I also thought about beeminding some kind of pre-bedtime ritual that would be calming enough that if I did it I probably wouldn’t mind going to sleep. But does anyone have any tricks I haven’t thought of?

Thanks!
Presley


#2

I have a set-a-limit goal [1] for going to bed on time—each data point (one per day) records the number of minutes past my target bedtime that I am actually in bed with the lights off. I.e. the last thing I do before going to sleep is look at the clock and enter a data point via my phone: if my target bedtime is 10:30 and it’s 10:48 then I enter a data point of 18. Currently I also allow myself to enter negative data points if I go to bed before my target bedtime, though that probably isn’t a great idea—going to bed late still makes me feel terrible the next day no matter how early I went to bed the previous night. But in practice I am hardly ever in bed early.

Anyway, this has worked pretty well for me so far – it still allows for a bit of flexibility in going to bed late some nights, but so far has been genuinely motivating in getting me in bed earlier. Right now I allow 15 minutes of leeway per day but I’ll probably dial that down a bit soon. Weaselling by intentionally neglecting to enter a data point could be a problem but the shiny new presumptive pessimistic reports should fix that.

-Brent

[1] https://www.beeminder.com/byorgey/goals/bed


#3

Oh, possibly useful trick: you can enter datapoints in Beeminder as, for example, 1:30 and Beeminder interprets that as 1.5 (like 1.5 hours or 1.5 minutes – it doesn’t know or care, the colon is just syntactic sugar).

So you could beemind the total number of hours after 12-noon that that you’re awake by just entering the time of day that you go to bed. If you want to go to bed at 10pm on average then that’s 70 total hours after noon per week (or 10 per day). If you enter “10:00” every day then you’ll follow the yellow brick road perfectly.

So that avoids mental math when entering data. What I’m really excited about is automatic ways to beemind this kind of thing. Like Jolly’s idea of using the timestamp from his Withings weigh-in as his official wake time…


#4

I don’t have a bedtime goal per se, but I am using Fitbit and the Beeminder integration for “Sleep”. The fitbit has a button you press when going to bed, and when getting up. Consistent Bed Time would be nice, but I can pretty much sleep whenever, so it’s not a big deal.

That forces me to take naps when I am low, and generally puts pressure on going to bed earlier than otherwise.

The next step I am thinking about now is to reduce the time between waking up (fitbit button) and standing on the scale (out of bed).


#5

automatic ways to beemind this kind of thing. Like Jolly’s
idea of using the timestamp from his Withings weigh-in as his official
wake time…

Keep a Withings under your pillow to record your go-to-bed time. :slight_smile:

This article turned up in my RSS reader today:
http://summertomato.com/breaking-bad-how-to-kick-the-late-night-snacking-habit/
It might seem off-topic since we’re talking about preventing irrational decisions to stay up late, but the article points out that at the end of the day, your self-control is depleted, and your actions tend to be mindless and guided by habit. It gives some advice about how to adjust bad habits, again mostly related to food, but parts of it are relevant to general self-control - identifying triggers, identifying the “reward” for the bad behaviour, adjusting the behaviour to make it less satisfying (perhaps allow yourself to read but only while standing up?).


#6

I basically do the same thing as Brent, except low-tech, with a small calendar with attached pen sitting on my pillow, so there’s no chance I’ll fail to report. The new pessimistic presumptive reports could be helpful though too. I have considered automation by fetching data from my computer, but I’m not *always *at the computer and it would be a bit fiddly. I still might work it out in future, but would be curious to hear someone else’s solution first.


#7

I just do this: https://www.beeminder.com/essy/goals/sleep [1]
I enter the time I go to bed, when I go to bed (usually by text message) and have some rules for what circumstances allow me to skip an entry. The format for the entry is “sleep ^ [h]:[mm]” and I set my road rate to 10.5 per day with a 1-hour “max safe days” (in the basic settings), so that I have to go to bed around 10:30 every day. [2] If I go to bed early one night, I can accumulate a little for later in the week… but only an hour (i.e. never so much that I can end up in a 3am Lifehacker-reading session).

Works decently for me and keeps me from drifting.

Oh, also, I have insomnia semi-regularly. I never count that against myself. As long as I’ve been lying in bed for at least 20 minutes or so, I can get up and watch comedies or read fiction (things that tend to put me back to sleep). [3] No computer, heavy reading, etc. (Occasionally, if work has me stressed out, I’ll create to-do plan to ease my deadline nerves, but that’s as mentally intense as my nigh-time activities can be or I stay up all night.)

[1] It looks empty/new but I’ve used this one for a while. I emptied my Beeminder goals and started fresh recently after a large, long-term project was completed as it signalled a change in the way my time would be used.
[2] It can be that early b/c my rules about the days I don’t have to log include the social situations for which I would want to stay up… and because I get up around 6am.
[3] It’s as little as 20 minutes for me b/c usually I fall asleep in under 5.


#8

Thanks everyone! I like the rule that insomnia doesn’t count against you,
I’ll use that.


#9

I can’t declare insomnia before I actually to bed, though. I can’t be like… “Oooh… this is an interesting Gizmodo article… Uh… I think I have insomnia”. That’s why I have the stay-in-bed-for-20 rule too.


#10

Definitely, but I was worried that if I set up something automatic on my computer to count against me if I was using it at night, it would also count against me if I got up in the middle of the night unable to sleep. Of course I should really read a book instead of getting on the computer at that point, but, right, willpower. I’m hoping f.lux http://justgetflux.com/ will make the computer less insomnia-inducing than I always hear. But I don’t have insomnia often, I just tend to think sleeping would be so much less interesting than whatever I’m doing. I’d need a bigger gap than 20 minutes, actually, because I’ve never been one to fall asleep as soon as I hit the pillow.

I’m looking into a bash script to monitor my computer use and tell on me, I’ll let you guys know if I get it working.

I can’t declare insomnia before I actually to bed, though. I can’t be
like… “Oooh… this is an interesting Gizmodo article… Uh… I think I
have insomnia”. That’s why I have the stay-in-bed-for-20 rule too.


#11

Hi, been lurking here a few days and this thread got me thinking. I set up a goal a few weeks ago to measure when I woke up. My goal was to wake up before a certain time three times per week (modest but I am not a morning person). This sort of worked, but having to log it manually was a bit annoying and sometimes I wasn’t quite sure the exact time I woke up.

I also use Fitbit so on yesterday I wrote a really simple (and hacky) python script that uses the Fitbit API to check if I woke up before 7:30. I then run the script in a cron job at 9:30, and it gives me a 1 if I woke up before 7:30 and a 0 if I didn’t. Either way it logs the time I woke up. If there’s no sleep logged, then it gives an error which cron will email me about so I remember to manually enter my sleep if I forgot to do it on the Fitbit, or else potentially to sync the fitbit if there’s some reason it didn’t sync.

The fact that it’s automatic has motivated me both to go to sleep earlier and to wake up earlier. But of course I’m only two nights in :slight_smile:

I also sometimes use this to determine bedtime with Fitbit:
http://sleepdebt.rockettools.com/sleep

B


#12

Insomnia + computer = no.
I have f.lux too, but getting onto the computer kind of puts my brain in a different mode and going back to sleep is unlikely after that. I’ve had insomnia for 10+ years and have learned the hard way to never turn my computer on. The key for me is low-stimulation diversion: sitcoms (no drama, no documentaries) and reading fiction (on paper, not iPad). With these things, as soon as I’m ready to go back to sleep, I feel it right away. With things like high-stimulation reading (non-fiction, work) or the computer, that just doesn’t seem to happen. And I think this might turn out to be the case for you, too; especially if you say that you “tend to think sleeping would be so much less interesting than whatever [you’re] doing”. When I’m feeling like that, I just end up down the infinite rabbit-hole.

Definitely, but I was worried that if I set up something automatic on my
computer to count against me if I was using it at night, it would also
count against me if I got up in the middle of the night unable to sleep. Of
course I should really read a book instead of getting on the computer at
that point, but, right, willpower. I’m hoping f.lux
http://justgetflux.com/ will make the computer less insomnia-inducing
than I always hear. But I don’t have insomnia often, I just tend to think
sleeping would be so much less interesting than whatever I’m doing. I’d
need a bigger gap than 20 minutes, actually, because I’ve never been one to
fall asleep as soon as I hit the pillow.

I’m looking into a bash script to monitor my computer use and tell on me,
I’ll let you guys know if I get it working.


#13

Hey y’all, i just had the idea to write a tattler script to report if I’m up by a certain time or in bed by a certain time. Idea being I cron the script to run on my laptop at bedtime, and if my computer’s ever awake then it’ll tattle on me to beeminder, if I’ve already closed the lid, cron won’t run it. You could also do the same for a getting up. I’ve gotta get up and wake my computer up by 6:30am or my script won’t report in to Beeminder, for example.

Anywhoo, here it is:

require 'httparty'

# add a line to your crontab like so to report to beeminder if you're still up at midnight:
# > crontab -e
# > 00 0 * * * ruby tattler.rb usr/gol 1

token = "__REPLACE_ME__"

usr, gol = ARGV[0].split('/')
val = ARGV[1]

url = "https://www.beeminder.com/api/v1/users/#{usr}/goals/#{gol}/datapoints.json"
args = {
  :timestamp=>Time.now.to_i,
  :value=>val.to_i,
  :auth_token=>token
}

HTTParty.post(url,:query=>args)

#14

Just what I had in mind! Thanks for sharing it.

On Saturday, August 10, 2013 3:27:11 PM UTC-4, Bethany M. Soule wrote:

Hey y’all, i just had the idea to write a tattler script to report if
I’m up by a certain time or in bed by a certain time. Idea being I
cron the script to run on my laptop at bedtime, and if my computer’s
ever awake then it’ll tattle on me to beeminder, if I’ve already
closed the lid, cron won’t run it. You could also do the same for a
getting up. I’ve gotta get up and wake my computer up by 6:30am or my
script won’t report in to Beeminder, for example.

Anywhoo, here it is:


#15

@Bethany_M_Soule Ah, this is awesome!! I have something similar on my phone, but that’s just meant I stay up on my computer instead :joy: Now I can Beemind both!! :grinning:

@Presley_Pizzo For setting up something similar on my phone, I use Tasker (for Android) and it starts a Beeminder timer every time my phone display is on between 10pm and 6am. It turns off the timer when I lock the screen.

Edit: I just realized this post is five years old!! :grimacing:


#16

Oh that’s genius! (Yes, even five years later.)

I bet I could do something similar for my Android phone and tablet using Tasker to check if the screen is on after x o’clock (probably “is screen on twice in n minutes” to not penalise me if it gets nudged awake or used for a toilet break torch). http://alys.commits.to/report_back_to_Beeminder_forum_t_1441_about_Tasker_screen_off_tester_by_16_November_2018


#17

Oh hey, that’s probably an even better idea! I don’t suppose you’d like to share the code?


#18

I’d be happy to! I’ve actually never shared Tasker code before, is copying and pasting the XML here the right way to do that?


#19

That is one way but a recent version of Tasker introduced a new, easier method if you don’t mind your code being stored in Tasker’s cloud storage:
https://tasker.joaoapps.com/userguide/en/sharecreation.html
https://tasker.joaoapps.com/taskernet.html


#20

Ahh that’s so cool!! :smiley: I hadn’t noticed Tasker even had an update pending, oops! Here’s the link!