Can Beeminder help me get out of bed each day?

Hi there, so I am TOTALLY new to Beeminder. I literally just signed up today, haven’t even set one goal yet. I’ve been thinking about joining for a while, but had put it off because I’m not sure if Beeminder can do what I’d need it to do. All the many features and the terminology has had me a bit confused, but I’m absolutely willing to put the time in to understand how it works if it can help me with my goals.

The first and most important goal I want to tackle is to get up at a certain time. I don’t currently work due to ill mental health, but I am trying to work towards recovery and setting up my own business, however, my messed-up sleep schedule is a massive problem for me, and is limiting me much more than the mental health issue at the moment (and probably exacerbating it too!)

My hope is that I can use Beeminder to help me get up on time in a fail safe way; I don’t want to self-report for this, I don’t trust myself! I already use & am familiar with Runkeeper, so I’m hoping I can set up a goal to go for a walk or run by a certain time each day, starting out quite late and gradually making the time by which I must go earlier, to slowly but surely reset my body clock. I know that going outside and the dose of daylight that gives you, plus the movement of exercise, is proven to help reset your body clock.

So my questions are: can this be done, and how? I’m especially keen to know how I can make it so there’s no loopholes for me to exploit; I don’t want to be able to menually input into Runkeeper that I did a 2km walk by midday when I did no such thing. Also, how can I make it so I can, bit by bit, bring the time I must get out for my walk earlier, eventually plateauing at what is a good wake-up time to stick to.

Thank-you to anyone who’s read this far and offers me some help. My sleep problems really are very life-limiting and finally finding a solution would mean the absolute :earth_africa:world:earth_africa: to me.



As it so happens there was a very inspiring conversation about beeminding getting out of bed not too long ago, let me find it right quick… Yes, here:

In particular there was this genius solution that might resonate with you in the “I don’t trust myself” department:

Hope this helps!

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Hi phi, thank-you for that info. I haven’t read the whole thread, just the bits you quoted, but I’ll read it all tomorrow (as it’s late here.) I’m not sure the withing sleep pad would work for me, seeing as for one thing, there’s no way I could prevent myself unplugging it (I live in an old house with a grand total of 4 sockets in my bedroom, therefore everything is connected via extension cords), plus, I have a rather comfy sofa in my room also which I know from experience I am more than able to sleep on! :confused:


You could plug everything in and then actually glue the cord of the sleep pad to the extension cord.
With hot glue or some other glue that can be removed again (Using either heat, wiping alcohol (isopropanol) or acetone).

Hmmm, but there’s still the sofa :couch_and_lamp:

I’m also really interested in any option that gets me out of the house, even for a short while, as that’s the best way to really wake me up. Any more info on using the Runkeeper app?

Also the idea about using an NFC tag from that thread is interesting; I wonder if I could put them in various discrete places around my neighbourhood (under a bench for example) so I have to go to them as part of my walk? Technically vandalism? Probably yes, but extremely discrete & for a good cause.


One of my favorite hobbies is geocaching, and we hide things all over the place. If we can hide boxes full of random junk treasure all over the world, no one will ever care if there’s a NFC sticker under a park bench :slight_smile:


I hear ya! Couch gravity is pretty strong especially in the evening hours when the bed is sofa away :upside_down_face:
Unfortunately I don’t have a good method of keeping me from flopping and passing out on the couch myself – what kind of works for me is to have enough stuff pile up on the couch that it’s more attractive to walk over to the bed vs. first clearing space on there. But yeah that’s not really why you have a couch in the first place.
In lieu of other means I would go with a classic do-less goal that allows you to spend the night on the couch like once a week? or once every two weeks? Basically not often at all but more often than never. Just to give you the illusion that you could in theory build up enough safety buffer to indulge once in a while in couch napping.
And then having your back ache the next morning reminding you why you really should stop doing that. :roll_eyes:

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Ha ha, thanks. I’d love to implement this, but unfortunately I can’t use the Tasker app as I have an iPhone. Any other ideas for apps that will make me get out to get to an NFC tag by a certain time, in order to stay on track with a Beeminder goal to get up and out of the house? I’ve never used NFC tags before, nor the Beeminder app or any kind of IFTTT-type app, so I’m kinda feeling around in the dark for a solution here.

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Um, I really don’t need a goal for not sleeping on the couch at night, although I have fallen asleep on it before, it’s not really a problem as it’s rare. I just mentioned it because it would mean the Withings sleep mat method someone else used wouldn’t work to get me up in the mornings (along with other reasons; it would be very cumbersome/messy to make sure I couldn’t unplug it, plus surely I could just pull the mat out from under my mattress anyway?)

Anyway, what I really want is a solution that forces me to get up & out of the house by a certain time, that I can’t weasel out of. Whether that’s by using Runkeeper / NFC tags / maybe even a Fitbit (although I don’t own one yet, so if there’s a solution that doesn’t require that, that would be preferable.) But yeah, that’s what I’m hoping I can set up, I just don’t know how!?

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Oh I see. I have 0 experience with Runkeeper so maybe that can be done using that, too. I wouldn’t know.

However IFTTT has location triggers and Beeminder integration!

you can set up a Beeminder goal, set it to IFTTT as data source, weaselproof it, and make it so that when you exit an area (your house) it adds a datapoint to your goal. You set the deadline for that goal to be the time when you want to be out of the house the latest and Bob’s your uncle!

It should look something like this:

Does that sound better?


Yes! This sounds great! Thank-you. :blush: I will look into setting this up.

Any idea on what I could do on days I’m away? I go and stay with my sister in London sometimes, so it’d be great if I could adapt it for that.

No problem! You can easily schedule a break within Beeminder. You have to do that 7 days in advance (the akrasia horizon) or if (for whatever reason) this doesn’t work for you, simply email / chat with support and let them know. They can put in a flat spot on your road and give you a break regardless. They are very nice people :slight_smile:
@shanaqui can tell you more about how that works, especially in combination with weaselproofing.

Oh and I just realised something! Not sure why I didn’t think of this earlier but you can of totally set up a Runkeeper goal and just set the deadline to when you want to have finished your 2km walk!
I was so focussed on the location aspect and getting out of bed that I just completely missed that. This should be even better for you, right?

You could use IFTTT to log when you exit an area! Having an iPhone does make the timing part more difficult, but it should still be doable :slight_smile: I’d be happy to write up a walkthrough of how to set this up if that would be useful!

Edit: Oops, I just saw @phi’s reply! And I definitely second using the Runkeeper goal, since that will work at any location :slight_smile: I had a similar setup with penalties for not meeting my Fitbit step goal by a certain time, worked great!

Welcome to our strange world!

If you’re willing to spend a little money you could look at . As in, put your Flic button somewhere out of reach from your various couches and beds and then have a goal that requires you to push the button before some time in the morning. Not sure if that counts as “self reporting” but it’s at least off your phone?

How concerned are you about triggering the Beeminder goal and then going back to sleep?

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Thanks for this suggestion @drtall. Unfortunately, I am 100% certain this alone would not be enough for me, as I already have a system set up that makes me get out of bed & go into another room, and although it works a fair bit of the time, I’ve also often gone back to bed. I need to implement something that makes me get showered, dressed & outside. Thank you though, this might be a good idea in tandem with the other things, to help me get up in time to get ready to go out, as it would be a much more elegant system than the one I have right now, and as I’d know I’d have to be out by a certain time for another goal set up with Beeminder, I wouldn’t have the option of going back to bed, otherwise it could be too easy to just snooze for another 10 mins (or 30!) and have to rush to get ready to get out.


This is a reply for both @Phi & @hmowilliams (and anyone else who wants to contribute to this thread):

Hi, firstly, I am the original poster charityjf, I just started a new account because I wanted a different user name. Also, sorry for the delay replying, I had some other stuff on the last few days.

Anyway, thank-you both so much for your ideas! It’s great that I have a few options to try; this makes me feel really optimistic that I’ll find something that works and that would be seriously LIFE CHANGING! :blush:

Re: the Runkeeper option:
I have done some research on this, because as you say, a benefit of that over IFTTT location tracking is that it can be used anywhere. BUT, it seems a problem with this is that I could input manual data, either into Runkeeper (see first link below) or into Beeminder (see second link below), and that makes it not at all weaselproof, which I need it to be.


Re: the IFTTT location tracking option:

I would love a walkthrough for how to do this, yes please! That would be really kind of you.

Does anyone have any thoughts on whether this could be made to work if I go away also? Of course I could change the location I need to leave, but only upto a week beforehand, & I sometimes go away with less than a week’s planning. Would IFTTT allow me to pick two locations, and the rule is that I need to NOT be in EITHER of them by a certain time in the morning? That way I can set it up so I’m not allowed to be at home, OR at my sister’s house in London where I sometimes stay. If it could do that, this may then be a PERFECT solution. If I can’t enable that, I can still use this solution, and either have some ‘days off’ each week that I make sure I save for if I go away, or sort something out with support as you said earlier @phi.

Sorry this is such a long and involved thread, thank-you SO much if you read this far & are still giving your time to helping me sort this out. I really do appreciate it HUGELY.


I have bugged support about less important things before :wink:
They provide the needed flexibility on top of the otherwise rigid corset that Beeminder imposes. And it is this combination that makes this tool work so well (for me that is).
So, yes, go write them every time a trip to your sister comes up out of the blue.

More on this:
For yourself and for support, define a bright green line at the beginning where you put down the spirit of the goal and what are unforeseen yet anticipated exceptions. In this case, the idea of the goal is to get you out of bed and out of the house. Not to impact visiting your sister even when it is on short notice. And obviously when you are sick as in “doctor told you to stay in bed” level sick. And so on. I assume that when you tell them about this before / when you weaselproof the goal you make it super easy for them to accept your reason for calling a derailment non legit or wanting a flat spot in the road etc.
I never weaselproofed myself so better double check with @shanaqui or @hmowilliams first though :slight_smile:

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Hi phi. Sorry, what exactly do you mean by ‘bright green line’? I’m guessing you mean it metaphorically, i.e. to set out to support from the start exactly what does & does not constitute derailment & what kind of proof I should provide? I’m still not familiar with the charts in Beeminder you see, so I’m not sure if you mean an actual green line on them or something?! :joy:

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Sorry for the delay!

And yes you figured it out correctly: The bright line is a metaphor I stole from support and from this blog post about barfing cats.
I’m not sure why I called it a bright green line, though :man_shrugging:

Your question made me think about how much I am down the Beeminder rabbit hole already and I love questions that make me think! Maybe next time I remember that before throwing Beeminder lingo at newbees :slight_smile:

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Here you go! I’m still pretty new to making tutorials, so definitely let me know if anything doesn’t make sense! :slight_smile: