Getting to sleep close to my chosen bedtime

I have a beeminder goal of getting to bed by 10pm, however this is set up conservatively so I’m not required to do this every day. I have read that getting to bed at a consistent time is as important as getting 7-8 hours of sleep. On nights that I don’t need to get to bed by 10pm, there’s nothing stopping me (except an upset spouse) from staying up until midnight, 1am, or later.
I would like to set up a Beeminder goal that would require me to go to bed at a more consistent time. I’m thinking that I could count the minutes after 10pm and input that into Beeminder. If I averaged over 30 (or 45 or 60) minutes after 10pm, I would derail. I’m thinking of starting with some buffer to get used to this goal and then tightening it along the way so I’m averaging a bed time closer to 10pm.
Would I do this as a “Do Less” goal? I don’t think I’ve had too much luck with Do-Less goals in the past, and end up making any goal that I can a “do-more” (want to eat less sugar - well, that’s a do more goal with a “1” entered on any day that I don’t eat foods with added sugar - aka “No Sugar Days”). If this is a do-less goal, could I set this up with 60 minutes/day or 200-300 minutes/week that I would then decrement against?
Has anyone else set up a goal like this? Also has anyone used a automated source for this?


I have a sort of similar goal, sleepyhead[bmndr], that ran into the same problem! My solution was to increase the slope, but award fractional points for being late, decreasing every minute. I’ve been tweaking the formula, but right now I’m using 0.5^{((x-1)/10)+1}, where x is the number of minutes I’m late, which works out to 0.5 points if I’m one minute late, 0.25 at 11 minutes late, and 0.13 at 21. I’m not totally sold on this particular formula, necessarily (any suggestions from readers would be welcome!), but the concept of decaying-every-minute fractional points has been successful at making me still be more motivated to go to bed at 00:06 instead of 00:26, even though I’ve missed my actual hard-line bedtime.


Thank you for the reply! I think I understand… You’re using a Do-More goal with a max score of 1 point a day, and you’ll generally get zero points for going to bed more than 30 minutes after your deadline, am I correct? The math formula scared me away until I looked closely and read your explanation, which is easily understandable.


Precisely correct! Tabularly, that math breaks down like this:

Minutes late`sleepyhead` points|Minutes late`sleepyhead` points
01|16 0.18
1 0.50|170.16
2 0.47|180.15
3 0.44|190.14
4 0.41|200.13
5 0.38|210.13
6 0.35|220.12
7 0.33|230.11
8 0.31|240.10
9 0.29|250.09
150.19|> 300
...if that's helpful!

Also possibly of note: I have the units set to “last-night bedtime” so I never get confused about which day I track it on, viz., the data point for today, 2024-01-07, is for the time I went to bed before waking up on the 7th. I can’t phrase that as “the time I went to bed on the 6th” since my bedtime is right before midnight, so if I’m late, it’s entirely possible that I did not technically go to bed on the 6th at all: precise phrasing is a bit tricky around midnights :stuck_out_tongue:


I’ve been doing exactly that for almost 8 years now (with one break, several months), as a “do less” goal, manual. It works pretty good. The main disadvantage is that when I know I’ll derail, I stay up way too late (because then it doesn’t make any difference Beeminder-wise). That happens pretty rarely, though.


@mbrok @rperce Do any of you have set up clever automations or calculation?

Do you input the data before going to sleep or after waking up?

I am interested in the details of it. I tried something similar but with steppy punishments. I ended up quitting because sometimes I was really tempted to put one minute earlier, and sometimes I was thinking “oh, I am paying for 30 minutes more, I am going to use them!” (and end up not going to sleep lol)

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I have a spreadsheet that replicates the table I posted above, but the goal is manual entry. I input the data after waking up.


Right before sleep, manually. The rule is: for the time to count as “going to bed” I need not to look at my phone/laptop and physically go to bed. I am still allowed to get up if e.g. someone needs me (which happens pretty rarely), but then I should not use my phone etc.