Beeminder Forum

I stay up till 5-5:30AM. Help.

I stay up till 5-5:30AM. I started off going to bed around 12AM and slowly started going to sleep later over the last few years until I hit 5-5:30AM and my body doesn’t like it much. A few years ago, 12AM to 9AM felt good, I want to go back to that.

What I’ve tried that hasn’t worked: Beeminding the end goal, setting goals for two hour earlier, one hour earlier.

I’ve seen some success with putting my phone away / starting to get ready for bed by x time. This is the most promising. But I still burn time after I get ready. I need something to get me to finish that is somewhat fluid in the end goal.

I’m done with yo-yoing back and forth. I want gradual consistency that doesn’t just have me derailing. Part of my frustration is that managing pain & getting ready for bed is not a fixed amount of time. I need a small goal that’s fluid enough to account for that and not weaselly. I regularly procrastinate on pain management and generally burn time at night in general on anything and everything.

What can I do for a fluid yet solid non-weaselly end goal?

I know ditching my phone a couple hours before bed is a must. My current idea is to try to “beat” the following levels Steve Kamb style:

Level 0 - Bed by 5, up by 3.
Level 1 - Bed by 4:30, up by 2:30.
Level 2 - Bed by 4, up by 2.
Level 3 - Bed by 3:30, up by 1:30.
Level 4 - Bed by 3, up by 1
Level 5 - Bed by 2:30, up by 12:30
Level 6 - Bed by 2, up by 12
Level 7 - Bed by 1:30, up by 11:30
Level 8 - Bed by 1, up by 11.
Level 9 - Bed by 12:30, up by 10:30
Level 10 - Bed by 12, up by 10.

10 hours in bed = 9 hours of sleep & sometimes 1 hr of not sleeping due to pain.



I can’t really suggest a good goal, but my recommendation would be to set an alarm clock at the time you need to get out of bed, then change the alarm time gradually. The important thing is then to actually get out of bed. The time you go to bed will then likely also gradually shift since your body needs rest. I think overthinking the process of going to bed is not going to accomplish what you want to do.

Maybe beemind how often you get out of bed within 2 minutes after your alarm clock goes off? Must be done at least six times per week or something like that? No idea how to automate that to make it weasel-proof…


Use lock me out for android or whatever they have for apple, and freedom/cold turkey for PC to block any apps and websites, maybe one or two hours before bed. Or, if you’re like me, almost the entire day.

Then it’ll force you to have nothing better to do than sleep, or work. And usually 99% of people pick sleep over work, unless it’s urgent.

The key is basically to remove all the other options so you only have one option.


It’s still something I struggle with. I’m not currently doing this, but one thing that has helped when I’ve done it is to lock my phone up in a box with a timer lock. Like I’ll lock it by midnight and it doesn’t unlock till 9am. Then I set up a beeminder goal to lock my phone in the box.

I use this lock box:

Other things that help (all of which could be supported by beeminder goals):

  • no caffeine - it has a really powerful effect on me
  • I use a sleep induction mat with spikes on it
  • melatonin and sex before bed to make my body sleepy
  • sometimes a hot bath helps
  • early morning sunlight and exercise help make me tired later in the day
  • don’t eat for a few hours before bed - eating always wakes me up
  • dim the lights and start winding down an hour or so before you want to go to bed, and set an alarm

What is it that keeps you up? What are you doing until 5am?


Completely non-Beeminder kind of a solution: When I was in college and had little need to sync with external timetables I would get on this kind of sleep schedule too, getting later into the night each day. My body wanted >24 hour days and going backwards when I needed to get back to a more normal wake up time was super hard. I decided it was like how westbound jetlag is much easier to cope with than eastbound jetlag. Going with the flow of >24 hour days is much easier. I would instead stay up for one or two super long days, as long as I could really, and get back to a “normal” bedtime schedule via long days rather than short ones. Think of it as trying to put your body clock ahead by 18 hours, rather than back by 6. (And then beemind keeping it to a regular bedtime.)

If you really want to go backwards I’d beemind things like getting exercise and daylight early in the day, and eating meals at the “regular” times for them as well as actual bedtimes. (Just read the other posts, exactly what @zedmango said :smiley: except I’ve never heard of a spikey sleep induction mat! )


Yeah, agreed, you pretty much have to cycle around to get back to normal, but doing that always makes me very sick and groggy the next few days and I need more sleep in order to get back to normal.

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Thanks for the ideas! I don’t generally have issues sticking to gradual goals, my issue in the past was setting weasley goals that were too flexible.

@meatfeastman: Thanks for the idea!

Past 1AM it’s mostly things I want to do but didn’t do earlier in the day or tired dragging my feet doing whatever.

@k1rsty: Thanks for the ideas! I’ve considered staying up before but want to try backing it up again first and save that as the nuclear option.

[[I’m cleaning these replies up a bit. It’s generally better to combine multiple replies into one. --@dreev / moderators]]


Some tips that worked for me:

  • No coffee past lunch hour (2 PM+)
  • Sit in a room with dim light a hr before bedtime, read a book or do some relaxed activity.
  • Go out of bed the same time each day
  • Reset your go-to bedtime by 15 min every 3 days, the body really needs adjusting.
  • Write anything down before going to bed.
  • In bed focus on your breathing instead of thoughts etc when you are awake.

Some of this is self-explanatory and perhaps cliché, but maybe it helps. Definitely want to do each level for a few days, and maybe in even less increments minute wise.


Thank you! I’ve been considering doing slower increments, I think I will.