People had success using beeminder to wake up earlier.

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Kenny Yang

Sep 14, 2014, 7:31:56 PM9/14/14
This is the one habit that I've been struggling to get down.

How did you approach it?
  • Beemind bed time?
  • Beemind wake up time?
  • Beemind "yes" or "no" I woke up before 5AM etc


Sep 15, 2014, 12:19:34 AM9/15/14
I have done this successfully! I guess I didn't need too much encouragement. I used to beemind "getting up early enough", where I get a point for getting up early enough. This makes it slightly more nice to get up early! And that's enough to get me to do it.

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Kenny Yang

Sep 15, 2014, 8:22:44 AM9/15/14

How did you define "early enough"? Did you have a concrete number range for early enough? I feel like I might weasel out and say meh. that's early enough! even though it's not early :P

Daniel Reeves

Sep 15, 2014, 2:39:39 PM9/15/14
to akratics
Bright lines FTW! I strongly recommend an exact cutoff where even 1
second late doesn't count. Otherwise the de facto deadline can drift
until the goal becomes meaningless.

But more than that, I recommend beeminding wake-up time rather than a
binary "woke up on time" goal. Why? The QS First principle, which I
just blogged about:

So beeminding wake-up time means committing to have your average
amount of oversleeping below some threshold. If you want to wake up at
9am on average then make a do-less goal with a rate of 9 hours per day
and enter the time you wake up, like "9:30" which Beeminder interprets
as 9.5.

Note that in the akratic steady state (skating the edge of the road
every day) that means having to wake up at exactly 9am every day. If
you wanted to wake up by 7am on weekdays and 10am on weekends then
that's 7:51am on average so set your rate to that and then if you
actually wake up by 7am each weekday you'll have enough safety buffer
to sleep in on weekends.

Disclaimer: I haven't ever actually tried that, since I don't happen
to be akratic about when I wake up (the answer is always "as late as
possible"). I'm not even akratic about when I go to bed because a big
reason for staying up late for me is getting absorbed in work, which
generally feels worth it.
-- -- search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts ==

Daniel Reeves

Sep 15, 2014, 2:44:16 PM9/15/14
to akratics
One more thought: Tasker (on Android) actually remembers for me the
exact time I first look at my phone in the morning, which is probably
a great proxy for the time I woke up.

Bethany M. Soule

Sep 15, 2014, 2:45:13 PM9/15/14
Waking up earlier would be great! but the reason (for me) that I don't
is because I stay up too late. So waking earlier without addressing
the problem at the other end would, I suspect, be disastrous for me. I
beeminded bedtime for quite a while and it was mostly good. But I
wound up punishing myself sometimes for staying up late doing
delightful things, because I'd used up all my buffer reading blogs on
the internet previous nights and that kind of thing, which was


On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 11:39 AM, Daniel Reeves <> wrote: -- Reminders with a sting

Daniel Reeves

Sep 15, 2014, 6:45:00 PM9/15/14
to akratics
Here's another crazy idea:
The author (a hardcore Beeminder user who should clearly be here on
Akratics Anonymous if he isn't already!) set up a commitment device
using Schedule an embarrassing "I overslept" tweet for
tomorrow morning and make it part of your morning routine to
reschedule that tweet for 24 hours later. As long as you get up in
time, the tweet will never actually be tweeted.

If the tweets themselves aren't sufficient inducement, automatically
beemind them (you can use a hashtag so only the oversleeping tweets


Sep 15, 2014, 6:49:44 PM9/15/14
My problem with all of the ways suggested above is that I don't have a steady sleep schedule and want to wake up at different times each morning.
So my "did I actually get up early enough?" is concerned with my behavior in the morning, not my behavior at night. So morning-alice is rewarded or punished for morning-alice's actions. And I could also beemind something related to when I go to bed if I had a problem with going to bed too late.

Morning-alice is a rather different alice from most of the alices and it just would not work very well to reward or punish her for the behavior of other alices.

Jon de la Vega

Sep 15, 2014, 6:57:02 PM9/15/14
Use a Withings aura and track hours of sleep to get XX hours per week? Or just inputing the time at which you wake up/sleep automatically.   I'm sure there's a way to integrate it until they make it part of the official services.

It's expensive but if it's as useful as the scale and improves my quality of life... probably worth it.


Sep 15, 2014, 6:58:08 PM9/15/14
I also don't have a steady number of hours of sleep I want to commit to!


Thomas Frank

Sep 15, 2014, 11:38:29 PM9/15/14
Is it the case that you have specific times you need to get up on different days of the week? If so, you could use the Buffer method, but modify it so that tweets are scheduled for different times on different days. Then you'd push them a week forward instead of just one day.

Mike Stipicevic

Sep 15, 2014, 11:53:54 PM9/15/14
I've been waiting for the Aura for a long time -- I have a habit of waking up, then reading email while half-asleep in bed. I want to beemind *out of bed* rather than *awake enough to push a button* -- two far different things.


Sep 16, 2014, 1:04:23 AM9/16/14
@Thomas nothing so consistent as that. I do different things on different days!

On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 8:38 PM, Thomas Frank <> wrote:

Moritz v. Looz

Sep 16, 2014, 10:35:24 AM9/16/14
Not sure if it was purely Beeminders doing or if having an actual job forced me to get rid of my unholy sleep schedule, but I've been rather successful with beeminding wake up time.
To prevent the scenario where I wake up early and read LessWrong in pajamas until noon, I've set my goal to "ready to leave the house at 09 am", five times a week. Sometimes this results in panicked teethbrushing at 08:59, but mostly not. The cutoff is sharp, yesterday I've been daydreaming and had to enter a 0 at 09:01. (Anyone else who associates this with the bowling scene in "The big Lebowski"?)

The willingness of morning-Moritz to get up is surprisingly independent from Emergency days, though. Maybe sleepy defiance against the system? Haven't really figured him out, but I haven't had an Emergency day since the beginning of August.

---- Ein Di, 16 Sep 2014 07:04:01 +0200 Alice<> hat geschrieben ----

David Ernst

Sep 18, 2014, 12:16:52 AM9/18/14
For many years, I struggled with dreadful insomnia -- hours and hours of sitting in bed unable to sleep. And then often followed by grogginess in the morning when the alarm would go off.

I finally came to realize that my insomnia was highly correlated with using electronic screens at night.

Since then, I've found great success sleeping earlier by setting a hard deadline of no more backlit screens for the night. Computers, phones, & TV. My rule of thumb is to set the time for at least two hours before I want to go to sleep. This rule seems like it would be easy enough to Beemind.

Does this help? What specific issues are you facing?

Kenny Yang

Sep 18, 2014, 12:45:44 AM9/18/14

I'm very careful with my screen time at night. I have flux installed on both my computer and my android phone so I get no blue light (the kind that messes your sleep cycle)

My specific problem is simply getting out of bed and staying awake. It doesn't matter if it's 6 hours of sleep or 8 hours. I struggle for the initial 5-10 minutes of my alarm going off. 

A Jolly

Sep 18, 2014, 12:49:23 AM9/18/14

Flux alone wont be enough to block all the blue light. I suggest orange glasses (search for SCT orange on amazon), they are around $10.




David Ernst

Sep 18, 2014, 1:32:56 AM9/18/14
Ah, ok. So getting to sleep on time isn’t as much of an issue? Just trying to get a clearer picture of the particulars.

1) Again, just speaking from my experience, once I make it into the shower my momentum is unquestionably moving in the right direction. So I would consider using one of the Beeminder approaches suggested by Alice or Danny (binary 1/0, or do-more for a specific time) for getting into the shower by a certain time. That’s what would most appropriate to my routine, at least.

2) One other technique that has worked for me in the past is using alarms with enjoyable music, instead of the classic RRRRNNN RRRRNNNN RRRRNNNNN. With the obnoxious ones I rush to turn them off, and it puts me in a sort of bad mood where I just want to go back to wonderful dreamland anyway. But with fun music I wake up in a pleasant mood, and usually *want* to stay awake to hear the enjoyable music anyway. 

I remember reading somewhere once that social interactions were associated with wakefulness neurotransmitters— talking & seeing faces, in particular. I have a tiny hunch that music with lyrics might be hooking into that. That hearing the singers voice resembles social interaction in a way. But I’m most definitely not a neuroscientist, and probably misunderstanding it. :-)

3) If you’re stuck with the classic obnoxious variety alarm clock, putting it far away from my bed has also helped me with snoozing. Just being forced to get out of the comfortable blankets and all that. It’s not bulletproof, but it did make a noticeable improvement.

btw— thanks for reminding me about F.lux! Just got a new computer this week and hadn’t yet installed it. What a great improvement!

David Ernst

David Ernst

Sep 18, 2014, 1:35:54 AM9/18/14
Oops. The first approach meant to say Do-less for a specific time, as Danny suggested. Not do-more.
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Josh Holland

Oct 11, 2014, 4:49:34 PM10/11/14
Hi list,

Getting up on time is something I've struggled with basically forever,
as I'm pretty much the quintessential night owl. Having recently started
a proper 9-5 job it's been a bit of a struggle to get in on time. There
are basically 4 times that are relevant: time into bed, time to sleep,
time out of bed and time out of the front door. I've been using
Beeminder in a binary sense for the first of these[0] for a while (time
into bed) for a while, initially with a hard cut-off of 11pm, and later
with an earlier time of 10:30, and also more recently have been using
the same model for getting out of bed[1] with a hard cut off time of
7:20am. I'm thinking of adding a "leave the house on time" goal in the
near future to prevent breakfast email reading from delaying me onto my
morning commute.

The issues I have with my current system are first that it goes against
Daniel's "QS first" policy of logging as much data as possible (namely
the true time), and also that it doesn't work naturally with weekends,
when I generally want to allow myself a lie in, or to stay up later than
usual. Also, I left myself far too much wriggle room in the "Early
nights" goal in that it just requires me to physically be in bed, and
allows unlimited reading/laptop time! I've now archived these goals and
am planning to start up some new ones which should work a little better.

I'm going to keep the two goals system, but switch what I'm measuring.
They will both be "Do More" goals with holidays set in advance for
weekends, and I'll be tracking "minutes before target time" that I
manage to get out of bed or turn lights off. Note "turn lights off", not
"get into bed"! Target time will be 8am for getting up and midnight for
lights out, and I'll be aiming for 5×40=800 minutes for the mornings
(i.e. average 7:20am wake up as before) and 5×60=1200 minutes (i.e.
11pm) for lights out. I'll start this off on Monday and see how things

The rationale behind Do More is much more intuitive holidays for my
lie-in/late-night weekends. I know people have suggested logging hours
past midnight for times, but this doesn't seem to fit well with taking
weekends off.

Feedback is welcome on these goals, along with any other experiences of
beeminding sleep. I'm considering setting up something or other so I can
just press a button on my phone and log the time without doing sums.



Adam Mesha

Oct 11, 2014, 6:40:09 PM10/11/14
On Sat, Oct 11, 2014 at 11:49 PM, Josh Holland <> wrote:
I'm thinking of adding a "leave the house on time" goal in the
near future to prevent breakfast email reading from delaying me onto my
morning commute.

I had a "no checking email/random web browsing before leaving for work" condition as part of a goal for a while, when I was easily getting up on time but would still leave too late because of that.
The issues I have with my current system are first that it goes against
Daniel's "QS first" policy of logging as much data as possible (namely
the true time),

I have some binary goals where I make it a point to put the actual data in the comment, so if I ever want to do data crunching, I have the data there.
and also that it doesn't work naturally with weekends,

I have some goals (do-less goals) where I've defined that I get an automatic pass on weekends (automatic 0).  (In principle I suppose it might also work with do more goals.)

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