I’ve completed my one week experiment with self-applying monetary incentives to improve my sleep schedule and it consider it a success. On all but one night, I managed to get to bed by the midnight deadline. I will continue the experiment for another week.
(I will donated a total of $2 due to charity for the week.)
For the next week, I will donate $1 to charity for every hour or fraction there of that I stay up after midnight. This is a one week experiment. Next week, I’ll evaluate it and decide if it’s something that I want to continue.
I have been trying to get on an earlier schedule for a while. One strategy that I’ve employed is to make myself to get up earlier. This semester, I took an early morning exercise class once a week. I made it to all classes and although there were a few painful days in which I was very sleep deprived, this has helped a lot.
However, I still find myself staying up later than I intend to do. When I’m on the computer, it’s just too easy to get sucked into thinking that I’ll just read one more article or post one additional email. When I’m out with friends, it’s easy to think that I’ll just stay up a few minutes longer. I’m instituting this experimental policy so that I’ll have an incentive to go to bed earlier. I know there will be times when staying up late is necessary or highly desirable which is why I’ve decided to use flexible monetary incentives rather than a hard and fast rule.
Notes: I’m counting the time when I’m in bed with the lights out rather than when I actually fall asleep. Calculating the exact time that I fall asleep is difficult and not something I can totally control. This project may have been inspired by this alarm clock.
Credits: Images courtesy of flickr users kudumomo and Tambako the Jaguar (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Update: 29 April 2012 – Here are the results after 1 week.
This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Titanic Vintage Dance Weekend — a series of special events commemorating the 100 anniversary of the Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage. The dance weekend was run by commonwealth vintage dancers who always do an excellent job reenacting the historical ballroom. The attendees mostly worn historically accurate dress and their outfits were a treat to behold.
Although everything took place on land, they captured both the style of the ragtime period and the elegance of the RMS Titanic. Things started on Friday with a steerage dance reenacting the type of ball the that 3rd passengers might have had. Though comparatively informal by vintage standards, it was still classy and fun. Saturday featured an elegant formal tea luncheon at the historic Hawthorne Hotel followed by a formal dinner and grand ball at Colonial Hall at Rockafella’s. We finished off the weekend with a costumed stroll at the Peabody Essex Museum on Sunday morning and then a concert by grammy winning artist Ian Whitcomb in the afternoon.
While the events were festive celebrations of the kind that would have taken place a hundred years ago, the attendees frequently talked about the tragic loss of Titanic. At the 100 anniversary of the moment that the iceberg struck the ship they paused the grand ball and had a moment of silence out of respect for the victims.
The weekend was a unique opportunity to experience an earlier era. It was also a chance for me to catch up with old friends and make new ones. I’m very glad to have attended and would like to thank all those who worked so hard to make the weekend a success.
Here are some pictures here if you’re curious about the event.