Why self experiment

To learn and become better.

Everybody self-experiments throughout their life, by changing what they eat or going to bed slightly earlier. If we choose to follow the steps below we can learn a lot more, and become better a lot faster.

The Five~ Steps

For a self experiment to be successful, you need to log everything. Grab a pen and paper, open an Evernote note or start a Google doc and let's get going.

  1. Decide on what to change - Amount of sleep, food you eat, music you listen to, time you wake up
    • Don't change too much at one time
    • Decide exactly how much sleep to add/remove, an exact playlist to listen to, exact time to wake up, or amount of supplement you take and when
  2. Decide on what to measure - weight, inches, mood, ketone levels, blood glucose, productive hours
  3. Measure these variables for a period before starting the experiment (make no changes) - this is your baseline
    • Use a notebook, Evernote, iPhone note, OneNote or even Twitter. Note the time and date
  4. Start the experiment, and run it for a good amount of time
    • For diet, habit, sleep or bicep size changes 30 days is the minimum
    • For blood sugar levels, or blood pressure you could run it for a shorter period, but measuring more frequently
  5. Tell me about it! Really, just say: 'Hey I started an experiment based on your blog, here is the premise: http://gist.github.com/cheese.txt' [email protected] or @ashleyhindle

Self Experiment Template and Example v0.1

What I will change

I will change the time I go to sleep and wake up. I'll be asleep at 10pm every night, and up at 6am at the latest by using an alarm.

What when and where will I measure

  • Times I wake and sleep - every day.
  • Number of hours asleep - each morning.
  • Subjective mood, level of tiredness - every hour.
  • How well I slept - each morning

Where: ~/Dropbox/Experiments/2015/sleep.measurements/[date].txt (store your baseline measurements here too)

What I expect will happen

I expect to feel subjectively happier, less tired/more alert and to have a steadier level of energy throughout the day (less of a 3pm dip).

Let's do this!

Baseline Start Date: 2015-11-01 - 7 days
Start Date: 2015-11-08 - 1 month
End Date: 2015-12-08


This will get lengthy

Awake: 06:03am
Sleep: 10:12pm
Hours: 8.02
Quality: Restless. Woke up twice in the night, couldn't stay still.
    6am: Tired, but ready to rock and roll
    7am: Ecstatic/bulletproof
    8am: Agitated
    9am: Happy
    10am: Groovy!
    11am: Super hungry, but feeling good
    12pm: Still feeling good
    1pm: Not hungry at all, feeling sluggish
    2pm: Happy
    3pm: Really really tired, let me sleep
    4pm: Really tired, let me sleep!
    5pm: Stressed
    6pm: Very warm, but happy
    7pm: Relaxed, energetic
    8pm: Relaxed, energetic
    9pm: Relaxed, energetic
    10pm: Relaxed, very awake, not tired at all