How to use your smart speaker as a sleep machine

How to use your Echo Dot as asleep machine
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

You can squeeze even more functionality out of the best smart speakers by placing one where you sleep. I've used both Google Nest Hubs and Echo Dots in my bedroom for years. These smart speakers serve as all-in-one sleep machines for helping me prepare for bed, stay asleep, and wake up ready to start my day.

They lack cameras so I can sleep easy without any privacy concerns. And by building out routines I've streamlined my everyday tasks so I can kick off advanced automations on a schedule or with phrases as simple as "I'm awake". Read on to see how to use a smart speaker to elevate your bedroom.

Nectar Mattress: up to 40% off at Nectar Sleep

Nectar Mattress: <a href="https://nectar.xovt.net/c/221109/473932/8338?subId1=hawk-custom-tracking&sharedId=hawk&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nectarsleep.com%2F" data-link-merchant="nectarsleep.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">up to 40% off at Nectar Sleep
During Sleep Awareness Week, you can save up to 40% on memory foam and hybrid mattresses at Nectar Sleep. We rate the Nectar Memory Foam as the <a href="https://www.tomsguide.com/best-picks/best-mattresses" data-link-merchant="tomsguide.com"" data-link-merchant="nectarsleep.com"">best mattress for most sleepers with a smaller budget seeking a breathable and supportive all-foam bed to relieve pressure on joints, reducing aches and pains. A queen is now reduced to $649 in the US and <a href="https://nectaruk.aor6.net/c/221109/617480/10042?subId1=hawk-custom-tracking&sharedId=hawk&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nectarsleep.co.uk%2Fproducts%2Fmemory-foam-mattress%3Fvariant%3D39895082532910" data-link-merchant="nectarsleep.co.uk"" data-link-merchant="tomsguide.com"" data-link-merchant="nectarsleep.com"">£600 with a free bedding bundle in the UK. You'll also get a lifetime warranty and year's sleep trial.

Play the best white noise sounds

Instead of buying a sleep sound machine or searching up white noise videos on YouTube and then turning off my TV's display, I simply ask my smart speaker to play sleep sounds. There are hundreds to choose from and once you find the one that works best you can just tell your smart speaker to play your pick. 

My partner can't sleep without green noise and we've shaved about two minutes off of our nighttime routine by asking Alexa to play green noise for 30 minutes. We no longer have to open an app, set a timer, and then turn off the display. Beyond white noise you can also listen to your favorite music or podcasts.

Track your sleep with Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen)

Google's latest Nest Hub lacks a camera, making it the best smart display to leave in your bedroom. Its Soli radar technology can track your movement as you sleep while its microphones listen out for breathing disturbances. This wakes you up to an accurate report and doesn't require you to wear anything while you sleep which is a major plus.

Streamline your smart home controls

Use your smart home app's "Routines" section to control all of the best smart home devices by using a single phrase as a trigger. For example, you can say "Goodnight" to your smart speaker to have your smart thermostat lower the temperature, turn off your smart lights, and lock your doors or arm your security cameras. With your bedroom comfy and secure you can easily get a good night's rest.

We can show you how to use Alexa Routines to stop your dog barking, or lull your baby back to sleep if they're crying.

Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Audiobooks 

Have your smart speaker read aloud books and articles that range from bedtime stories to exercise or meditation guides to wind down before bed. This helps you fall asleep faster and stay sleeping through the night.

Wake up to a morning briefing or live TV

You can customize and schedule your smart speaker to wake you up with a morning briefing to get a jumpstart on your day. Include things like calendar events, important emails, commute times, and weather to have this information read aloud by your smart assistant. After your briefing wraps up you can even activate your connected smart devices. For example, you can turn the TV on to the news channel or have your coffee maker start brewing a cup. 

More from Tom's Guide

Hunter Fenollol
Senior Editor, Smart Home

Hunter Fenollol is a Senior Editor for Tom’s Guide. He specializes in smart home gadgets and appliances. Prior to joining the team, Hunter reviewed computers, wearables, and mixed reality gear for publications that include CNN Underscored, Popular Mechanics, and Laptop Magazine. When he’s not testing out the latest cooking gadgets, you can likely find him playing a round of golf or out with friends feeding his paycheck to a QuickHit slot machine.

Hunter started his career as an intern at Tom’s Guide back in 2019 while in college. He graduated from Long Island University Post with a degree in Communications and minor in Advertising. He has been vlogging ever since the iPhone 4 took front-facing cameras mainstream.