How to Set up and Use the Alexa Sleep Timer

Set a music timer and let Alexa do the rest

If you have a hard time falling asleep at night, consider using an Alexa sleep timer to shut down audio and dim lights while you drift off to sleep.

You can use sleep timers in three ways:

  • To turn off audio when the timer ends.
  • To turn off lights when the timer ends.
  • To slowly dim lights and turn off audio along with lights when the timer ends.

Timers can be used on both dimmable and non-dimmable lights. Non-dimmable lights will simply turn off since they cannot be dimmed and are used with Alexa-enabled plugs or switches.

How to Set a Music Timer on Alexa

This is so easy it doesn't even require steps. When your Echo device is playing music, a podcast, or some other audio, just wake your Alexa device and command her to set a sleep timer for (length of time). Like this: "Alexa, set a sleep timer for 30 minutes."

She will respond with 'Okay' and repeat the amount of time for the timer.

How to Set a Sleep Timer on Lights to Fall Asleep

More easiness. Just wake your Alexa device and ask her to set a sleep timer on (light name) for (length of time). Use a command like this: "Alexa, set a sleep timer on Bedroom Lights for 30 minutes."

She will respond with 'Okay' and repeat the amount of time for the requested timer. After that time period elapses, the lights will turn off automatically. Lights that are dimmable will automatically dim throughout the timeframe you've set; lights that are not dimmable will simply turn off at the designated time.

If you haven't yet automated your lighting, it's simple to connect your lights to Alexa.

How to Set a Sleep Timer for Audio and Lights Together

This is trickier. You'll need to create a routine for this one to make multiple devices work together. It can take a little time to develop the routine that works best for you, but it works like a charm once it's all set up.

Amazon says you can accomplish turning off both audio and lights simultaneously with a sleep timer command, but no matter how the command was phrased, she would only turn off one or the other. You could also try using IFTTT with Alexa to set up your own chain of commands if routines doesn't fit your needs.

You can't use Follow Up Mode for sleep timer commands when using audio on your Echo device. Alexa doesn't remain active for more than a single command when music or other audio is playing.

Man falling asleep with lights on
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How to Set an Alexa Sleep Timer to Wake Up With Lights

There are wake-up lighting features you can use as a sleep timer feature. This is helpful when you want to wake up gradually, as if the sun were waking you, instead of waking to more traditional alarm sounds.

To set this up, give a command such as, "Alexa, wake me at 6 a.m. with Bedroom Lights."

You can do this with any Alexa-enabled light, but to truly get the sunrise effect, use dimmable lights.

How to Cancel a Sleep Timer

Again, very easy. Just tell Alexa to "Cancel sleep timer." She will agreeably remove the timer.