How to Shut Up Your Gadgets at Night So You Can Sleep


On Android, meanwhile, the equivalent feature is called Wind Down. Pick Digital Wellbeing & parental controls from Settings, then Wind Down. It essentially turns your phone screen gray for the specified ‘snoozing’ hours, as well as applying the default Do Not Disturb settings at the same time.

Keep Your Smart Speaker Quiet

For the majority of the time, your smart speakers won’t make a sound unless they’re spoken to. They’re not suddenly going to interrupt your sleep unless you’ve set a timer or an alarm, and you don’t have to worry about them piping up with the latest news headlines in the early hours.

Both Google and and Amazon’s smart speakers do let you block alerts though, and have special modes when they’ll respond more quietly to voice prompts. Those quiet modes can be handy if you don’t want to disturb the other people in your home.

For Google speakers, open up the Google Home app, tap on the speaker in question, then tap the cog icon in the top right corner. Choose Night mode then Enable night mode, and the audio volume will automatically be lowered during the times you specify. If the speaker has a screen, you can lower its brightness too. You can also turn on a Do Not Disturb mode that will block any sounds that might come through at night, like reminders. Your alarms will still work as normal.

With Echo speakers, open up the Alexa app on your phone, tap Devices, then Echo & Alexa, then the name of your speaker. From there, you can tap Do Not Disturb, which you can either turn on manually or set on a schedule. To enable Whisper Mode on an Alexa—which makes audio responses quieter—just say “Alexa, turn on whisper mode.” You can also do so under Settings, Account Settings, and Alexa Voice Responses in the Alexa app.

The Apple HomePod doesn’t have an equivalent Do Not Disturb or night mode of any description, but as with all of these speakers, you can make it quieter. Just tell Siri to lower the volume, or to set it to a number between 1-100, or use the volume controls on the top of the device.

Mute Your Laptop or Desktop

Sleeping next to a laptop or desktop is of course less common than sleeping next to a phone, but if you do have a computer in your bedroom, you don’t want it waking you up with chimes and whistles if something’s happening in an app or on a site.

In Windows, if you open up Settings by clicking on the cog icon on the Start menu, you can click Settings, Focus Assist, and then Alarms only to set up a Do Not Disturb mode. Use the During these times toggle to set it on a regular schedule every evening. You even get a summary of the alerts you missed when you check again in the morning.

To take app-by-app control over notifications, go to System then Notifications & access from Settings. Alternatively, pick System then Sound to mute the audio on your system; that way you won’t be disturbed by anything.

If you’re using macOS, you can temporarily enable the Do Not Disturb mode by clicking the Notification Center icon on the far right of the menu bar, then toggling Do Not Disturb to on. Incoming notifications won’t make a sound or show up on screen, though they will still collect in the Notification Center.

To schedule Do Not Disturb mode, open the Apple menu and pick System Preferences, then select Notifications, and choose your time period. You can also disable notifications from particular apps on this screen. As on Windows, you can always just mute macOS when you go to bed, by clicking on the audio icon on the menu.


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