Gadgets

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

On top of the standard Do Not Disturb settings, you’ve also got some extra tools. In the case of iOS, from Settings pick Screen Time then Downtime. You’re able to set certain hours at night when only certain apps will work, notifications and all. It’s a good option when you need something more granular than Do Not Disturb.

On Android, meanwhile, the equivalent feature is called Bedtime mode. Pick Digital Wellbeing & parental controls from Settings, then Bedtime mode. It can essentially turn 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 Amazon’s smart speakers let you block alerts 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 the Google Home app and tap on the speaker in question. Then tap the cog icon in the top-right corner and click Notifications & digital wellbeing. 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. 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 and timers will still work as normal.

With Echo speakers, open 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. Any reminders, timers, or alarms will still give you an alert in this mode.

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 and 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 less common than sleeping next to a phone, but it may be hard to avoid for people who have a computer setup in their bedroom. Other than just turning it off at night, here’s how to silence a computer and ensure no pesky, late-night notifications interrupt your slumbering.

In Windows, click the cog icon on the Start menu to open Settings. Choose 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.


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