'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
I cannot sleep without white noise. When I'm home, that noise comes by way of a Dyson fan. The constant and gentle hiss of that fan is the perfect soundscape to help those flights of angels sing me to my rest.
But when I travel (or nap beyond the bedroom), I don't have that fan with me, and without that white noise, there's no sleep to be had (not even till Brooklyn). What is there to do?
Well, if you happen to have an Android phone, there's a built-in tool that is ready to give your sleep time a helping hand.
Also: This hidden iPhone feature can help you fall asleep faster
Let me show you how to use this handy feature.
The only thing you'll need is an Android phone. The feature was added somewhere around Android 10, which most new (and new-ish) phones support. That's it. Let's get to it.
Because different versions of Android and different manufacturers tend to place configuration options in different locations, if you don't find Bedtime in the Clock app, you should first look in Digital Wellbeing. You can also open Settings and type Bedtime in the search field to locate the feature.
Also, if you find your version of Android doesn't include Bedtime mode, you can always install an app from the Google Play Store (such as White Noise Lite) to get a similar experience.
The Sleep sounds feature is located in the Android Clock app. Open that app from the App Drawer.
At the bottom right corner of the Clock app, you should see Bedtime. Tap that entry to open the Bedtime page.
Tap the time under BEDTIME and set the time you usually go to sleep. Once you've done that, tap the time under WAKE-UP and set the time you generally wake up.
Review: Amazon Halo Rise: A sleep-tracking nearable to replace your clumsy wearable
These two configurations are optional and do not affect the Sleep sounds feature.
Scroll down until you see the Sleep sounds section, where you'll see "Choose another sound." Tap that button and then glance through the options. You can select from one of the device sounds (Waves, Deep Space, and Contemplation), record your own sound, or even select music from either YouTube or Spotify.
Once you've selected your sound, back out of the Sleep sounds window.
When it's time to sleep, open the Clock app and tap Bedtime. Tap the play button associated with Sleep sounds to reveal a new page, where you can select how long to play the sound (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60 minutes).
Also: The top headphones for sleeping
After selecting the time frame, tap the play button and your selected sound will start playing to sing you to sleep.
And that's all there is to having Android help you nod off to sleep. If you're like me, and the constant thrum of nothing prevents you from drifting off to your favorite dreamscapes, you'll find this feature to be an absolute necessity -- especially while on the go.