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Android has a hidden feature to help you sleep better. Here's where to find it

If you have trouble sleeping without calming sounds, Android can help.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Min Shin
Person sleeping with sleeping mask on
Kilito Chan/Getty Images

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.

How to access Sleep sounds 


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.

1. Open the Clock app

The Sleep sounds feature is located in the Android Clock app. Open that app from the App Drawer.

2. Open Bedtime

At the bottom right corner of the Clock app, you should see Bedtime. Tap that entry to open the Bedtime page.

The Bedtime section of the Android Clock app.

Editing the sleep and wake times in the Android Clock app.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

3. Set your Schedule (optional)

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.

The Android Clock app BEDTIME setting.

Setting the Bedtime option for the Android Clock.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

4. Select your Sleep sound

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. 

The Android Clock Sleep Sounds selection window.

It's now time to select the sound you want to hear as you attempt to drift off to sleep.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

How to use Sleep sounds

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). 

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After selecting the time frame, tap the play button and your selected sound will start playing to sing you to sleep.

The Sleep Sounds start screen.

I've selected Deep Space as my sleep sound.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

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.

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