​How to use your Amazon Echo with Alexa as the perfect alarm clock

With music alarms and sleep timers, Alexa is a perfect bedtime partner

How to use Alexa as an alarm clock

The Amazon Echo and Alexa make for an amazing alarm clock, so you can wake up to your favourite song, radio station or even a personalised news bulletin. And thanks to Alexa Routines, you can blend music, lights, alarms and device for the ultimate alarm clock.

While a few years ago sleep trackers were all the rage, your Amazon Echo has a bunch of great skills to replicate many of the features. Let’s get stuck in.

How to set an Alexa alarm

This is the easy one: just say “Alexa, set an alarm for [time].” Alexa will then confirm with you, normally questioning AM/PM, if you forgot to say. You can also add as many alarms as you want, so it’s fine to add ones for you and your partner.

When your alarm sounds, just say, “Alexa, turn off” - or whatever you can muster. But don’t forget “Alexa, snooze” for that all-important 10 extra minutes.

Amazon Echo Alexa music alarm

How to set a music alarm with Alexa

This one didn’t exist when Alexa first launched, yet it was the first thing we tried. You can ask, “Alexa, wake me up to [song name] by [artist] at [time]”, or even just an artist radio by not specifying a song. It works with Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio.

You can do it with pretty much any radio station, providing you have the TuneIn skill. Just say “Alexa, wake me up to [radio station] at time” for a gentler wake up. It applies to the news, as well. Just ask “Alexa, wake me up to [news service] at [time].”

Amazon Echo Alexa sleep timer

Bedtime sounds & the sleep timer

OK – that’s the basics of alarm clocks. But what about going to sleep? Well, there are a few neat Alexa skills there as well. Try “Alexa, play ambient sounds” to get a list of relaxing soundscapes to drift off to. You can also try things like “bedtime music” or “sleep sounds” as well.

Most of Alexa’s sleep tracks last an hour, but there are also a few clever things you can do. Our favourite is “Alexa, turn music off in [x] minutes”, so you can drift off and not get woken back up by the sound of crashing waves. Pretty useful. You can also do the opposite, and say “Alexa, loop this track” to have it played all night.

Alexa alarm clock routines

Create a brilliant Alexa alarm routine

Of course, you can also use Alexa Routines to have your wake up process automated perfectly. A morning routine could involve powering up your coffee machine, turning the lights on and playing your favourite music or radio station. That last part is a new addition to the Alexa Routines feature – and makes for an amazing alarm clock.

Here's a walkthrough of one of our wake-up routines:

1. Head to the Routines section of the Alexa app.
2. Hit the plus icon to create a new Routine.
3. Tap When this happens.
4. Tap Schedule and then choose your desired alarm time – and add any repeat rules, e.g. every weekday. Press Done.
5. Tap Add action.
6. Tap music, and then write in the name of the artist, song or playlist. We actually chose a radio station.
7. Choose a source e.g. Spotify. For radio, you need TuneIn.
8. Optional: Tap Add another action – choose a smart bulb, and edit the behaviour (e.g. power on/off, brightness, colour) and then press Next.
9. Save your Routine.

For a bedtime routine this can involve turning off the lights, or dimming lights to a certain level and colour. That one already exists in the app by default, just as an example, and you say "Alexa, bedtime" to enable it.

Only some of these features are available via the Alexa app, but you can automate them via Yonomi, a free smart home app. That is in turn controllable via Alexa, so you can create the conditions in Yonomi, and map that to a command such as “Alexa, start bedtime.” Check out our full guide to Yonomi to get started.

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