Alexa Waking Up to Sunrise
How great does it feel to wake up refreshed 2 Minutes before the Alarm Clock sounds ...

What do we hate, each and – hopefully – not every morning? No matter if it works and even more if not? Exactly, our alarm clocks. Now, with our Amazon Echos, Dots, Spots, and Shows, we search the web for tips and tricks to use them as the ideal morning alarm. Inspired by the many features, we create amazing Alexa morning routines, only to find out that Alexa did not even beep this morning, let alone wake us up.

Wait, it’s not Alexa’s fault!

Most likely she lost connection to the WiFi or maybe even the internet, and in this case, she simply cannot run her Alexa Routines.

But, did you know, that Alexa has a built-in alarm fallback, which can replace our music and radio alarms with regular alarms? And those regular alarms work even when there’s no connection to our WiFi or the internet? And did you know that we can activate our still amazing Alexa morning routines simply by dismissing these reliable regular alarms?

In this post, we will look into the features to make the most out of the Alexa alarms and the many ways to configure them. We will discuss the stability of the different approaches and find a personal balance between flexibility and reliability.

What’s the difference between Alexa Alarms, Timers, Reminders, and Routines?

Alexa App Menu Overview
Alexa App Menu, when you tap the top left burger icon

We can find the Alexa Alarms grouped together with Timers and Reminders in our Alexa app, but they actually reside on a specific Echo device. This means, except for the Alexa app, no Echo can tell or show us the Alarms and Timers we’ve set on another Echo, Dot, Spot or Show.

Please note that the Alexa app has been recently redesigned to display all the Alarms, Timers and Reminders of all our Echos, without the need to select an Echo first. A very helpful update to quickly review and edit our Alarm, Reminder and Timer settings.

Alexa Routines, though they’re residing in a different settings page in our Alexa app, can be activated on a specific Alexa device or the device we talk to, but only if our WiFi and internet are up and running.

As Alarms, Timers, Reminders, and Routines behave differently, let’s quickly review the differences, so we don’t get confused later on.

What are Alexa Timers?

Alexa Timers are created when we specify a time period rather than a point in time. A power nap command like  “Alexa, wake me up in 20 minutes, and even an “Alexa, wake me up in 8 hours” will create a timer and not an alarm. We cannot snooze timers, change their sound (yet) or make them recur. However, we can name them and change their volume in the Alexa app Timer settings. Alexa Timers are usually helpful around the kitchen, or for power naps.

What are Alexa Reminders?

Alexa creates a reminder when we ask her “Alexa, remind me to …” do something. They are scheduled for specific times, can repeat, have their own sound, which we can’t change, just like we can’t change their volume. We can define location-based reminders for our smartphone in the Alexa app. We can use Alexa Reminders around household chores and errands.

What are Alexa Alarms?

Alexa Alarms, our topic for this post, are specifically here to wake us up. “Alexa, wake me up!” is enough to initiate a dialog with Alexa, and she’ll check back with “Alarm, at what time?”, and there we go. 

We can create recurring Alarms, change their sound, create music alarms to play a radio station, a music playlist, and even ruin our favorite song. We can also gradually increase the alarm volume (only for regular, not yet for music alarms), snooze, disable and delete them. 

If our WiFi connection or internet drops, Alexa’s regular Alarms will still wake us up to the preselected sound. And in case we’ve set a music alarm, we’ll hear a regular alarm, even if the music cannot be streamed.

We can also create Alexa Routines and activate them when we dismiss an alarm. Or – if we’re adventurous, or try to sleep in – just schedule Alexa Routines straight away for a specific time on a day/weekday/weekend to replace our Alarms. 

What are Alexa Routines? 

Alexa App Alexa Routines - When this happens
Alexa Routines – When this happens …

Alexa Routines are automations, which we can create in the Alexa app. We can activate them through:

  • voice commands, (e.g. “Good Morning”)
  • specific schedules, (every Tuesday at 7 AM)
  • based on some sensors, (e.g. selected motion and contact sensors) 
  • when we dismiss an Alarm
  • press Echo buttons (the big colorful Amazon buttons) or 
  • reach certain locations with the Alexa app on our smartphones. 

Alexa routines can perform many different actions, like, hang in,  

  • letting Alexa say something, 
  • giving us calendar information, 
  • changing our Echos device settings (volume, do not disturb and stopping the audio)
  • Reading our email summary
  • Receiving notifications in the Alexa app or sending announcements
  • Playing our music (song, artist or playlist)
  • Playing news from the flash briefings we have configured
  • Controlling smart home devices, groups, and scenes
  • Reporting traffic information, and
  • Reporting weather conditions
Alexa App Alexa Routines - Actions
Alexa Routines – then perform these Actions …

We can string all of these actions together into one Alexa Routine, which can: 

  1. Extend an Alexa Alarm, when we dismiss it. This is the safe way, as the alarm will always work and the routine only when we have a WiFi and internet connection.
  2. Or replace an Alexa Alarm altogether. Again, please don’t forget that this is a risky approach, as it always requires WiFi and internet connection to activate the routine.

How to set Alexa Alarms?

Let’s get a quick overview of the three options to set an alarm before we look into the details. The quickest way to set and dismiss an alarm – and potentially wake up our significant other – is with our voice and, interestingly, for music alarms, it’s currently the only option. Voice commands for Alarms come in two flavors:

  1. We can either use long voice commands and specify everything in one utterance like “Alexa, wake me up to ‘I don’t care’ at 7 AM every Tuesday” 
  2. Or let Alexa check back for more information “Alexa wake me up to ‘I don’t care’”, “Alarm for what time?“, “every Tuesday at 7 am”. 

On Alexa Screen devices, we just need to swipe left, tap on “Alarms” and can add regular alarms and edit currently set alarms. Here we can configure time, date and when our alarm should repeat (Never/Daily/Weekly/Weekdays). 

Last but not least, we can use the Alexa app to control all aspects of all our alarms and also create Alexa Routines.

How to set and control Alexa Alarms with Voice

Please note, although voice is a very convenient and efficient way to set Alexa Alarms, you’ll need to talk to the device which will wake you up.
Most likely, you’ll have these conversations in your bedroom, which might not always be an option, as you could wake somebody up. In this case please check the other options below to silently set an Alexa Alarm.

To create a regular alarm, we just need to say: 

  • “Alexa, wake me up” or 
  • “Alexa, (set/create an) Alarm”

Alexa, will come back with: “Alarm for what time?”. And we can tell her the time: “7 A.M.” or create a repeating alarm for a specific day or every weekday or weekend: “7 A.M. (every tuesday/day/weekday/weekend)”.

Pro-Tip; We can also add: “Alexa, wake me up in the morning/evening/night” and omit the “AM”, “PM” when specifying the time.

If we already know, that we want to set a repeating alarm, we can start the dialog with:

  • “Alexa, set a repeating alarm!”
  • “Alexa, set a weekday alarm” 
  • “Alexa, set a repeating Tuesday alarm”.

After specifying the time, e.g. “6:30 A.M”, Alexa might clarify “for which day?”, in case we have not told her yet, and then confirm: “Alarm set for every Tuesday at 6:30 a.m.”

Pro-Tip: Once you get used to all the information Alexa needs to set your Alarm, you can tell her in one voice command: “Alexa, wake me up at 7 AM every Tuesday”, or “Alexa, set an Alarm for 7:00 AM every tuesday/day/weekday/weekend”.

To review our active alarms, we can ask: 

  • “Alexa, (for) when is my alarm set
  • “Alexa, alarm status” 
  • “Alexa, (show my) alarms”

To cancel an alarm we can specify the time or the day/weekday/weekend. If there are multiple alarms set, Alexa will check back to clarify which Alarm we’d like to disable.

  • “Alexa, cancel the alarm!”
  • “Alexa, cancel the 7 AM alarm!”
  • “Alexa, disable the Tuesday alarm!”
  • “Alexa, cancel/disable/delete all alarms!”

And in case we cancel a repeating alarm, Alexa will cancel the next occurrence and check back if she should cancel all repeating occurrences.

Alexa Snoozing
Snoozing is not so healthy. Check out the short YouTube clip with Dr. Walker below

To snooze an alarm for 9 minutes we can say:

  • “Alexa, snooze”
  • “Alexa, snooze the alarm” can be helpful in case she frequently understands “news” instead of “snooze” and plays the flash briefing.

To stop an alarm we just need to say:

  • “Alexa, stop”
  • “Alexa, stop the alarm”
  • “Alexa, dismiss (the alarm)”

How to set and control Alexa Alarms on the Echo Show

Please note, you’ll need to set the alarm on the screen device which will wake you up, so most likely in your bedroom! 

Screenshot of Echo Show 5 Swipe Left Menu
Swipe left on the Echo Show to find the Alarm menu

On a screen device we need to swipe left and tap the “Alarms” button or just ask:

  • “Alexa, show me my alarms”

We will see a list of all active alarms, which we can disable by swiping them to the left or edit the time, date and recurrence (never/daily/weekly/weekdays/weekends) by tapping on them. The button “Add Alarm” offers us the same settings for creating an alarm.

To change the alarm volume and sound on a screen device, we need to swipe down and tap settings or just ask:

  • “Alexa, open the settings” 
Screenshot of Echo Show 5 Sounds Settings 2
The Sounds Settings on an Echo Show

Scroll down, tap on “Sounds” and you’ll find the “Alarms, Timers and Notifications” slider to adjust the volume. We can also gradually increase the volume by enabling “Ascending Alarm”. Under “Custom Sounds” we can tap on “Alarms” and choose between 14 different alarm and some celebrity sounds.

Pro-Tip: Custom Sounds are listed from Amazon servers and the sound we select is downloaded to the device. Except for changing the sound (and, of course, using any Alexa voice commands), we can use all the alarm features, also when the device is offline!

A notable feature introduced with the Echo Show 5 is the “Sunrise Effect”. We can enable it in the “Display” settings, to have our Show gradually brighten up starting 15 minutes before the alarm. 

Screenshot of Echo Show 5 Display Settings
Echo Show 5 Display Settings with Sunrise Effect, starting 15 minutes before the Alarm

Snoozing an alarm is temptingly simple, we just need to tap the top or touch the screen of our Echo Show. To dismiss an alarm we need to swipe up on the screen.

How to set and control Alexa Alarms with the Alexa App

The Alexa Alarms can be found in the Alexa app menu “Reminders & Alarms”. The Tab “Alarms” displays the active and inactive Alarms we have set across all our Echo devices.

Please note, the Alexa app is the only option to silently set an alarm on any Echo device. It’s also the only place, which will display your inactive Alexa alarms from every Echo. Here’s where you can review and re-enable them.

Screenshot of Alexa's Alarm Section
Alexa’s Alarm Section (when you test them extensively)

To set a new alarm we just need to tap the “Add Alarm” button and can specify

  • the time
  • the Echo device
  • repeat (Never/Daily/Weekly/Weekdays/Weekends)
  • the (start) date
  • and sound (regular and celebrity sounds)

To change the Alarm volume, tap the “Settings” button at the bottom of the Alarms tab. We then need to select the Echo device, for which we’d like to change the alarm and timer settings. The volume slider at the top changes the volume for Alarms and Timers. The “Ascending Alarm” button underneath lets us gradually increase the alarm volume. And the sound selection changes the default sound for our alarms. 

How to set Alexa Music Alarms with Voice

We’ve condensed most options already in our Alexa’s music command post, but here are more:

If we just say:

  • “Alexa, wake me up to music”, or
  • “Alexa, set a music alarm”,

Alexa will come up with the music we’ve recently heard on one of our music services. If we’d like to be more specific, we can tell her which music service to use:

  • “Alexa, wake me up to music on <music service>”

Pro-Tip: You can manage your music services in the Alexa app, under Menu/Settings/Music. They currently include Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Pandora, Deezer, SiriusXM, Tidal, Gimme, and Vevo. Tapping on “Default Services” will let you set the default music library and default station service which Alexa will use, when you ask her to play music.

Now, “music” could be anything, from your favorite song (please, don’t do it, the probability is quite high that you’re going to hate it sooner or later!), to your favorite album. But it could also be your favorite artist, music genre, playlist or radio station:

Illustration of Alexa Music Alarm
Yes, Alexa can wake us up to music! (currently only with voice commands!)
  • Alexa, wake me up to <song/album/artist/ genre/playlist/radio station> 

With Amazon Music as our music service we can even reference a song by telling Alexa a snippet of the lyrics:

  • Alexa, wake me up to the song that goes <lyrics>

As with regular alarms, we will need to tell Alexa the time and whether it’s a repeating alarm. And, as with regular alarms, we can either have Alexa check back for this information: “Alarm for what time?” or provide it upfront.

  • Alexa, wake me up to <music> at 6 AM (every weekday)
  • Alexa, wake me up to the song that goes <lyrics> at 6:30 AM (every weekend)

To review and cancel our music alarms, we can use the same commands as for regular alarms:

  • “Alexa, (for) when is my alarm set?
  • “Alexa, (what is the) alarm status?”
  • “Alexa, cancel the 6 AM alarm!”
  • “Alexa, disable the Tuesday alarm!”
  • “Alexa, cancel/disable/delete all alarms!”

And to snooze and stop a music alarm, we can say:

  • “Alexa, snooze (the alarm)”
  • “Alexa, stop (the alarm)”

How to create scheduled Alexa Routines with the Alexa App to replace Alexa Alarms

Please note, we’ve placed around five(!) warnings throughout this post, that this feature won’t work, when your Echo loses the connection to your WiFi or internet. Even when you have a rock-solid WiFi infrastructure and internet provider, there were some cases reported, where Echos had trouble reconnecting to the WiFi (e.g. after a remote firmware upgrade) and needed a power-cycle to reconnect.

Despite all these warnings, assuming you have a good alarm backup (e.g. smartphone), we have to cover this approach, as it’s the only alarm, which can wake you up to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.

Our Alexa Morning Routine

Screenshot of our Our Alexa Good-morning Routine Screen 1
Our Alexa good morning Routine – Screen 1/4

Let’s create a morning routine where Alexa will, every Tuesday at 6:30 AM:

  • Heat up our kitchen and bathroom, starting 20 minutes before our alarm 
  • Slowly brighten our bed-room lights, starting 10 minutes ahead of our alarm
  • Make an espresso, 5 minutes ahead of our alarm
  • Tell us “good morning” in variations (at alarm time)
  • Then give us the weather forecast
  • Read a calendar summary
  • Give us our traffic information
  • Tell us the news
  • Play our good morning playlist, in the bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom for 30 minutes

What do we need for our Morning Routine?

Screenshot of Alexa Goodmorning Routine - screen 2
Our Alexa good morning Routine – Screen 2/4

You can and should, omit or adapt any step in this routine. It’s your personal alarm and we are curious, which devices and steps you will add to your morning routine. Please share your routines in the comment section below. To reproduce all the actions listed above, we’ll need:

  • An Alexa compatible smart thermostat to heat up the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Alexa compatible dimmable smart lights, to slowly brighten up the bed-room. If you have smart blinds you can use those. However, please don’t forget that we cannot program the weather or season. A blacked out bedroom and smart lights are our most reliable way to create a consistent go to bed and wake-up experience. You can add smart blinds at the end of the morning routine.
  • For an Alexa barista, we need an Alexa compatible smart plug and an espresso/coffee machine or, if you prefer tea, a kettle, which allows us to leave it switched on, even when the power is off. You can easily test this by unplugging the device and turning the power button on. If it stays on, when you plug it in, you can activate it as part of our routine.
  • Alexa telling us “good morning” in variations every morning is built-in and we don’t need any setting.
  • For the weather forecast, we need to set the address under Settings/Device Settings/Device Location. You can test it by asking: “Alexa, what’s the weather?”
  • For the calendar summary, we need to link our calendar under Settings/Calendar. Check with: “Alexa, what’s on my calendar?”
  • To get traffic information, we need to set the From/To address under Settings/Traffic. Try it with: “Alexa, how is traffic?”
  • Telling the news requires to set a flash briefing under Settings/Flash Briefing. Test it with: “Alexa, what’s the news?”
  • To play a Good Morning playlist on some of our Alexas devices:
    • You’ll need to create a personal music playlist on Amazon Music or Spotify and call it e.g. “Good Morning” (or use an existing playlist).
    • We’ll also need to create a “Multi-Room Music Group” with an Alexa “common name”. At the “Devices” tab, tap on the little “+” at the top right corner and then on “Add Multi-Room Music Speakers”. DO NOT give your speaker group a “custom name”, rather select a suitable “common name”, e.g. “Downstairs” from Alexa’s list. Check the devices, which should play the music and save your music group.
    • You can test the music with: “Alexa, play my Good Morning playlist shuffle Downstairs.”

Creating our Scheduled Alexa Morning Routine

Screenshot of Alexa Goodmorning Routine - screen 3
Our Alexa good morning Routine – screen 3/4

Once we have everything prepared for the actions we’d like to have in our routine, we can finally create our scheduled Alexa Routine. In the settings menu of the Alexa app, tap on “Routines” and click on the little “+” at the top right.

Tap on “When this happens”, then “Schedule”, then twice on “At Time” and specify the alarm time, in our example 6:30 AM. Wait, our routine needs to start 20 minutes earlier, so 6:10 AM! If you’d like to create a repeatedly scheduled Alexa Routine, tap on repeat and specify whether this routine should be activated every day, on weekdays, at the weekend or on a specific weekday. Our example requires to tap on “Tuesday”. Click “Next” at the top right to confirm your setting.

Now we can add the actions:

Illustration of Alexa Coffee
Alexa and Alicia, can wake you up to the aroma of fresh espresso
  1. We’ll start to heat up the house by adding the action “Smart Home” / “All Devices” / “Your Thermostat” and set the temperature to some cozy 75 F or 24 C. In our case, we have a central smart thermostat which runs on its own smart schedule, which is best managed in the smart thermostat app. But let’s assume that Tuesdays are now different and we need to wake up a bit earlier, so Alexa will adapt the heating schedule. Done!
  2. Since it’s 6:10 AM and there are 10 more minutes to go before we control our smart lights, we’ll add the action “Wait” and set it to 10 minutes.
  3. Controlling our smart lights is easiest with the smart lights app of our favorite smart light manufacturer. There are chances that there are already routines included to gradually dim and brighten our lights over time. But, since we want to let Alexa do this in this routine, we’ll need to add a couple of actions: we will increase the brightness by 10% every minute.
  4. Add the action “Smart Home” / “Lights” / “Room” or “Light” / “Brightness” and set the slider to +10%. Add the action “Wait” for 1 minute. And repeat this 4 times (while increasing the brightness). To sort the actions, you can swipe them up/done with the 2 lines “=” to their right.
  5. The lights are at 50% now, 5 more minutes until we’re going to wake up. Time for the coffee. We named our smart plug “Alicia” as we have a DeLonghi Alicia Plus plugged in. The smart plug “Alicia” is initially switched off and the Espresso machine is switched on. Now we just need to switch on the smart plug and the machine will start. Add the action “Smart Home” / “All Devices” / “Alicia” and Power On.
  6. Add the action “Wait” for 1 minute and then add the action “Smart Home” / “Lights” / “Room” or “Light” / “Brightness” and set the slider to 60%. Repeat this 4 times with increasing brightness.
  7. Add the action “Wait” for 1 minute and count your the Waits to make sure we have 20 minutes altogether.
  8. Time to wake up! Add the action “Alexa says” and pick “Good Morning”. Alexa will tell you something new and fun every morning, or just create your personal wake up message by clicking on “Custom” and typing it in.
  9. Add the action “Weather” to have Alexa report the weather.
  10. Add the action “Calendar” to let Alexa read your today’s calendar.
  11. Add the action “Traffic” to let Alexa report the traffic.
  12. Add the action “News” to have Alexa play the news from your Flash Briefing.
  13. Add the action “Music” and type in: “<name of your good morning playlist> playlist shuffle <name of your multi-room music group>”. In our case: “Good Morning playlist shuffle Downstairs”. Select the Provider, your Music Service and set the “Timer” to the (default) 30 minutes.
  14. Choose the device where this Routine will run, your bedroom Echo or Show.
Screenshot of Alexa good morning Routine - screen 4
Our Alexa good morning Routine – screen 4/4

It’s best practice to test our Routine to see if everything works as expected. We can do this by tapping on the play icon in the list of our Routines. To speed up the testing you could set the longer “Wait” times to 1 minute or less. When adapting this routine to your needs, just take into account:

  • How long does it take to warm up your home?
  • How long does it take to make your coffee?
  • What brightness feels good for you to wake up?

In our case, since we control all the bedroom lights, the initial brightness of 10% was a bit too high, so we started with 5% and increased it for the first 5 minutes in 5% steps, and during the second 5 minutes in 10% steps, ending up at 75%. You can always easily change every action setting by tapping on it.

Please note, some people new to smart home and automation might ask: “why to invest all this effort into a good morning routine?”
1. You automate only once and can then reuse the routine.
2. You can reflect about your – usually unconscious – morning habits and improve them by ‘tuning’ your habits to
include healthy atomic changes. We will cover an overview of how the NYT bestseller “Atomic Habits” by James Clear can play into our routines. For now, please feel free to enjoy James Blog and/or book “Atomic Habits”.

How to combine Alexa Alarms with Alexa Routines in the Alexa App

Anyway, our kitchen is too far away from the bedroom to smell the coffee, we have a flaky WiFi or internet connection, or maybe we have a partner with a different schedule who would wake up if we brighten the bedroom lights and let Alexa talk through the morning routine?

Our Partner-Friendly Alexa Alarm

No problem, let’s use our reliable Alexa Alarms or Music Alarms. In case our significant other is sensitive to the sound level, it might be best to avoid music alarms and use the regular Alexa Alarms as we can gradually increase their volume over time. Btw, the Orca sound is amazing!

But we do not have to miss out on our Alexa Routines! By dismissing the Alexa Alarm we can activate a morning routine similar to the one above. To avoid a grumpy partner, we will simply play the routine in a different room, e.g. the bathroom.

The Partner-Friendly Morning Routine

Screenshot of Alexa Partner friendly routine - screen 1
Our Alexa partner friendly Good Morning Routine – Screen 1/2

Our partner-friendly morning routine will be automatically activated when we dismiss our alarm in the bedroom, and will:

  • Immediately make an espresso
  • Light up the bedroom just enough, so we don’t wake up our partner
  • Illuminate the bathroom
  • Give us 30 seconds to find our way to the bathroom
  • Turn off the bedroom lights
  • Greet us in the bathroom with a custom message
  • Then tell us the weather
  • Read our calendar summary
  • Give us traffic information
  • Play our good morning playlist, in the kitchen and bathroom for 30 minutes

Creating our Partner-Friendly Morning Routine

Please check the chapter “What do we need for our Morning Routine?” above, to make sure you have all the devices and settings for your Routine prepared before creating the routine.

In the settings menu of the Alexa app, tap on “Routines” and click on the little “+” at the top right. Tap on “When this happens” and then on “Alarm” to activate the routine when you dismiss an Alarm. Click “Next” to confirm.

The routine will currently run “Anytime” we dismiss an alarm. We can finetune this behavior and define the weekdays and a time window in which it should run. Here we can also suppress activating the Routine for a period of time before it runs again.

Screenshot of our Alexa Partner friendly routine - screen 2
Our Alexa partner friendly Good Morning Routine – Screen 2/2

Let’s add the actions:

  1. Add the action “Smart Home” / “All Devices” and tap on the smart plug which controls your coffee maker.
  2. Add the action “Smart Home” / “Lights” / “Room” or “Light” / “Brightness” and set the slider to 5% (a brightness providing you enough light but not waking up your partner).
  3. Add the action “Smart Home” / “Control scene” / “Energize in Bathroom”. We actually use a smart motion sensor in our bathroom, which activates the right scene at the right time, but you can also set a dedicated light scene or control the bathroom lights by brightness.
  4. Add the action “Wait” for 30 seconds (or how long it takes, to get to the bathroom).
  5. Add the action “Smart Home” / “Lights” / “Room” or “Light” / “Power off” to turn off the bedroom lights.
  6. Add the action “Alexa says” and pick “Good Morning” or create your personal wake up message by clicking on “Custom” and typing it in.
  7. Add the action “Weather” to have Alexa report the weather.
  8. Add the action “Calendar” to let Alexa read your today’s calendar.
  9. Add the action “Traffic” to let Alexa report the traffic.
  10. Add the action “News” to have Alexa play the news from your Flash Briefing.
  11. Add the action “Music” and type in: “<name of your good morning playlist> playlist shuffle <name of your multi-room music group>”. In our case: “Good Morning playlist shuffle Bathroom”. Select the Provider, your Music Service and set the “Timer” to the (default) 30 minutes. Make sure your bedroom echo is excluded in your Multi-room music group.
  12. Choose the device where this Routine will run, e.g. your Bathroom Echo.

Like with our routine above, please test the alarm in combination with the routine on dismiss, before relying on it as alarm.

Better Backup to Safely Wake Up

Though we’ve seen that regular Alexa Alarms are very reliable and work – once set – even without WiFi and internet connection, it’s always best to have your smartphone prepared as a backup alarm. There can always be cases where technical glitches or even blackouts happen, and we don’t need to blame Alexa for not preparing with a plan B.

Alexa, let me fall asleep!

There are many ambient sounds, like rain, white noise or even babbling brooks, which are provided through Skills on our Amazon Echo devices to help us to fall asleep, or block out noise throughout the night. As this is one of Alexa’s favorite use cases, we see more and more developers investing in this area and already monetizing these Skills with subscription schemes.

We cannot test all those different 3rd party Alexa Skills or guarantee that your night is not interrupted by ads, which will definitely wake you up. Please choose your sleep sound Skill wisely and check the reviews in the Alexa Skill Store. You will also find the right commands there, which will help you to interact with the Skill.

We prefer creating a regular “goodnight” playlist, which can naturally also include nature sounds from many albums on Amazon Music or Spotify.

Once you have your playlist ready, you just need to say:

  • Alexa, play my goodnight playlist

If you’d like to repeat this playlist you can add:

  • Alexa, play my goodnight playlist on loop
  • Alexa, loop mode on

To let Alexa know, when to stop our playlist, we can say:

  • Alexa, set a sleep timer for 30 seconds/minutes/hours
  • Alexa, stop playing in 1 hour
  • Alexa, cancel (the) sleep timer

Please note, streaming music or sounds requires a stable WiFi and internet connection, otherwise you might encounter interruptions throughout the night.

Pro-Tip: You can also create an Alexa Routine to play your goodnight playlist whenever you say “goodnight”. This is now as easy, as saying:
Alexa, when I say goodnight, play my goodnight playlist
You can then customize this Alexa Routine to set the right volume and include other actions. For more information, please see our
Alexa Music Post: How to Create Your Own Music Commands With Alexa Routines.

Why we Sleep? or
“The shorter you sleep, the shorter your life!”

There are so many, many important aspects to sleep, that we obviously need a separate post for that. Meanwhile, please enjoy Professor of Neuroscience, Matthew Walker’s bestseller “Why We Sleep“, or if you’re currently not so much into reading, you might enjoy following YouTube videos with Dr. Walker:

“Social Jet-lag” and “Should we use the Snooze button?”

Please note: 5 minutes (skipped forward). If you’re interested in the effects of alcohol on sleep, you might want to watch the full video.

How To Improve Your Sleep | Matthew Walker

Dr. Walker in the Joe Rogan Experience:

Warning: 2 hours, containing explicit language.
Well, it’s Mr Joe Rogan, discussing with Dr. Walker!

Joe Rogan Experience #1109 – Matthew Walker


Nobody likes alarm clocks, neither do we. However, Amazon has provided very robust Alexa Alarms, which even work if our “always online” Echos lose the connection. By combining our reliable Alexa Alarms with Alexa Routines when we dismiss an alarm, we can create powerful morning routines.

Alexa Routines can be a surprisingly helpful way to reflect on our own habits, and thereby help us to build better, healthier habits.

We spend a third of our life sleeping, at least we should. The importance of sleep and its contribution to our health is widely unknown or ignored.

We hope this post has not only helped you, to use your Alexa as reliable alarm clocks, but also ignites a spark of interest for building healthier routines and habits to get good quality sleep!

For more Alexa posts, please see Amazon Alexa


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