With the recent killer sale on the Amazon Echo or Dot, many folks have been able to add a Dot to their nightstand in the bedroom. There are all kinds of handy ways to use Alexa, the voice assistant inside the Echo in the bedroom. We'll look at how handy it is to have here there!
Alarm Clock Replacement
The first no brainer is to get rid of your alarm clock. "Alexa, set an alarm" will kick it off and you'll be prompted for the time. You can be more specific and say "Alexa, set an alarm for 6:00 am". You'll get the default ringing alert sound from Alexa at the appropriate time. When she wakes you up, you turn if off with "Alexa, Stop" or press the Action button (has a circle on it).
If you want to get fancy, you can go to the Alexa Companion App and choose the hamburger menu, Timers & Alarms > Alarms (tab at top). The first item in the list is "Manage alarm volume and default sound". After that you'll see each alarm you have every set. If you click on an alarm, you can change the time, associated sound, and if it repeats. Finally you have the option to delete the alarm.
You will probably want to edit your Alarms to make a morning alarm clock repeat, so you don't have to remind her every morning. There is a way to set the repeat mode for an alarm and there are several helpful options.
You can change the "Repeat" setting, which will allow you to set this alarm to repeat every day, weekdays, weekends, or any single week day.
If you choose the "Manage alarm volume and default sound" option, you will be able to change the Alarm Sound. The default is the Simple Alarm sound. You have the choice of 13 other sounds, from "Adrift" to "Squared Waves".
Best yet, you can choose "Celebrity" and are given the option of one of five celebrity voices to wake you, including: Grand Tour, Dan Marino (American Football player), Jason Schwartzman (actor), Alec Baldwin (actor), Missy Elliott (rapper).
When the alarm inevitably goes off, you can say "Alexa, Snooze", or just "Alex, Stop".
Go to Sleep Timer
You can start any playlist, artist, genre, album, podcast or even audiobook you would like to listen to. You can also choose to play environmental sounds, like thunderstorm or ocean. Try "Alexa play thunderstorm sounds" or "Alexa, play ocean sounds". You might get different versions of the environmental sounds depending on which music service you have set as your default.
Once the music playback has begun, say "Alexa, set a sleep timer for 15 minutes". When the time is up, Alexa will stop playing the audio. There is no alarm that goes off or beep that would wake you up.
Half Asleep Tasks
A use for Alexa I have found is to get the time without opening your eyes. A simple "Alexa, what time is it" is useful. Simple, yes. When you are half asleep, priceless!
While you are falling asleep and you think of some task you need to get done, right before you are about to nod away. You always have the ability to add it to your Shopping or To-do list with a voice command.
Finally, with your calendar linked to Alexa, you can ask what items are on your calendar for the day, when you get it.
In the home automation front, you can always control your lights and set your thermostat from your bedroom. It sure is great to get warm and cozy in bed, to then remember that you forgot to turn down the thermostat at night. Similarly, it is handy to turn lights on and off with your voice, especially when you are half asleep after waking up at night.
I realize many of these uses are no different From using an Echo anywhere else in the house. However, the idea here is to showcase them as related to being in the bedroom. We looked at using the Echo as an Alarm clock, using a go to sleep timer, getting the time, setting To-do list items and home automation.
May your nights be full of sleep!