When it comes to sleeping deeply, experts say a good bedroom is a quiet bedroom. But if you’re like some people, silence does the opposite of making you sleepy. It puts you on edge.
Or, you may live somewhere where the idea of silence simply doesn’t exist. Your sleep partner snores, you live on a noisy street, or your upstairs neighbor apparently loves to move furniture in the middle of the night.
In these scenarios, a little noise can be a godsend.
Where can you find noise that helps you sleep? Just ask Alexa.
Amazon’s Alexa boasts over 50,000 skills in the U.S. alone. It makes sense that at least a few of those would be dedicated to sleep.
Below we share the best sleep and relaxation sounds Alexa has to offer. These ambient sounds range from traditional white noise and nature sounds to complex soundscapes and surprising household items. Here’s the best part: they’re all free!
|Rain Sounds||Water Sounds||Forest Sounds||Wind Sounds||Household Sounds||Colored Noise||Unique Sounds|
Heavy Rain Sounds
Rain on a Tent
Rain on a Tin Roof
Japanese Garden Sounds
Oscillating Fan Sounds
Rain sounds is an ambient loop of light rainfall. This Alexa sound excludes some of the more disruptive sounds of rainfall (such as thunder and lightning) so you can drift off to the gentle, pattering sound of falling raindrops.
Rain’s great, but heavy rain’s better. This is a great Alexa sound for blocking out unwanted noise and pretending you’re falling asleep during a heavy rainstorm.
Now, some people might think a rain sound is enough, but no. Alexa offers various types of rain, so you can double down on the specific rain sound you find the most soothing. The Rain on a Tent sound is a favorite among camping aficionados.
If you prefer the hard ding of a tin roof to the plunk of a tent, check out the Rain on a Tin Roof sound from Alexa. This Alexa sound offers plain, steady rain drops bouncing off the roof.
You can enable a Thunderstorm sound skill for your Alexa, but it can be a bit too loud and disruptive for sleep. For a more restful version, there’s the Distant Thunderstorm Alexa sound. It combines the sound of rain with rumbling thunder far off in the distance.
Want your own water feature, without having to actually fill it with water? Alexa’s Fountain Sounds gives you the best of both worlds: the sound of a fountain, without the water. Turn it on and you can imagine you’re sleeping by a zen garden.
For a more lifelike zen experience, try the Japanese Garden Sounds skill. This soundscape includes rippling water against a backdrop of peaceful Japanese music.
This one is divisive, but it works for some people. The Alexa Dripping Water skill sounds a bit like a leaky faucet. It runs at a regular rate, about every 3 seconds or so, which will either lull you to sleep, or drive you insane.
Looking for something halfway between the Fountain Sounds and Dripping Water Alexa skills? Check out Babbling Brook. This Alexa sound offers more variety than a basic drip, but is a bit quieter than a fountain.
For that rushing water sound, you won’t find a better Alexa skill than Waterfall Sounds. This offers a strong, yet serene, sound of a waterfall right outside your window.
Alexa’s Ocean Sounds is a fan-favorite, whether you’re playing this Alexa skill to fall asleep or simply relax. It’s great for folks who miss living by the beach, or want the effect of waves rising and crashing outside their bedroom window.
Many of Alexa’s ambient sounds are fairly simple in nature: giving your brain a single, consistent noise to focus on. Forest Night offers a more complex soundscape of animals (owls, crickets, and tree frogs) making the occasional hoot or ribbit against a background of wind and water. The variation in noise may be distracting to some, but it can be immensely calming for others.
For those seeking something a bit more tropical, Alexa also has a Rainforest Sounds Skill. This features sounds from different tropical birds during a rainy night.
The Windy Trees Alexa skill turns wind passing through trees into a soothing lullaby. If you love the whoosh of wind, enable this skill. You’ll be convinced it’s a blustering fall day outside. This Alexa ambient sound also features the occasional chirping bird in the background.
A wind chime is a crowd pleaser, no matter whether it’s real or virtual. Regardless of how calm the air is outside, you can still enjoy the tranquil sounds of a wind chime, thanks to your Amazon Echo. The Wind Chimes Alexa sound is very low-key, seemingly created from a gentle wind passing through glass and metal chimes. Like Windy Trees, this features the sounds of random birds chirping nearby.
This one is a lot like the Windy Trees Alexa sound, except that the wind is passing through the reeds and tall grasses of a meadow, rather than trees. If you find the Windy Trees skill to be a bit too much, Windy Meadow is a quieter option.
As yet another, quieter alternative, Windy Leaves offers a similar noise to the Windy Trees Alexa sound, but without the birds. This features the relaxing sound of wind brushing through leaves.
Letting a fire burn while you sleep is an extremely dangerous idea. With Alexa, you can enjoy the cozy sounds of a fire without the risk. The Fireplace Sounds Alexa skill crackles and burns. If you have an Echo spot, you can even turn it on during the daytime to view a virtual fireplace on your screen.
This Alexa sound is straightforward. It sounds like someone is taking a shower is in the bathroom right next to you. Playing this sound can help you drown out the noise of any roommates who tend to shower while you’re sleeping.
If your new air conditioning does a decent job keeping you cool at night, but you miss the sound of your bedroom fan, Alexa’s got you covered. This sound is also great for anyone who gets used to the sound of their fan over the summer, but puts it away during cooler winter months.
Oscillating Fan Sounds has more texture to it than the more basic Fan Sounds skill. In this one, you’ll be able to distinguish and visualize the back and forth motion of a fan as it sweeps across the room.
This Alexa sound is your classic white noise. White noise creates a static background noise by combining all the frequencies together, effectively masking other disparate noises in the room. You might have to crank up the volume on this one to enjoy the full effects.
If white noise feels too static to you, you may like pink noise better. Pink noise describes sounds with a steady, consistent change in volume and frequency. The regular pattern is a bit more interesting than white noise, while still easy and calming to listen to. Many people switch from white noise to pink noise and find they’re finally able to fall asleep.
Brown noise features a deeper change than pink noise. With pink noise, the volume drops by 3 decibels when the frequency doubles. With brown noise, it drops by 6. This change may be too distracting for some sleepers, but it can be perfect for others—especially if you’re the type who finds crashing waves or thunder sounds relaxing.
Airplane Sounds is one of Alexa’s more unique offerings. This ambient sound mimics that constant, low buzz you hear when a plane is at cruising altitude. It’s a distinct type of white noise many find sleep-inducing.
For something really out there, try the Space Deck Alexa skill. Since we haven’t been to space, we can’t personally verify that this sounds like the ambient sounds you’d encounter on a spaceship, but we’ll guess it’s pretty close. This sound also doubles as a nice background music whenever you’re reading science fiction.
Can’t decide on a sound? Go with an Alexa sound skill that combines them all. Invoked Apps, the developer behind many of the ambient sound skills we’ve shared on our list, offers four themed sound loop skills: Ambient Noise, Relaxing Sounds, Sleep Sounds, and Nature Sounds.
Each Alexa skill contains multiple individual sounds, which can play at random or on command. After you say, “Alexa, open [Ambient Noise],” Alexa will ask which sound loop you want. You can view a full list of available sounds in the Alexa app on your phone, or you can ask Alexa to read you a list.
A separate developer, Voice Apps, also offers a combination sound skill which includes over 125 ambient sleep sounds. Their Sleep Sounds Alexa skill offers many of the same ambient sounds we’ve described above, along with a Guided Sleep feature. This is a guided sleep meditation, backed by ambient sounds. Once the meditation finishes, the sounds continue playing while you sleep.
There are also ambient sound skills for your pets. Developed by Voice Games, the Relax My Cat Alexa skill offers ambient music to calm your cat before bedtime. They also created a Relax My Dog skill. This which plays ambient sounds designed to relieve separate anxiety or calm hyperactive dogs.
You have two options for playing your Alexa sounds: either on demand, or as part of a bedtime routine.
Setting up an Alexa routine allows you to coordinate your Echo-compatible smart home devices to work together. For example, you could create a bedtime routine that includes dimming your smart lights, lowering the temperature on your smart thermostat, and playing an ambient sleep sound.