Google Home Can Help You Get Better Sleep, Here's How.
Technology can be harmful for sleep quality, but Google Home is trying to help.
Shelby BrownEditor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
McKenzie, a Certified Sleep Science Coach and proclaimed mattress expert, has been writing sleep content in the wellness space for over four years. After earning her certification from the Spencer Institute and dedicating hundreds of hours to sleep research, she has extensive knowledge on the topic and how to improve your quality of rest.
Having more experience with lying on mattresses than most, McKenzie has reviewed over 150 beds and a variety of different sleep products including pillows, mattress toppers and sheets. McKenzie has also been a guest on multiple radio shows including WGN Chicago as a sleep expert and contributed sleep advice to over 50 different websites.
Apps and devices have been steadily incorporating digital well-being features (in other words, using your phone to get you off your phone) for years. Google Wellbeing launched back in 2018, and the company has since introduced more features to help people's mental well-being.
Taking advantage of Google's digital wellness features with your home devices can help silence distractions, encourage you to stay off your phone and a host of different things that can help you get a better night's sleep. Phones and other devices play a role in worsening your quality of sleep, and Google has found clever ways to help curb their effect on your rest.
Here's how to set up some of these features on your Google Home devices so you can digitally detox and get better quality sleep at night.
How your device can keep you from restful sleep
We're all culprits of late-night scrolling through our phones and keeping it close to our bedsides before bed. However, studies show that those habits can result in worsened sleep. Stimulations from your device keep you alert and prevent your body from recognizing when it's sleepy. There's also a negative effect on your sleep from your device's blue light emission as light plays a role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle. The blue light reduces your body's natural melatonin production, a hormone that helps regulate sleep.
To avoid technology messing with your well-deserved rest, Google Home has come up with a few ways to help.
Set up Downtime and Filters for devices
Downtime stops your devices from receiving notifications, and you won't be able to make commands or ask questions of your devices for an amount of time. However, in order to set up Downtime, you will be asked to set up Filters first. Filters can be used to block certain content from reaching your eyes or ears. You can filter out music, videos and news for specific devices.
Here's how to set up Filters and Downtime.
1. Open the Google Home app on your Android device.
2. Tap Settings.
3. Tap Digital wellbeing.
4. Tap Set Up or Add device filter. The app will walk you through different content to filter out for specific devices or all of them.
5. After setting up filters, the app will ask you to set up Downtime for your devices. You can select different days and times for when Downtime runs.
More tools to help promote better sleep
If you need an extra nudge to put your phone down at night, Android users can toggleGrayscale on and off at certain times, which turns your display black and white. I found this handy because it's easy to get lost in a social media rabbit hole or watching a show and lose track of time. When your screen goes gray, you know it's time to start thinking about getting in bed.
Android users can also toggle Do Not Disturb on or off, which silences notifications and incoming calls. I also liked that feature because when my phone buzzes, I'm always curious what it is and can't resist checking.
It's also easy to incorporate the digital well-being tools into your Google Home bedtime routine. You can keep your original set up, just tap Add Action and type in Set Downtime for [time]. Depending on what you toggled, your phone will go into grayscale and do not disturb mode until you wake up.