How to create a sleep playlist for your HomePod


Siri speaker
Look into my eye. You are feeling sleepy…
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

This tip is less of a how-to, and more of a why-to. Did you ever think about creating a sleep playlist for your HomePod? It’s a great idea for a few reasons.

  • You can control the HomePod with your voice, from your bed.
  • The HomePod is silent when it’s not playing back audio, so you don’t have to turn it off or listen to it hiss.

Let’s see how it’s done.

What to add to your HomePod sleep playlist

There’s only really one album you need to help you relax in any situation. I use it for siestas, for calming children and pets, and for getting to sleep. It’s Brian Eno’s Ambient Music for Airports, and it’s one of the best records ever.

However, there are other options. You might search Apple Music for other ambient music, or you might prefer actual field recordings of peaceful natural sounds. The Apple Music library has a lot of these. Search for ocean sounds, mediation music, nature sounds, rainwater sounds, and so on, and find some tracks you like. You can even grab a pre-made Apple Playlist, like this Sound of Nature playlist, or some white or pink noise (this is good for gently masking real ambient sounds from the street).

How to make HomePod play your sleep playlist

This one is easy. Just call you playlist “Sleep,” and the next time you go to bed, say “Hey Siri, play my sleep playlist.”

That should do the trick.

How to set a HomePod sleep timer

This one is equally easy. Just say something like “Hey Siri, set a sleep timer for 30 minutes.” Then, you’ll get a half-hour of soothing sounds, after which the HomePod will gently send itself to sleep.

What about waking yourself up with music? Nope! Right now, the HomePod won’t wake you up with a music playlist, but there is a workaround. You can use your iPhone to set a music alarm, and then fall asleep with your fingers crossed that the music will play through your HomePod via AirPlay. It seems crazy that you can’t set your HomePod to wake you up. Then again, it’s all to easy to punk someone by telling their HomePod to blast AC/DC at 4AM while they’re out of the room.