Listen to music while you sleep? This hidden iPhone trick will make drifting off easier

Clipart of a woman sleeping while listening to music
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Tarskaya_Tatiana)

Falling asleep can be tricky, so it’s no wonder that millions of iPhone users around the world look to the sound of music, podcasts or videos to help them drift off each night. But what use is a sleep-inducing Matthew McConaughey meditation if you still have to wake up at 2am to stop it playing on a loop?

Well, thanks to a little-known feature buried deep in the Clock app – let’s call it the Sleep Timer – your iPhone can actually do that annoying switching off for you (hat tip to Fonehouse for bringing this to our attention). It’ll spare your iPhone’s battery life, too, since it prevents battery-draining content from running deep into the night.

Sleep Timer works for content streamed via Spotify, Netflix and Apple Music, and in this article, we’ll show you how to activate it (spoiler: it’s extremely easy).


♬ snowfall - Øneheart & reidenshi

Firstly, navigate to your iPhone’s Clock app (this is typically located in the Utilities folder, but you can find it quickly via the Alarms icon in Control Centre). Make sure you’re on the Timers screen, then hit When Timer Ends.

Sleep Timer on an iPhone

(Image credit: Future / Apple)

Scroll down, past all the alarm tones (which, by the way, are so good in iOS 17 that you’ll look forward to waking up) and select Stop Playing. Hit Set, then choose the amount of time you want your music, podcast or video to play for before it automatically stops. Hit Start on the timer, and let the ASMR begin… 

Yes, it’s that simple. Of course, if you haven’t yet fallen asleep by the time the Sleep Timer kicks in, simply head back into the Timers screen and set a new countdown. The amount of time it takes to fall asleep while listening to audio will vary person-to-person, so try to figure out what works best for you. Alternatively, be extra conservative and let that Interstellar soundtrack run for two hours – if you haven’t nodded off by “S.T.A.Y.”, you may want to start counting sheep.

For more helpful iPhone features, check out our guide to 9 hidden iOS tricks that every iPhone user should know. Or, read up on this hidden iOS 17 feature that will make your iPhone feel twice as fast (seriously).

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Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.