What I hated about being woken up by my newborn in the middle of the night—aside from, you know, being woken up by my newborn in the middle of the night—was learning what time it was. Hearing his cry for the third or fourth time since putting him down and then groggily opening my eyes to discover that it was only 11 p.m. left me sad and frustrated, making it difficult to go back to sleep. I suppose I didn’t need to know the time, but I liked having a general idea of whether his sleep stretches were getting longer or shorter (oh, please not shorter), and I needed a clock to gather that information. That’s when I realized my Google Home could help.
I’d start the night by setting my smart lightbulb’s brightness to 20%, and then turn off the light when I went to sleep. Every time my baby woke up, I’d ask Google to turn on the light. I had no idea what time it was, and I liked it that way. Did he sleep for 15 minutes or five hours? This was not the time to care. Then in the morning, when I was in a more analytic state of mind, I could look through my Google Assistant activity and see what time I had turned on the lights. “Look, he slept from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.!” I’d tell my husband over breakfast.
To use this hack, you’ll need a smart lightbulb and a smart speaker. (If you’re using Alexa—you can find out what time you turned on the lights by looking at your device’s dialogue history.) Though your device unfortunately cannot help with your baby’s nighttime wake-ups, it might help you sleep a little more soundly.