Sleepytime: Turn Your Mac Into A Music Sleep Timer & Alarm Clock

Fed up with the nasty sound of your traditional alarm clock? That annoying beeping that rouses you in the middle of the night and does not really help to start a day in a good fashion?

Why not use what you’ve already got? The music in your iTunes library, Spotify or other music services combined with your Mac? Sleepytime lets you set exactly the song you want to hear when you go to sleep or wake up.

Pick Your Favorite Service With Sleepytime

Before we go into all the possible settings of the app, let’s first take a look at the sources Sleepytime can draw music from.

By default, it’s set to iTunes since that’s what is available on every Mac, naturally.

But Sleepytime communicates with far more services than just this one. If you’re not an iTunes fan, you can chose to have your music played from

  • Ecoute
  • Pulsar
  • Rdio
  • Spotify

In order to use any of those, you need to have the service’s app installed on your Mac. Sleepytime will automatically recognize it when you pick it from the dropdown menu.

Pick your music service to work with Sleepytime

Pick your music service to work with Sleepytime

As you can see in the app’s interface, you can control the music playback right from within Sleepytime – skipping ahead, shuffling, repeating songs and adjusting the volume.

Control the music right from within Sleepytime

Control the music right from within Sleepytime

The app also comes with a beautiful animation of the currently playing song – the song name and the artist juggling gently in the upper part of the app window.

If you choose to use Sleepytime in full screen mode, you can select other compositions from the settings menu and enjoy the gentle animations until the sleep timer runs down. Or after the alarm clock woke you up.

Choose between different compositions

Choose between different compositions

Since Sleepytime has just been released in version 2, there are no user contributed compositions available yet, but you can create you own (this is described in a tutorial on the developer’s website).

Set Up The Sleep Timer

One of Sleepytime’s interesting features is to lull you to sleep listening to your music. You can set a duration for the music to play and thereby set a countdown after which Sleepytime will stop the playback.

More than that, you can even chose to have the music fade out slowly so the transition is gradual and won’t rouse you again.

Set music play and fade duration

Set music play and fade duration

You can’t set a specific song or playlist from the app’s window, but only because Sleepytime assumes that as long as you’re awake, you’ll pick the music you want to listen to within the app of your choice.

Depending if you just want to nap or hibernate you can have Sleepytime put your Mac to sleep, shut down or perform other functions.

Have Sleepytime put your Mac to sleep or shut it down

Have Sleepytime put your Mac to sleep or shut it down

Be aware that once you put your Mac to sleep, you can’t use the alarm clock function anymore. Due to limitations to apps distributed through the Mac App Store, Sleepytime cannot access the information needed to wake your Mac.

Set Up The Alarm Clock

Sleepytime can not only lull you to sleep but also wake you up gently (or roughly, if that’s more up your alley).

Setting up a waking time is as easy as simply typing in your preferred time. As with the sleep timer, you can set a fading effect, only this time the music will gradually fade in (become louder). Again, you can set any length you like for the fading effect.

Set your wake up time

Set your wake up time

Then you can choose if Sleepytime should play any music from iTunes (or any of the above mentioned services) or from a specific playlist which you can select in a dropdown.

Choose a playlist to be played as an alarm

Choose a playlist to be played as an alarm

To make matters easier, Sleepytime even lets you set up a waking schedule. If you don’t get up at the same time every day, you can set a separate time for each day of the week.

Set up a convenient schedule for alarms

Set up a convenient schedule for alarms

Weather, Remote and Snooze

Next to the basic functions expected of a sleep timer and alarm clock, Sleepytime brings some other nice features.

It works with your Apple Remote, which lets you snooze the alarm (isn’t it nice to just turn around at least once after the alarm sounded and get some additional zzzzzzzz’s?).

Sleepytime also lets you utilize the many old and new voices which come with OSX Lion. When you snooze the alarm, you can have the time announced to you (to make sure you don’t loose track of time) and/or a sentence of your choosing (maybe something inspirational to get you out of bed eventually?).

Have the time and a statement read to you

Have the time and a statement read to you

What I like most though is the app’s ability to display my local weather after I finally stopped the alarm. So, when I creep out of bed, I know immediately if I should start searching for my umbrella or sun screen.

Have your local weather displayed then the alarm stops

Have your local weather displayed then the alarm stops


Sleepytime’s ease of use is impressive. There’s no need to read documentation or even the help, you can just start using it right away (even though I always recommend at least skimming through a help text to discover not-so-obvious features of an app).

The integration with different music services will appeal to many users, especially those who are not so keen on iTunes and have suffered from the lack of support for their favorite player from other alarm apps. Sleepytime continuously expands its support for other services and the developer encourages users to send their wishes and suggestions to him.

The only “downside,” if you can call it that, is the need to keep your Mac running the entire time of your sleep if you want to use the alarm clock feature. I know that there are many, many users who never shut down their Mac simply because you don’t have to. But having it run the entire length of time will draw on the battery or consume power (electricity), which isn’t very environmental friendly. I know this is not the app’s fault but rather a limitation imposed by Apple and I hope that in the future there will be a way around that.

Independently of that, Sleepytime is a very thought-through, user friendly sleep timer and alarm clock with which just might help you fall asleep faster and get up more easily. Give it a try, you family and coworkers might just praise on your more relaxed attitude in the morning.


Sleepytime turns your Mac into a sleep timer and alarm clock, with both functions utilizing music from iTunes and other services to lull you to sleep or get you up in the morning.



Add Yours
  • Ahem… I think the whole thing about not being able to wake up from sleep is a phenomenal issue…

    Who exactly wants to leave their mac on all night for no other reason but to be able to use this app? I can understand why one might if you’re downloading overnight but other than that, it does make this app utterly useless for me.

    I fail to understand how such an issue doesn’t prevent this app from getting a score any higher than 7/10. (With all respects due to the app’s developer.)

    I may be missing something, but energy consumption is (and has always been) top of my list…

    • I honestly have no problem with leaving my mac on sleep mode, the alarm with music really feels better than a constant beeping.

    • “Depending if you just want to nap or hibernate you can have Sleepytime put your Mac to sleep, shut down or perform other functions.”

      Not sure if that answers you’re question, but I’m pretty sure this is what you are referring to?

      • Nope, I’m wrong.

        I agree with you, after having clarified, keeping your laptop on all night should mean a score lower than 9.

    • Hey there, I’m Sleepytime’s developer.

      It pains me greatly to read comments like this because I can only sit and watch; there is no way to add this feature that I know of, and I’ve searched for a solution for great while. Believe me if I could add wake from sleep I would. I’m still looking for a way as we speak.

      Now, I know that’s not an ideal solution, but as a workaround you can set your Mac to automatically go to sleep and wake up in System Preferences -> Energy Saver -> Schedule. This way you can save energy and still use the app. I’m sure you’d love it!

      • Hello there Michaël,

        First of all, thanks for the workaround which is doable albeit not very handy (and defeats the purpose of an app altogether by… not being handy.)

        I realise you must have spent quite a few hours into the app’s development and didn’t mean to sound rude or anything of the sort.

        I hope for you that Apple revises some of their protocols to allow some apps to perform such actions in the future as it would only mean more powerful tools for us, the users.

        Good luck in your venture as I am certain there is a niche market for your app (people who do keep their mac on 24/7)

        My main gripe here was the actual scoring of the app, I’ve been a macappstorm reader from the early days and it seems too many apps achieve the amazing score of 9/10 lately… which is detrimental to the readers as it becomes incredibly hard to discern which apps truly deserve such a score…



  • Good program but…this would make you keep your Mac on all night just to use it as an alarm clock… energy saving?!!

    Also…the title “turn your computer into an alarm clock”…IMHO you’ve just insulted the very idea of computers my friend.

    • Again, this is the same response I have given to the comment above:

      “Depending if you just want to nap or hibernate you can have Sleepytime put your Mac to sleep, shut down or perform other functions.”

      • My mistake, you are right in saying that “to use it as an alarm clock” it has to be kept on all night.

        Sorry for the confusion.

  • My mistake, you are right in saying “to use it as an alarm clock” it has to be kept on all night.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  • Looks like a beautiful app.

  • how to get to that menu where you can manage what the computer says or your location ?