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Netflix is Trialing the Perfect Feature for Sleepyheads

13th July 2021

If you asked us to rank breathing, drinking water and streaming based on how crucial they are for getting us through the day, we’d have to say it’s a pretty even split. In fact, a part of us is secretly glad that it’s now considered socially acceptable to spend your Saturday night curled up alone on the sofa with 23 episodes of Friends you’ve seen at least seven times each. Just doing our part for society, you know.  

That’s why we’re always stoked to hear when Netflix is trying out a new feature. In this case, it’s a new sleep timer that lets you tell the Netflix app to stop streaming after a set amount of time or at the end of an episode. This means you can pick a title, choose a timer length and relax knowing the show or movie will stop when the timer ends. 

We see this as a massive win for two reasons. The biggest is for people who watch Netflix movies and shows in bed to help them fall asleep, along with the grannies and grandpas among us who simply can’t help but nod off when the television is on *raises hand*. With the new timer, you can drift into your beauty sleep with total peace of mind that you won’t miss out on as many scenes or wake up mid-spoiler. 

We also see it as a bonus for those of us who have just a little trouble knowing when to stop (see: binge addicts). You can use the timer as a handy little reminder to get back to work or study, start getting ready for an outing or do some exercise instead of hitting Play Next for the billionth time.

The feature is currently being trialed with selected Android users, though there’s a nifty iOS hack so iPhone and iPad users don’t miss out. Plus, they’ll continue rolling it out to other users if it proves to be a popular feature. 

How does the Netflix sleep timer work? 

The sleep timer is an option that displays when you start to stream Netflix shows or movies. When activated, you can choose between 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes or the end of the current movie or episode you’re watching. When the timer finishes (or when the content ends if you choose the last option), the Netflix app will stop, preventing autoplay of any other content and helping to save battery. 

How to use the Netflix sleep timer on Android

Only selected Android users will be lucky enough to access the timer, so if you can’t see the clock icon in Step 2 then you’ll need to wait and see if it’s made more widely available. 

Step 1.  Pick a movie or TV show on Netflix. 

Step 2. When it starts playing, tap the clock icon in the corner.

Step 3. Choose your selected timer and there you have it!

Oh, and it’s not being trialed on children’s accounts at the moment.

How to use the Netflix sleep timer on iOS

Feeling left out as an iPhone or iPad user? Don’t worry, we gotcha. There’s a sneaky iOS feature that not only works as a handy substitute for the Netflix timer, but actually gives you even more control.

Step 1. Open the default Clock app built into iOS and select Timer. 

Step 2. Tap ‘When Timer Ends’, scroll to the very bottom, choose Stop Playing and tap Set.

Step 3. Set your preferred length of time and hit Start. 

When the timer ends, it’ll silently kill any media you’re playing, just like the built-in Netflix timer for Android users. Get this: it also works for other streaming services like Spotify, Podcasts and Amazon Prime!

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