Review: The Hatch Restore Alarm Clock Has Me on a Healthier Bedtime Routine

Hatch restore reviews
Courtesy of Taylor Galla | SPY

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Establishing and sticking to a healthy, restful bedtime routine and energizing morning routine is truly the final frontier of being an adult. I don’t have the discipline for either one. My phone is typically the last thing I look at before I go to sleep and the first thing I look at when I wake up. I’m suctioned to the pillow until I’ve scrolled through a few emails and played Wordle each morning, and if I wake up in the middle of the night, the urge to look at my phone is typically too great for my 3 a.m. willpower.

We all want that restful routine surrounding sleep, and I know that being less attached to my phone would make my life better. That’s where Hatch comes in. A brand and company dedicated to helping people find rest through a phoneless alarm experience, Hatch has a whole line of noise machines and sunrise alarm clocks designed to help you personalize and adhere to your most restful sleep routine. And the clocks look sleek and elegant on your bedside table while doing it.

You can find my full Hatch review below, but if you’re a buyer and not a scroller, here’s what you need to know:

The Hatch Restore alarm clock is perfect if you live alone and struggle to fall asleep at night. It’s an elegant product with calming soundscapes that does set the mood for rest and gently wake you up. If you share a bed with a partner and go to bed at different times, I don’t know how practical it is since the sounds might annoy the other person, but regardless, the sunset and sunrise alarm clock functions are gentler and more conducive to restorative sleep than a phone alarm clock or other device.

Hatch Restore

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Hatch’s Secret to Success? Not Promising Sleep

Hatch Restore reviews across the web rave about the products’ abilities to help kids and adults alike find deep sleep and stick to their nighttime routines. I was lucky enough to test out the product myself, and interview the brand’s co-founder, Ann Crady Weiss, on Hatch and why the brand’s approach to improving sleep has proven so successful.

Weiss describes how the brand focuses on rest, rather than sleep, to promote wellness and help people overcome the barriers many of us face to a full night’s rest.

“Hatch is all about helping people get good sleep… it’s only in the last 10-20 years that we’ve realized how important sleep is not only to feeling okay but to our heart health, our cognitive health and our mental health. So that is where we’re focused,” says Weiss.

“From a brand perspective, we believe that this category is overpromised. I don’t think that a product or category or brand can promise sleep, right? Because sleep is really complicated. But what we can promise is rest, and you giving yourself a moment that’s dedicated to rest.”

Weiss explains that the ultimate goal of Hatch’s products is to give users a moment entirely dedicated to rest, so their bodies can do what they probably already want to do in that moment, even if the mind has other plans.

“If you can give yourself that moment that’s dedicated to rest at the right time of day, when you’re in bed and lights are off — what usually happens is your body does what it’s naturally programmed to do, which is fall asleep,” said Weiss.

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Hatch Restore Review: Specifications and What’s Included

The Hatch Restore is very easy to set up, comes with minimal equipment and doesn’t take up a ton of space on your nightstand. It stands just over seven inches wide and has a calming, crescent moon shape. Its elegant, minimalist look makes you want to clear the rest of your nightstand so it’s not crowded by clutter, and the illuminated numbers on the small screen are simultaneously unobtrusive and easy to read.

  • Dimensions: 7.5″ x 2.75″ x 5.75″
  • Weight: 2.07 pounds
  • Operation: Smartphone app
  • Subscription: Includes free trial, unlimited subscription optional

The Hatch Restore gives you the option to choose between the following for your bedtime and morning routines:

  • Light: A reading light or a sunset light that starts 30 minutes from bedtime and gradually fades as you get closer to your specific bedtime, and a sunrise light that gradually gets brighter as you get closer to your wake-up time
  • Sounds: Calming sounds include light rain, a dishwasher, an evening campfire, wind and a river creek, and you can subscribe for unlimited access to Hatch’s entire library of soundscapes, guided meditations, narrative stories and more
  • Color: You can also personalize the color of the light on your Hatch alarm clock, choosing from a library of hues including Campfire Haze, Marine Midnight, Timeless Twilight and Solar Descent

Weiss explains that the ultimate goal of the Hatch Restore programming is to distract your brain, using a cognitive-behavioral technique typically used to treat insomnia.

“From a consumer insight perspective, like I mentioned, we live in this 24/7 world and what all the research says is the number one thing that people struggle with when it comes to sleep is stress,” says Weiss.

“So helping people to put that aside, as you’ll experience on Restore, is audio content that basically helps you either distract your mind through being story-based — what we call ‘guided rest’ — or music/soundscapes. Some things that are just peaceful and help you get to that place where you’re ready for that rest.”

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Hatch Restore: The Easy Setup

Setting up the Hatch Restore involves a few straightforward steps:

  • Plugging it in and turning it on
  • Downloading the Hatch app onto your smartphone and syncing it with the device
  • Choosing your bedtime and morning routine preferences including sounds, times and turning the sunrise/sunset feature on or off

I did encounter a few glitches while setting up my Hatch Restore, but I believe that’s mostly due to the spotty WiFi connection near my bed. Once the app and clock synced and I turned the alarm on, I had no issues. 

This is a nice feature because, unlike the morning alarm clock that you turn on and off in the app, the nighttime routine is entirely at your discretion: You tap the top of the device to start it. In the morning, the light will gradually brighten starting 30 minutes before your wake-up time, at which point your specified sound will play. You can also opt for no light and just the sound, or vice versa.

It’s a personalized experience, and definitely a gentler wake-up than any alarm on an iPhone.

Hatch restore reviews Courtesy of Taylor Galla | SPY
  

Using The Hatch Restore

I’ve been using my Hatch Restore for close to a month, and I have to say I’m enjoying its presence on my nightstand. I share a bed with a partner who goes to sleep before I do, so I don’t turn the sounds on most nights. This is one of my only gripes with the Hatch Restore: one of the biggest perks of its design can only be enjoyed if you sleep alone or go to bed at the same time as your partner and both enjoy the soundscape you’ve chosen.

However, the morning alarm clock is a bonus, and while I still haven’t been able to kick my morning phone habit entirely, I’ve enjoyed waking up in a gentler way. The Hatch Restore’s wake-up is less obtrusive than an iPhone alarm, so much so that I’ve woken up without disturbing my partner on a few occasions.

Pros:

  • Easy to set up, program and change your preferences
  • Helps kickstart healthier sleep routines
  • Bedtime and morning routines work as programmed once you’ve set them in the app
  • Elegant, well-designed clock that looks chic on your nightstand

Cons:

  • Can’t always play sounds out loud if you share a room with a partner or roommate
  • Expensive
  • Extra sounds cost more
  

Hatch Restore Review: Will It Change Your Morning Routine?

One big bonus of using the Hatch Restore, even if it doesn’t revolutionize your morning or evening routines entirely, is that it spurs you to have a healthier mindset around them. I still use my phone before I go to bed at night and in the morning, and quite frankly I sleep soundly regardless, so I’m not convinced I need to entirely drop those habits. I do think my focus and energy would improve with less screen time in the morning and at night.

“I sleep with my phone on my bedside and I think many people do, and I want to continue to do that for emergencies, if my kids call me or whatever,” says Weiss. “But what I don’t want to do is depend on the phone for my sleep content.”

Weiss points out that the Hatch Restore is geared towards customization. “We have music, we have channels, we have guided soundscapes and we have narratives. We have all different durations because everyone is different,” Weiss says. “People are not robots and different nights call for different things, so it’s about finding that right balance.”

Even if I’ve checked Twitter five minutes before, turning on the Hatch and watching the little virtual sunset does help me wind down at night, and the sound of birds chirping in the morning is a nicer way to wake up than a blaring smartphone alarm. I like that it’s a phone-free experience that keeps me on time without being jarring, stressful or difficult to use.

  

Hatch Restore: Should You Buy It?

So should you buy one? My answer is almost definitely yes. As many other Hatch Restore reviews can corroborate, there are many pros to this machine, and for what it offers it’s not prohibitively or ridiculously expensive.

Hatch has a whole line of products for adults and kids alike designed to make bedtime calming, mornings easier and restful sleep more within reach. I’m planning to keep using my Hatch for years to come, and I’d definitely recommend it even if you don’t struggle with sleep.