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In this new year, I knew my family could use a sleep routine revamp. Our lives involve a lot of moving around, a lot of middle-of-the-night needs, a lot of interrupted sleep — and, honestly, interrupted everything. We brought home a puppy in January, and that’s on top of our two children, who just returned to in-person hybrid learning a couple of days a week, and two adults, who work multiple jobs from home. So I was excited to see how Hatch’s Restore, an all-in-one personalized sleep solution, might work for everyone in the household.
Hatch Restore is a multitasking device: a smart alarm clock, but also so much more. It’s also a reading or night light, white noise machine and meditation content portal. It’s your morning champion, waking you up calmly and beautifully with a generous range of sounds. (I recommend choosing something from nature: sea wind, light or heavy rain, waterfall or even a few beach options.) And opt to listen to audio of a 10-minute stretch, a fire-awakening breath exercise or an intention setting — there’s a whole library of guided meditations that are a great way to start and end your day, or just help you to take a midday breather. More of a classic alarm clock fan? Hatch also offers four traditional alarms, including a retro clang, a beep beep and an old pendulum clock.
On top of the alarm sound, you can program a gradual light that’s intended to mimic the sun rising to naturally wake you up. Choose from 10 different sunrise colors that really are more like auras: Morning in Prague, Conquering Fuji and Nordic Sunrise (who needs to travel?), along with less exotic options like Morning Stroll and Tropical Morning. You can adjust the brightness of each sunrise with the app.
If this sounds like a peaceful and comforting way to start a day, well, it is.
Hatch Restore also works hard for you at night, though. You program a customized sleep routine through your phone, with multiple elements to choose from: a reading light, a “wind down” routine, a “fall asleep” routine, a “fall back to sleep” routine if you wake up mid-night listless and a “revert back to the previous sleep routine.” And with your bedtime routine, there are even more light and sound options available in addition to the aforementioned ones: Choose from 23 beautiful, serene colors, like a Pantone wheel of restful sleep, and an impressive catalog of sound content. There are 15 pull-down menus of sounds to choose from, each of which are packed full of sleep content (yes, it’s a thing now). Do a visualization. Bedtime stories. Breathing exercises. Freud Dream Psychology (that one’s pretty meta). Audio ecosystems to lose yourself in, like Ocean Sounds in Maine (I’ve heard those in real life and through Hatch Restore, and both are a delight). Some of this content is programmable free as a preview, but much of it requires a subscription to Hatch, which is free for the first six months, then $49 a year.
Each of these five steps can be programmed for however many minutes you like, with both a light and sound option of your choice. You can turn off any of the steps or add a step — Hatch Restore is customizability epitomized. Once that routine is designed to your liking, you save it as your own and set the time for it to start each night. If you want to skip any of the steps in the routine any night, you can preset them not to come on through the app — or, in real time, you can tap the top of the Hatch Restore (the area that acts as a snooze and on/off button) to move on to the next step in your routine. You have the option to turn off the time function at night so you’re not distracted looking at numbers changing if you wake up during the night.
If all this sounds really innovative and (literally) dreamy, well, it is.
The Hatch Restore may be too complicated logistically for some users (this reviewer included). It’s a smart device, but maybe too smart for some days and nights. Sometimes I just want to roll over and hit the snooze button and not have to make a bunch of new choices about how I want to fall asleep or wake up. I also find reading too many directions laborious, and so it felt like programming my routine was one more task I didn’t need keeping me up. Plus, sleep training our new puppy means I have a built-in alarm clock most mornings already.
That being said, my preteen son is a big Hatch Restore fan and programs a different routine for himself every night he can get his hands on the device (and my phone, since that’s required for programming). He likes the reading light, the sound of rainfall and birds chirping, and all of the light options (he’s still scrolling through all of them as I write this) as well as the sleep meditations.
The bottom line
For many consumers, though, this may be the sleep enhancer they’ve been searching for. For people willing and committed to investing energy and thought into better sleep, Hatch Restore is here to help. For people who program everything on their phone already and don’t want that to change (and who don’t have a lot of users in the house competing for Wi-Fi and time), Hatch Restore is super smart. And for those who want a subscription of refreshable sleep content for a pretty reasonable annual fee, it’s here (and it sounds good). And I think once my puppy isn’t waking up with the sun and my kids aren’t running off with my devices, I might need a little more help there too.
- Hatch Restore ($129.95; amazon.com)