The Hatch Alarm Clock Actually Makes Me Excited to Wake Up Early

hatch restore 2 alarm clock
The Hatch Restore 2 Alarm Clock Is Worth the HypeCourtesy of Hatch

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I, like many others, would not consider myself a morning person. I set my phone alarm for 6:45 a.m., snooze twice, set a seven-minute timer, then finally slink out of bed at 7:10 a.m. and make my way to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Throughout this whole process, I am in what I call Zombie State for obvious reasons. It's not until I finish my 30-minute Peloton cycling class that I feel human again. This is a much-dreaded daily process, so when Hatch reached out last month and promised that its crescent-shaped Restore 2 would make my early mornings not only bearable but enjoyable, I was intrigued.

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Restore 2 Sunrise Alarm Clock


For anyone who may not be familiar with Hatch's second iteration of the unorthodox alarm clock, it's cool, to say the least. It also does way more than an alarm clock. For starters, it doesn't jolt you awake to the tune of a fire alarm, siren, or my original iPhone alarm sound, crickets—all horrible sounds to start your day. Plus, being quite literally shocked out of a deep slumber into consciousness is not ideal. In fact, a 2022 study from the University of Virginia discovered that "[waking up with an alarm caused] a morning blood pressure surge that was 74 percent higher than those who woke up on their own." The Restore 2 (and the original) was designed to mimic that feeling of waking up on your own, which leaves you feeling more rested and peaceful as you start your day.

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What Is the Hatch Restore 2 Alarm Clock?

a table with a box of cookies and a box of cookies
Jessica Cherner

Technically, the Restore 2 is an alarm clock, but it's not just an alarm clock. It also emanates light and sound, both of which work together to make you feel relaxed. The whole point is to improve your sleep quality and offer a gentle and easy wakeup when you're ready to start your day. You can also decide if you want to wake up to light, sound, or a combination of the two. The first option is ideal for bed-sharing couples who have different wakeup times because the only person who sees the light is the person closest to the Restore 2.

How Does the Hatch Restore 2 Work?

The Restore 2 has one job: to improve your sleep and wake habits. The little machine does this by creating a calming, time-of-day-appropriate environments that make both easing into sleep and gently waking up dreamy, if I do say so myself. The Restore 2 has only two buttons (a closed eye and an open eye), so you have to do all of the programming on your phone through the paired app, but we'll get to that in a moment.

a white computer mouse
Jessica Cherner

The Restore 2 works by combining light (there are 18 pre-set options that range from a soft peach to a bright blue. There's also a color wheel that lets you choose any hue that speaks to you) and sound (again, there are tons of options, including Puerto Rican acoustic guitar and bird songs, to name a couple.) Once you program your nighttime and morning routines on the app, the gadget, which is about the size of a foam dodgeball sliced in half, goes to work.

What Are the Morning and Nighttime Routines Like?

My morning settings, which are called Rise on the app, for instance, include a mango-colored light that gets brighter as my wakeup time draws nearer and an alarm set to the tune of a meditative flute that, like the light, gets louder as the seconds tick by. You can customize both the light and the sound to never surpass a certain level, so you'll never be blinded by a light too bright for your liking or covering your ears to a screeching flute. Everything, though, from the exact color to the sounds, is customizable.

My nighttime routine is similar in that there's a light (a deep aqua) and a sound, that Hatch calls "Lavender Sky," which sounds like what a world-class spa would play in a treatment room. I programmed both to start at 10 p.m., and they'll do their thing until I tap the closed-eye button on the machine or turn it off on my phone. One thing I will say: The Restore 2 works only if you work with it, so if the nighttime routine starts and you immediately turn it off to keep staring at a screen, you won't have as restful a sleep as you would if you really leaned into the routine. When mine starts my nighttime routine, I turn my lamp off and lay on my back with my eyes closed, taking in the sensory experience for about 10 minutes. I kid you not when I say I get sleepy within 90 seconds. Once I click the closed-eye button, ocean sounds play throughout the night until my Rise routine starts.

How Do You Set It Up?

The instructions are very clearly spelled out, so even if you are not the most tech savvy, you'll be able to figure this out within a matter of minutes. Simply unbox it, plug it in, and pair it with your phone, which requires WiFi. You will be prompted to sign up for the subscription services, which are incredible but not necessary. Once your Restore 2 is registered with the app on your phone, feel free to play around with the different features, testing out which ones are for you. In fact, you can program a routine and preview it on the machine before committing to it.

Do You Need a Subscription to Use the Restore 2?

You don't need a subscription to use the Restore 2, but you won't have access to as much content without one. The Restore comes with 18 core colors and an array of sounds that you'll have access to with no subscription, but if you want more, opt for the Hatch+ membership, which is $4.99 a month. The subscription comes with meditations, sleep stories, music, and a Morning Moment, which kicks on after your alarm. My Morning Moment is an orange hue dubbed Mellow Sun and a soft guitar song called Cozy Acoustics.

Hatch Restore 2 Pros and Cons

After using this for two weeks, I feel very well-versed in how it works and why it's incredible. That said, I've also noticed a few things I don't love.

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Restore 2


Is the Hatch Restore 2 Worth Buying?

As someone who has always struggled to get out of bed in the morning, I will definitely say that the Hatch Restore 2 is worth it. My mornings are completely different now. Dare I say that I look forward to them now? I think I hated mornings because waking up in a startled state, courtesy of my terrifying alarm sound, kind of set the tone for my day. Now, my days start with super calming sounds and the warmest glow emanating from my night table. I couldn't pick a better morning routine.

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