I Tried a Sunrise Alarm Clock and It Dramatically Improved My Mornings

Mornings are hard as is, but the Hatch Restore 2 helps me unwind and rise with a little extra pep in my step. Here's why a sunrise alarm clock makes all the difference.

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I used to be a morning person. Like, rise and shine at 6:30 a.m. with no trouble kind of morning person. As I’ve gotten older, it’s become really difficult to stay consistent with a morning routine. My rest is essential to my overall mood for the day and I don’t let anything get between this—even if it means skipping yet another morning workout or rising with just enough time to spare before work. But I wish this was different.

I’ve invested in the best mattress for sound sleep, best down comforter, fluffy pillows and silk pillowcases galore, but something was missing. What I lacked was a sleep aid to help me wake up truly refreshed—with no headache and puffy eyes. I’ve had my eyes on a sunrise alarm clock for quite some time because the gradual sunrise effect helps your body naturally wake up with ease, as opposed to the startling sound of a blaring alarm clock. But I didn’t love the design. That was until the Hatch Restore 2 caught my attention. Its minimalist design perfectly matches my home decor, convincing me to finally try waking up with a sunrise alarm clock. Spoiler alert: Here’s why a sunrise alarm clock is the best decision I’ve made for my sleep.

What is the Hatch Restore 2?

If you’re familiar with Hatch, the Hatch Restore 2 is basically the cooler big sister of the original Hatch Restore that once popularized sunrise alarm clocks. Just like its namesake, the smart alarm clock mimics the sunrise and sunset, gradually waking up your body instead of startling it with a blaring alarm. The real star of the show is that it’s customizable via the app. Set the time you want to rise and fall asleep all in the app, along with what sunrise color you prefer and night and morning sounds or meditations.

Why is it trending?

There’s a specific corner of social media dedicated to sleep, and with that comes all the sleep aids and bedding accessories to enhance your life. While wellness is already a popular topic on social media, sleep wellness is just as big. This is exactly why the Hatch Restore has taken off since it’s a wellness product proven to enhance your morning routine. The tag #HatchAlarmClock has garnered more than 20M views on TikTok as content creators show how the alarm clock’s customizable sleep programs, sounds and sunrise have positively impacted their lives. It’s these videos that make me wonder, can I be a morning person once again?

How We Tested It

Sunrise Clock glowing on a bedside tableMadi Koetting/RD.com

Unboxing my Hatch Restore 2, it looked as pretty in person as it did in all the social media videos. Excited to arrange it on my nightstand and set it up before bed, I immediately unboxed the device and signed up for the monthly subscription on the Hatch Sleep app. After registering my sleep companion, I spent some time customizing my weekly alarms, sleep and rise sounds and sunrise/sunset colors.

Time for the fun part: Sleeping! I first tested my Hatch during my evening routine. I pressed the sunset button and began winding down to soothing sleep beats while I read a book. This lasted about 30 minutes, then I turned on the night rain sound when I was ready to fall asleep. The best part? I didn’t have to worry about shutting it off because both the sleep beats and night rain are on a 30-minute clock. The run time is customizable, so if you prefer the sounds to last more than an hour, you can customize it with no problem. Plus, the digital clock turns off automatically, so you won’t wake up to the beaming light from the clock in the middle of the night.

At around 6:30 a.m., I woke up to the sound of chirping birds just in time to prepare for my exercise class. Not only did my body feel more at peace waking up to the delicate sound of chirping birds, but there was a noticeable difference in how alert I felt. Instead of the sudden jolt to turn off my siren phone alarm, I naturally woke up for a few minutes before turning off the chirping bird sound. I also don’t have any windows in my bedroom, which makes it extra hard to wake up. The gradual sunrise from my Hatch dramatically improved my ability to wake up without feeling groggy due to the light signaling to my body that it was morning—something I greatly miss from not having windows in my room.

I tested a few different morning alarm variations, including waking up to an instructor-led meditation. Just like the chirping birds sound, it naturally woke my body without having that stressful urge to turn it off immediately. I enjoyed the morning meditation while I got ready for my exercise class. Not only did it help me set an intention for the day, but it also set me on the right track to finally enjoy my morning routine without snoozing my alarm more than five times.

Pros

  • Sleek, minimalist design
  • Mimics the sunrise and sunset to help you naturally rise/unwind
  • Sound machine
  • Digital clock doesn’t stay on all night
  • Endlessly customizable
  • Controlled via an app
  • Set custom sleep schedules and alarms
  • Customizable sunrise colors
  • 60-night money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Subscription for the Hatch Sleep app isn’t included, but it’s only $4.99 per month
  • Pricier than other sunrise alarm clocks, but much more high-quality, so it’s worth it

FAQ

Sunrise Clock glowing pink on a bedside tableMadi Koetting/RD.com

How does Hatch Restore work?

Hatch Restore connects to Wi-Fi and operates via the Hatch app. You can control everything in the app, like the time you want to wake up, nighttime unwind routine, morning rise routine, sunrise color and sounds. Hatch begins waking you up 30 minutes prior to your scheduled alarm with a sunrise, gradually getting brighter until the “alarm” goes off (the alarm sound is peaceful and customizable).

Does the Hatch Restore stay on all night?

You decide how long the Hatch Restore stays on. It can play white noise sounds through the night, or you can schedule routines where it’s only on for one or a few hours at a time.

Is Hatch worth the money?

You truly get what you pay for with the Hatch Restore. It’s the most customizable sunrise alarm clock I’ve come across and has endless uses: Alarm clock, sound machine, meditation device and more.

What Other Shoppers Had to Say

Hatch Restore purchaser, Kathleen B., shares, “I have never been a morning person. My job requires me to wake up early, often in the dark. This alarm clock has helped to gently wake me up as the light mimics the sun and slowly gets brighter. I would definitely buy it again, it is worth every penny. I feel it helps me to feel alert faster than just a blaring alarm in the dark from my phone.”

“I was a notorious snooze-button-hitter, but in the two weeks I’ve been using the Hatch alarm, I haven’t hit snooze once,” adds Rachel H. “The white noise function is surprisingly powerful for how small the Restore is and it also works great as a reading light before bed.”
“The nighttime routine capability is amazing,” writes Elizabeth E. “I can’t wait to go to bed, knowing I have a personalized routine waiting for me. I also love the subtle light brightening feature to help ease me awake in the morning. I’m such a fan that I bought a restore for my teen son, who was immediately better at getting out of bed in the morning (and in a good mood, too!).”

Product Comparison

Compared to other sunrise alarm clocks, the Hatch Restore truly stands out for its design, large library of sleep sounds and customizable alarm settings. While similar options have a few sleep sounds, the Restore 2 has over 20.

This brings us to the next point: How is the Hatch Restore 2 different from the original? The sleep sounds library is vaster, and the design is more minimalist. The original Restore boasts a utilitarian design with mechanical buttons, a mesh textile base and an opal dome light. The new version acts as a home decor accent with a natural linen cover, soft diffused light and tactile buttons.

Final Verdict

It still takes some motivation to achieve the morning routine lifestyle, but the Hatch Restore has made it significantly more enjoyable to wake up early. I feel less tired and less stressed in the morning and evening, which are key to helping me achieve my goals of going to the gym and having some “me” time before work. Gone are the days of snoozing my siren alarm clock every morning. I can’t promise this nifty sleep aid will instantly transform you into a morning person, but I can confidently say your body will reap noticeable benefits of calmly unwinding and rising—no blaring alarm necessary.

Where to Buy

Sunrise Clockvia merchant

Ready for blissful mornings? Get the Hatch Restore 2 on the brand’s website where it goes for $199. The original Hatch Restore is also available for $129 on Hatch.com, Amazon and Target. The magic only comes alive after downloading the Hatch Sleep app on your phone, which costs $4.99 per month (or $49 per year). Falling asleep to the sound of rain and waking up to morning meditation are just a few things you can look forward to—on top of waking up to the sunrise, of course. Here’s to finally feeling rested and refreshed every. single. morning.

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Madi Koetting
As Product Reviews Home Editor, Madi is an expert at helping Reader's Digest readers find everyday household products to level up their life. She covers everything from Instagram-famous products to the internet’s best deals and discounts. When she’s not deep in a story, you can find her honing her at-home mixology skills and scouring TikTok for the next trendy product.