Product Reviews

The Best Sleep Gadgets and Apps

Waking up to a jarring alarm propels you out of bed with a cortisol jolt, but it is a stressful way to start the day. The best sunrise alarm clocks wake you more gently, emulating the sun by emitting light that gradually brightens your room. The Hatch Restore also offers a wind-down routine with a sunset, soothing music, and sleep sounds. For me, sticking to a routine has proved the most effective way to combat my insomnia. Our customized Hatch Restore routine gives us half an hour of reading light, followed by a 20-minute sunset with soothing music and then rain sounds through the night. We also set a sunrise alarm with tweeting birds. It helps us get to sleep and is a pleasant way to wake.

The depth of customization options is excellent, and there’s a wide choice of sounds, sleep stories, and meditations. However, only the basic library of white noise and soothing sounds is free; the rest of the content comes via a subscription costing $99 per year after a one-month trial. That’s a bit too expensive, considering you can get a year of the Calm app for $70, and it boasts better content and support for various devices. That said, if you can stomach the cost, the Hatch Restore bundles several handy features into a single bedside device.

★ Another alternative: The second-generation Google Nest Hub ($100) (7/10, WIRED Recommends) can perform many of the same tricks as the Hatch, with the option to play sleep sounds, music, or podcasts, a sunrise alarm, and built-in sleep tracking. But it also serves as a great digital photo frame, smart home control panel, and display for video.

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