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Why We Made “Pillow Talk,” New Wind-Down Time Entertainment Without the Intrusion of Screens

Natalie Mooallem

January 19, 20245 minutes

I’ve often imagined having my four-year-old’s bedtime routine: sheets turned down for you, the shades drawn, and a gentle, glowing light creating ambiance. A cuddle and a story about how the big, strange world is actually small and mostly good. A kiss on the forehead, and the lamp clicks off just as you start to doze. Alas, adults have to manage to fall asleep on their own, and for many — myself included — nodding off is usually more like a twelve-round fight with my internal to-do list. 

I’m a ruminator, which means I have a mind that tries to unpack the universe the moment I’m alone in quiet darkness. That buzz gives rise to a vicious, sadly common strain of tired wakefulness that is resistant to nearly every life hack that you can find online. Mind your caffeine intake starting at 2 PM. Don’t end the day by looking at a screen. Wait until your last wakeful moment and then lie down in a cold, darkened room

I’ve tried all of these approaches, and others, too — or at least, I’ve tried to try them. You may know that you should only get into bed when utterly exhausted and then forgo any other stimulation. But in real life that rarely seems to happen. 

A tip from Hatch: Program your Unwind routine as a Hatch+ member with audio that helps prepare your body and mind for bed. Whether it’s hosted audio on Pillow Talk or guided meditations, there’s something on Hatch+ for everyone to relax with before bed.

That’s the point of “Pillow Talk” from Hatch, a new category of hosted audio that makes that unwind time just before you fall asleep interesting but not too activating. Pillow Talk programming, available through Hatch+ in tandem with your Restore device, features six shows spanning topics like sports, true crime, and history -- each hosted by delightful personalities who provide screen-free entertainment for you in the moments before you drift off. 

Turn off the TV, put away your phone, and we’ll handle the rest. Just get comfy with the neon-pink sunset light that you’ve selected as a signal to your brain that it’s time to chill, and let our hosts guide you into evening mode with our custom audio programming. Close your eyes to Sophia Wilson Pelton’s show, I’ll scroll 4 U, and they’ll do some juicy internet-ing on your behalf. Or try Matt Bragg’s Notes From England as you relax with saucy, local news from small towns an ocean away. Deanna Ortiz’s Crime For Bed will scratch that itch for the macabre without the gore that sends your thoughts into a spin. Or set your Hatch device to Sleepy Time Sports, History from A to Zonked, or our sassy travel show, The Rest of the World

Pillow Talk doesn’t bore you into slumber; it helps you to unwind. Our shows are made to be engaging, like bear hugs for an active mind. No slow, hushed voices; just grown-ups talking in a grown-up way that captures your attention (just enough), and makes you think (but not too hard), with a lightheartedness you’ll want to stick with every night until you’re ready to nod off. For adults, the process of falling asleep takes an average of 10 to 20 minutes, and that’s how long our episodes last. Pillow Talk will send you off with a smile — and possibly a sleepy laugh to help you let go of the day.

The stakes are high: Getting more and better sleep, aided by a solid sleep routine, will help you run farther, think faster, eat healthier, and feel better than you did before.

We know you’ve got a lot going on, and we’re there for you every night — whenever you’re ready. Pillow Talk provides a flexible approach to healthy sleep routines. Kids get to cuddle up for bedtime stories. Sometimes adults need something too. Just push a button on your Hatch Restore and we’ve got you. This is how we tuck you in.

- Natalie Mooallem, VP of Content at Hatch