Blog
Stories of Sound
and Sleep:

Rewrap the Gift

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Our holiday traditions around giving and receiving are due for a redux. Here are our tips.

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Sing to Me: The Power of the Human Voice

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

It’s time to warm up those vocal cords. How singing and being sung to have kept us surviving.

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Object Story: The Safety Razor

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Why a 120-year-old razor is still the one you want to use.

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OneClock Reads: Super Normal

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

In Super Normal: Sensations of the Ordinary designers Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fakasawa draw our attention to the phenomenon of everyday objects.

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Meet the Team: Jamie Kripke's Studio of Life

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Artist, cyclist, skier, and OneClock co-founder, Jamie Kripke brings the same curiosity and creative energy to everything he does.

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Meet the Team: Howie Rubin's Architecture of Experience

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Experiential marketing aficionado Howie Rubin on music, design, clocks, and living life to its fullest by slowing down.

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OneClock / Wake Up Better

  • Jamie

No good clocks were harmed in the making of this film.

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Something About Nothing

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Three books for resisting the attention economy and restoring a mindful life.

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In Your Dreams

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Humans spend several years dreaming, yet this phenomenon remains mysterious in both purpose and meaning.

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Object Lessons

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

What the world of touch teaches and tells us.

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Get Up!

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Tune your body and mind with some Valentine’s Day morning sex. Or, why we recommend getting down while waking up.

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Introducing...Captain Planet!

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

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OneClock Anthem Video

  • Jamie

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How Do You Sleep at Night?

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Your chronotype determines when and how well you sleep, and much about how you feel while awake—but few people know what theirs is, or how to live in harmony with it.

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Jon Natchez on Writing Music for OneClock

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

Composer and musician Jon Natchez shares insights and inspirations for OneClock’s initial seven waking tracks.

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A New Way for the New Year

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

It’s that time again! The New Year invites us to set intentions for self-improvement and change. Here’s how you can best prepare for a successful refresh.

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A Guaranteed Audience of One

  • Jamie

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Buy Nothing, Sleep In / Thoughts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

As the Black Friday alarm rings at its early hour, we invite you to make a new ritual of sleeping in. And then, once you wake up? Go sit and have coffee with your mom, dad, kids, neighbor, or dog. Watch the sun travel across the kitchen window. Appreciate. Connect. Make it a thing.

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OneClock // 1 minute waking music samples

  • Jamie

Listen to 60 second samples of the 7 waking compositions that Jon Natchez created for OneClock.

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It’s About Time: The Magic of a Meaningful Morning

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

The quiet of morning is beloved by the creative mind. Find out how you can wake up gently, establish a daily ritual, and reclaim the magic of morning with the help of OneClock.

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Fitter, Happier, More Productive?

  • Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly

The near constant use of technology in contemporary life can be overwhelming, affecting our health and relationships. Use a less-is-more approach to find physical, mental, and emotional balance in a world dominated by devices.

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1000 True Fans

  • Jamie

Assorted feedback from the first few OneClock owners.

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Jon Natchez Launch Concert

  • Jamie

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Jon Natchez created some music to celebrate our 2/2 launch.

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Video: Behind the Music

  • Jamie

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Product before price

  • Jamie

We set out to make exactly what we wanted, not what the market wanted. The price is what it is because that’s where the price ended up once we'd designed the clock we wanted.

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The Snooze Button is your Frenemy

  • Jamie

If you find the idea of quitting the Snooze button intimidating, look at it this way: Snoozing does not equal sleeping. Snoozing is a sad, stressful imitation of real sleep.

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Scaring Yourself Awake

  • Jamie

From the adrenal gland’s point of view, there’s no difference between the shock of that blaring alarm and the sight of an incoming tsunami. And why would you want to start your day like that?

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A Brief History of Alarm Clocks

  • Jamie

It seems clear that the need for alarm clocks will never go away. But if the 1787 version of the U.S. Constitution can be amended 27 times, can’t we evolve our alarm clocks, too?

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Threat Vigilance, your Smartphone, and why you can’t sleep

  • Jamie

Many of us use our phones as our alarm clocks. It’s simple and easy and it works. But when you bring your smartphone to bed with you, you’re also bringing that fiendish little source of stress into your bedroom, too.

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Fitter, Happier, More Productive?

The first mobile phone, the DynaTAC 8000x, was introduced to the market by Motorola in 1983. At $4,000 and weighing almost two pounds, the 8000x stored thirty phone numbers, gave users thirty minutes of talk time, and had eight hours of battery life. If you need a visual on this object of 1980s luxury, you need only imagine the brick Michael Douglas made oceanside threats into in his Oscar winning performance as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street. “Money never sleeps,” he said. “The most valuable commodity I know of is information,” he said.

Much has changed in the last forty years of mobile technology, but Gordon’s truisms haven’t wavered—if anything, they are more deeply engrained and simultaneously normalized. The digital age has ushered in an endless “feed” (previously, an antidote to hunger) of information available at all times of day from a screen no bigger than an index card. Today, even the word “phone” is a misnomer. Like it or not, “digital appendages” may be a better term for the slim and complex computers that rarely leave our skin.

A Pew Research Center survey published in May of 2021 revealed that 31% of American adults say they are “almost constantly” online. Nomophobia, the fear of being separated from your mobile phone, is an actual medical diagnosis, as is “ringxiety” (the uncanny feeling that always, somewhere, your phone is ringing) and “technostress” (the stress of adapting to new technologies, and/or the overidentification with them).

Technological advancements have fundamentally altered human life across the globe, and there aren’t any signs of it slowing down. But—that’s not to say you can’t.

Restoring Balance

“If we have such an urgent need to block out the world,” writes Kyle Chayka in his book The Longing for Less, “something must be seriously wrong.” Chayka is reflecting on the growing popularity of digital detox events, recalling his experience at a weeklong tech-free retreat in rural Switzerland. “It culminated in a joyous epiphany one day…but all told it wasn’t an experience I would choose to repeat (too many mosquitoes), nor was it particularly convenient to drop out of the rest of my life in order to do it.”

Chayka is right to point out that the answer to a healthy relationship with technology (or anything) is not a binge and purge cycle. Detoxes and cleanses are great for abruptly interrupting undesired behaviors, but again, in their very name they imply that we are living with toxicity most of the time.

Instead of moving from one extreme to another, why not make the whole of everyday life better? Here are a few ideas in the spirit of equilibrium.

Less is More

  • Bookend your day with one hour of tech-free time after waking up in the morning and before sleeping at night. Remember what an interval feels like.
  • Leave your phone at home for short walks and bike rides, especially if you’re using the time to connect with your partner, kids, a friend, and certainly yourself!
  • Make a concerted effort to stop phubbing the people you love. In an On Being podcast episode, host Krista Tippett interviewed acclaimed couple’s therapist Esther Perel. Perel didn’t address phubbing by name, but she did drop “ambiguous loss” (the grief of having physical presence with emotional absence) as a common affliction in contemporary partnerships. You don’t need a psych degree to see how that syncs up with said phubs.
  • Hold fast the boundary between inspiration-seeking and consuming. What begins as an innocent dip into the feed to get ideas flowing can quickly stymy any and all creative energy. If you want to make something, make it. Make it new. Make it yours. Make it without the omnipresent algorithm. 
  • Consider adopting a weekly day of tech rest. You don’t have to be religious to benefit from a sabbath. If filling your time with non-virtual activities feels daunting (no judgement), check out the resources from Screen-Free Saturdays. Just don’t forget to print them out or write them down before the day begins!
  • Don’t take your phone—and its accompanying threat vigilance—to bed with you. Sleeping is better, and waking up will be too. Right this way, please.

Adaptation

A few years ago, a friend told me human anatomy was evolving so that the C7 vertebrae at the base of the neck would soon (how soon?) become a horn—an extension of the skeleton to counterbalance the head-hung-low stance of our “almost constant” scrolling. The image of it chilled me, literally to my bones. Not surprisingly, we couldn’t trace my friend’s digital footprints back to whatever source on whatever site in the infinity to confirm if this hypothesis was anything more than unscientific sensationalism (i.e. the internet once again serving up the anxiety of a very clear and certain maybe??).

That it could be speculated was enough for me, seating something deeply unnerving that needed attention. With the scaffolding of global life completely reconstituted by technology, why do we expect to be unchanged? We are and will continue to be. But, we can always readjust our posture. Gordon Gekko was a villain, let him grow the horn.