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

Good Morning

A solitary figure. A tousled bed. The whistle of a kettle, the thrum of a coffee pot. Slivers of light ascending the sky, restoring what they touch with the vitality of their chromatic qualities.

Morning is the stuff of poetry, or at least metaphor. For those of us who behave diurnally (up with the sun and at rest at night) we’ve likely been told that we, like the day, are new each morning. Daybreak is the reset: the powerfully quotidian mark by which we organize and break our steady stream of living into measured, manageable portions. A time of day, a point on an axis, a reminder that we’re living on one spinning orb that is constellated to many others—as the poet Mary Oliver writes: “dear star, that just happens / to be where you are in the universe / to keep us from ever-darkness, / to ease us with warm touching, / to hold us in the great hands of light– / good morning, good morning, good morning.”

Your Brain at Daybreak

What else makes the morning meaningful and good? In addition to being atmospherically affirming and personally rejuvenating, morning is an optimal time to tap into right-brain activities.

While new research shows that boons to personal creativity are determined by chronotype (i.e. where you’re a “morning lark” or “night owl”) rather than time of day, there are several factors that make morning a natural time to get into the flow. Creativity is often high right after waking, thanks in no small part to the aid of increased willpower (the thing that gets you out of bed in the first place), by way of an active prefrontal cortex, and the accompanying defenselessness of still-sleepy synapses. The combined effect allows ideas to come forth without criticism, self-scrutiny, or what Julia Cameron—time-tested creativity guru and matriarch of “The Morning Pages”—calls the Censor, which dutifully rises by mid-morning.

The brain’s capacity to be awake, free of distraction, and uninhibited after a period of sleep make morning a perfect time to journal, meditate, or otherwise experiment with what your muses have to say.

If morning is never anything but hard—if you’re consistently struggling to wake up, or trying to see the early morning light at the end of sleep’s dark tunnel—you may want to consider an assessment of your chronotype. Chronobiology is the science of the body’s circadian rhythms, and while it’s well known that your biological clock determines the larger impulses of your life, such as reproduction, how chronobiology affects daily habits is a less discussed topic (which we believe we should be talking about a whole lot more).

Rise and Shine

For René Descartes—who often slept in—waking was a threshold to be crossed thoughtfully. “I awake to mingle the reveries of the night with those of the day,” he wrote.

Descartes’s is one of several dozen daily routines chronicled in Mason Currey’s Daily Rituals books and “Subtle Maneuvers” newsletter. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty of how history’s most ingenious minds “did the thing,” this is the place to look, and yes, for the majority, early morning is esteemed.

Georgia O’Keefe woke at dawn, made a fire and some tea, took a walk, and returned in time for a 7am breakfast. Dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp (herself an expert on habituating an artistic practice) gets up at 5:30am to exercise, noting that what’s meaningful is not the workout itself, but the act of getting in the cab to go to the gym—initiating the ritual, fulfilling the pact she’s made to care for herself each day.

As Currey notes in his introduction, “grand creative visions translate to small daily increments.”

Don’t let this foment a stew of anxiety that you’re not doing morning “right” if you’re not waking in the wee hours: the schedules and anecdotes Currey assembles are motivating because of their peculiar specificity—the sum total proves that there is no best time to wake up in the morning, and that there are as many ways to wake up as there are people doing it. The most important aspect of your waking routine is that it is yours.

The Magic of Ritual

There is no more value in waking up and getting down to work than languishing in the loosey-goosy gift of not. In fact, the not is increasingly important to us being human. As contemporary culture would have it, we’ll miss out on the magic of morning if we’re not mindful. We live by a clock set by the economy, and its rotations are both imperceptible and never-ending.

In Jonathan Crary’s book 24/7, the cultural critic explains how the agreed and relied upon 24/7 schedule of commerce “disavows its relation to the rhythmic and periodic textures of human life.” In other words, what the economy defines as non-stop service is actually an attempt to debunk our body clock in order that we are more productive, more consumptive, and less autonomous.

In the face of one ceaseless day, rituals that break the monotony are particularly potent. Rather than seizing the day like an automaton, why not treat the morning as less of an instantaneous on, and as more of an interval?

More often than not we treat the sound of our alarms as the starting pistol of a day-long sprint. As soon as we’re up, we’re “at it”—preening our bodies before remembering what it is to be one, obligated to others before we’ve obliged ourselves. Perhaps this is why early morning solitude is often spoken of as “stolen time,” as though there’s something elicit about being awake, alone, and unaccounted for. So steal it. Light a candle, make a meal, move your body, listen to music.

Doubtful there is a prescription for a perfect day, but it’s safe to assume it starts where poetry and pragmatism meet—in something like a meaningful morning ritual. This was the motivation behind OneClock’s sensitive design. It lets you wake up gently, easing the transition from the depths of sleep to the lucidity of wakefulness—reminding you to catch all the intermingling reveries as you do.

“Good morning, good morning, good morning.”