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What Is With An Alarm Clock's Snooze Option?

What Is With An Alarm Clock's Snooze Option?

This is one of those questions I've always wanted to know the answer to: What is up with the nine minute snooze on alarm clocks? Our friends at Switched thankfully found the answer to this brain-teasing question for us.

Basically when the snooze feature was added to alarm clocks in the fifties, the new parts needed to mesh with existing gear configuration. This forced engineers to create a snooze that lasted just over nine and ten minutes. Apparently ten minutes was too long for a snooze because people were falling back into deep sleep, so nine minutes became the standard snooze time on alarm clocks. It's a standard we still use today.

I don't know about you, but a two or thirty minute snooze usually feels the exact same to me! I'd say the best alarm clock/snooze button is training your body to wake-up at the same time everyday. That way when your alarm clock goes off, your body doesn't go into shock and a few extra minutes of snooze time doesn't completely throw you off. It's not a science, but it seems to work.

Join The Conversation
allenorton allenorton 10 years
you bet i smack the snooze. and multiples too...
ansoliz ansoliz 10 years
I use my snooze button everyday. Set the alarm for 5:15 and get up at like 5:40ish.
colormesticky colormesticky 10 years
I hit snooze three times every morning. I actually just bought myself a new alarm clock because the snooze button is sticking and my alarm turns off the instant it turns on, but it's still waking me up and I haven't had the heart to throw it out. Plus the snooze button on the new one is small, and not as smackable.
Calliegirl25 Calliegirl25 10 years
I always wonder why clocks had a 9 min snooze. Thankfully my blackberry lets me choose how long I want to snooze.
Supermom Supermom 10 years
now I know, thanks Geek
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
My alarm's snooze lasts for about 4 or 5 minutes. Definitely not near 10.
Ashenturtle Ashenturtle 10 years
Always wondered that!
eaker eaker 10 years
I've always wondered why only 9 minutes! My roommate does the same thing jhuck, only sometimes for as long as three hours. She finally changed her alarm to nature sounds, but a top volume burst of crickets chirping is actually more annoying. My alarm goes off, and I'm out of bed. Snoozing makes me grumpy.
verily verily 10 years
I can set the snooze feature on my 20 year old alarm clock to anything I want. It's at 30 minutes right now, but I never use it.
partysugar partysugar 10 years
I know it's totally crazy but I snooze for just 3 minutes.
lisett lisett 10 years
The snooze option screws me over every time.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
Thanks geek! My cell ohone snoozes every 5 minutes, my alarm every 7. I snoozed this morning 5 time before resetting my larm twice. terrible i know. i think it has to with hating my job and not wanting to go. haha.
sassy3lady sassy3lady 10 years
I am the the self-proclaimed queen of the snooze button. I definitely hit the button like 4-5 times every morning. Luckily I found an alarm that has the sounds of birds signing so it doesn't startle me every time.
lintacious lintacious 10 years
i used to hate all alarm clocks until i started using my phone. i can use a more 'soothing' ringtone and it doesnt startle me as much.
jhuck jhuck 10 years
I hate snooze and never use it. I set my alarm for when I want to be up, and it gets me up. My roomate on the other hand, sets hers for an hour before she needs to be up and keeps hitting snooze until it gets close to shutting itself off. It's not fun to hear every morning.
sevendayrain sevendayrain 10 years
I always wondered about that.
redsugar redsugar 10 years
I have always wondered why it wasn't a 10 minute snooze.
Performita Performita 10 years
the real invention we need is a pill or something that will give us the rest that our body needs by sleeping shorter. For example, you go to bed too late that night. No worries, you take a quick-rest pill and you will not feel as a zombi after sleeping for just 4 or 5 hrs :D I am hoping for something like this because I am always in trouble with waking and getting up... I am always too tired :o
sc-cutie sc-cutie 10 years
I like to snooze every morning. It gives me a chance to wake up slowly. Set my alarm for 7, but roll out of bed at 7:30. It might sound indulgent, but if I didn't do that, I'd be more of a zombie than I already am.
millarci millarci 10 years
I honestly never understood the snooze option. The whole point of an alarm clock is to wake up when the alarm rings. If you're going to hit the snooze button, then you might as well add those 9 minutes to your set time for your alarm to buzz.
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