Thursday 17 September, 2009

If you’ve seen my recent tweets you’ll have noticed that I mentioned snooze. I like to snooze as much as the next person and have notices that the length of snooze varies on different alarm clocks and mobile phones but is most commonly set to 9 minutes. Why?

Well there are a couple of theories I’ve stumbled across and I’ll run them by you now..

Theory 1

By the time the snooze feature was added in the 1950’s, the innards of alarm clocks had long been standardized. This meant that the teeth on the snooze gear had to mesh with the existing gear configuration, leaving engineers with a single choice: They could set the snooze for either a little more than nine minutes, or a little more than 10 minutes. But because reports indicated that 10 minutes was too long, allowing people to fall back into a “deep” sleep, clock makers decided on the nine-minute gear, believing people would wake up easier and happier after a shorter snooze. We’d tend to disagree with that logic, but, then, we must be in the lazy minority. Although today’s digital clocks can be programmed to have a snooze of any length, most stick with nine minutes because that’s what consumers expect.

Theory 2

On digital clocks for 9 minutes to pass only the minute digit would have to move. So as digital clock makers are lazy fellows the programmed the snooze to be only 9 minutes.


One of the theories is flawed and far less romantic than the other. So that’s right, it’s all about the old clock makers.

How long do you snooze for?