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Q: Why Do Most Snooze Buttons Only Give You Nine More Minutes of Sleep?

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A: By the time the snooze feature was added in the 1950s, the innards of alarm clocks had long been standardized. This meant 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.

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  • http://midnightcafe.wordpress.com Mat Brewster

    My clock snoozes at an odd seven minute rotation while my wife’s clocks in at a too short five. I have to say it took me a bit to get used to the seve minute snooze, but it actually works out well. Two snoozes at 14 minutes is just about perfect.

  • http://blog.myspace.com/tinkie101 tink

    I always wondered how they knew that nine minutes was perfect for me. Thanks again for more trivia to full up my brain with.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    I set two alarms – One has a snooze time of 9 minutes, the other one has a snooze time of 5 minutes. And I can tell you this with certainty – Five minutes just ain’t long enough… :-(

  • http://www.mentalfloss.com Will from mental_floss

    I’m with you guys. 5 or even 7 minutes just isn’t long enough.