No one knows for sure why the snooze feature on all alarm clocks is 9 minutes, but of all the theories, the one that is most likely is this: It’s always been that way. Several people have tried to come up with a rationalization for the 9-minute snooze, but hard evidence for a real reason is lacking. Even so, many people who like to think of themselves as know-it-alls usually choose one of the rational reasons and claim it is indisputable.
Even though some new alarm clocks allow for a user-controlled snooze length, the default is almost always 9 minutes, and most alarm clocks still have the 9-minute snooze hardwired into the clock. I know there is the oddball clock out there with a 7-minute or 8-minute snooze, but those are very rare.
Of all the theories for why the snooze is 9-minutes, it seems the actual reason is that it was invented that way. Many people don’t know that the snooze feature is older than the digital LED clock. The snooze was first introduced with a purely mechanical clock. It was thought that the snooze period should last no longer than 10 minutes. Not having given more specific instructions to the clock maker, it was decided that the specific length was not really all that important. The part of the clock that regulated the snooze time was made to function without precision. The actual snooze time could range anywhere between 9 and 10 minutes, and it changed each time it was activated.
This theory was later verified with an old electro-mechanical clock made by GE. Its snooze time ranged from 9 minutes to 9 minutes 30 seconds simply because the mechanism was not made to be precise. It was made to be just good enough.
To continue the theory, when digital clocks were first made, the manufacturers were just as baffled as to why snooze lasted 9 minutes as most of us are today. They just figured there was some important reason behind it, so they continued the tradition.
While this theory cannot be proven 100 percent, it is the most likely. Other unproven, or blaringly false, theories floating around the web include the following:
• It has to do with the power cycles of AC current.
• A 9-minute snooze allows for 6 activations in a 60 minute period, allowing 1 minute for time to lapse between each activation.
• Nine minutes sounds better than 10 minutes.
• People fall into a deeper sleep after 9 minutes.
Posted 3046 day ago