I’m a guy who loves to sleep. Always have, always will. One of the greatest satisfactions I can get comes from clicking the snooze button. Being in that foggy half-awake-half-asleep state and knowing that I now have nine more minutes of peace and quiet… ah, it’s bliss. But, hold up–why are all snooze buttons programmed for nine minutes exactly? I put on a pot of coffee and went searching for answers.
Mental Floss explains that the nine minute rule stems from the old days when alarms were mechanical and not electric. The snooze button was added to alarms in the 1950s. By then the gears “had long been standardized.” The gears that controlled the snooze “had to mesh with the existing gear configuration.”
The Jewish World Review backs up the theory about meshing gears. Clock makers had to “choose between a gear that made the snooze period nine-plus minutes or 10-plus minutes.” A snooze lasting ten minutes exactly wasn’t possible. It’s likely that the clock makers decided that it’s more “responsible” to only give people nine extra minutes of sleep than eleven. I disagree, but nobody asked me.
Just for good measure, I looked around the Web for some further elaboration at The Straight Dope. Author Cecil Adams theorizes that clock manufacturers originally wanted the snooze to last ten minutes, but due to mechanical constraints, that just wasn’t possible. So, they settled for nine minutes, and the standard stuck.
What do you guys think about the snooze button? Do you use it religiously or do you get out bed right away? Gimme nine minutes and I’ll give you my answer…
Thanks for reading,
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!