We’ve all been there: you wake up to the sound of your iPhone alarm trumpeting in your ear, only to mash your fingers on the screen in the hopes that you’ll hit “Snooze” instead of accidentally swiping it off. You drift off back to sleep, repeating the process nine minutes later.
Yep, nine minutes. Not 10, not eight. Nine.
It seems like a random number, but apparently the reasoning is based in history rather than arbitrary choice. According to Metro,
Back when electro-mechanical clocks were all the rage, it was hard to set alarms accurately – often the gearing systems meant you had to aim for the nearest minute.
Hence, makers would go for ‘less than’ 10 minutes, ie nine minutes.
Writing on Quora, iOS support expert Nic Lake says, ‘Early clocks and watches had gears that made it difficult to set a snooze for *exactly* 10 minutes. So they aimed for *less than* 10 minutes, aka 9 minutes. Was a pretty standard thing till the 50s.
Antique clock collector David J Slavik says,’It is my belief that when the first hybrid electric clocks arrived THAT is when a seeming 9 minute standard was adopted. These old electric clocks physically flipped cards to indicate the time.
Slavik goes on to explain, “When the user presses the buttons some number of seconds have already passed. The snooze function had no way to deal with this and didn’t even try. So you end up with a function that is almost never quite 10 minutes, never less than or equal to 9.”
So could the snooze function be updated to become 10 minutes instead of nine today? Probably – but why bother? You’re supposed to be hauling your lazy ass out of bed instead of sleeping in, so keeping it at nine is truly in your best favor.