There’s a Reason Your iPhone’s ‘Snooze’ Is 9 Minutes Instead of 10

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We’ve all had those mornings where even one more minute of sleep feels like it could make a huge difference. The warmth of our cozy beds is like heaven, and getting up sounds like the opposite, so we hit that snooze button and drift off to sleep for just a little bit longer. Then, nine minutes later, our peace is interrupted. 

Often, our lives revolve around even numbers because it just makes more sense. You wouldn’t tell someone to meet you somewhere at 9:29 a.m., would you? That’s why snooze being nine minutes instead of ten makes some people a bit uncomfortable. 

Why 9 Minutes?

Snooze being nine minutes was not Apple’s idea. In fact, it’s not a new concept at all. The very first snooze button was introduced in 1956 also lasted nine minutes, and there is a reasoning behind it.

Back then, clock engineers obviously didn’t have the advanced technology we have now, so they had to add a snooze feature to the existing alarm clock configuration. Although they were aiming for ten minutes, setting the gear teeth to hit exactly ten minutes was nearly impossible, so they had to settle for closer to nine.

There’s also a scientific explanation to support nine minutes being the perfect amount of snooze time.

In terms of sleep, nine minutes is just enough time for a brief rest; however, once you get past the ten-minute mark, your body can start to fall back into a deep sleep, which will make waking up again difficult and more unpleasant

Holly Schiff, PsyD

Apple chose the nine-minute snooze time to benefit its users and their sleep cycles, but just because it keeps you from falling back into a deep sleep doesn’t mean you should be snoozing your alarm over and over again.

Is Snoozing a Healthy Habit?

Unfortunately, hitting that snooze button every morning is not a good habit because it disrupts and confuses your internal clock. You might think nine more minutes of sleep will make you less tired throughout the day, but it actually makes you more tired.

Think about it: right after you hit that snooze button, your body prepares to go back to sleep, only to be woken up soon after. Therefore, you will be starting your day more sleepy than you would be if you had just woken up when your alarm went off the first time.

How to Adjust Your ‘Snooze’ Time

If you are a snoozer who doesn’t plan on stopping but can’t stand the nine-minute snooze time, there is a way to adjust it on your iPhone. Keep in mind, Apple doesn’t allow you to change the default snooze time, but here’s an alternative way:

  1. Tap the Alarm tab in the Clock app.
  2. Tap the + icon in the upper-right corner to set your preferred alarm time.
  3. Tap the Snooze toggle to disable snooze.
  4. Repeat steps two and three to set preferred snooze intervals.
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