When you’ve ever set an alarm on your iPhone and used the snooze button for some extra sleep, you may have noticed that it counts down from 9 minutes. Apple have made the decision deliberately, and so Apple creates software for time related apps, they often follow the traditional practices of time, kept in analog clocks.
In fact, when creating the Apple Watch, the company invited watch historians to speak at their headquarters, and it’s why the time on Apple. Watch ads are set to 1009, a tradition that dates back to the 1920s when the Hamilton Watch company noticed that positioning the hands at 1009 prevented their logo from being obstructed while also giving the impression that the watch was smiling. Apple recognized this tradition and still includes it in their smartwatch a century later, and there’s a similar story when it comes to the snooze button.
About 50 years ago, when the snooze feature was first invented. Bookmakers had to retrofit a new component to existing mechanical alarm clocks. This was a problem since they couldn’t adjust the clocks gear teeth to line up perfectly for a 10 minute snooze.
So they had to choose between 9 minutes and a few seconds, or almost 11 minutes. Clockmakers went with nine, although the reasoning behind their decision is still debated today. Many people theorize that a 9 minute snooze is optimal since 10 or 11 minutes could be enough time for your body to enter a deeper sleep.
Which would cause someone to wake up more drowsy, but there isn’t any scientific evidence to back this up. Others believe clockmakers chose 9 minutes since getting a one or two minute head start in the morning is better than running a couple minutes late, but the most likely reason for a 9 minutes news was simplicity. Since programming a single digit timer was much less complex than programming one with double digits, the original clock that set this trend was called the snooze alarm. And while there were subsequent clock models that deviated from the traditional 9 minute timer, Apple decided to honor the snooze buttons origins by setting the iPhones default snooze timer to 9 minutes. But unlike the old snooze alarm clock, modern technology on the iPhone allows users to customize their snooze timer. And although Apple doesn’t offer this feature natively, you can download a third party alarm clock app and set the timer length to whatever works best for you.