Like many hard working people out there, I rely on an alarm clock to make sure I am awake in time to be able to prepare for the full
day’s night’s work ahead of me without having to worry about coming up with shitty excuses for being late like Susanna Hoffs had to every manic Monday. On most nights when I go in to Mecca at 10 PM, the alarm is set for 8:00. That gives me just enough time to shower, make something to eat, eat that something I made, and spend a little quality time on the laptop checking on my board, blog, and how many negative points my fantasy league players have managed to rack up so far in the evening.
What I do, however, doesn’t seem to be typical of many other Americans in my generation… and I don’t just mean going through the morning grind while the sun in setting. No, there is another strange ritual most seem to partake of that flat out baffles this nocturnal squirrel, and for which I have yet to hear of a logical explanation for.
When I set my alarm for 8:00, I know that if I sleep any longer I run the risk of not being able to get ready for work on time. Yet there exists a button that is nearly universal on alarm clocks that I wouldn’t touch with a 39.5 foot pole, but which gets pounded relentlessly and repeatedly by sleep deprived zombies all across the country… all in the name of trying to squeeze nine more minutes of sack time.
Yes, the evil snooze button. Seriously folks…. what the fuck?
Who doesn’t like to be able to roll back over and go to sleep when they’re still tired? But why would you want to be violently jolted from Michael Stipe sleep just to get the pleasure of being able to drift back off….. only to get bitchslapped once again by your alarm clock about the time you manage to re-enter the nap zone?
Buzz, slap, repeat. That doesn’t seem very restful…
Wouldn’t it make more sense to just set the alarm for the latest possible time and actually get some uninterrupted, restoring deep sleep during those 10-30 minutes of playing tag with your alarm clock? I don’t even like hearing the alarm go off while I’m not paying attention to it once, let alone two, three, four… or however many times one might decide to get their jollies snoozing and resnoozing. If I wake up 5-10 minutes before the alarm is gonna go off (which I quite often do), I just put up the white flag right there and get my ass out of bed. If I try to go back to sleep, I can’t enjoy it anyway because I know that alarm’s gonna scream its head off any minute and it makes me too anxious to drift off.
The snooze button first began appearing on old style alarm clocks in the 1950’s. Westclox actually introduced a design in 1959 that had a switch which allowed you to select an extra 5 or 10 minute
snooze drowse. Yes, it was called a Drowse button, which doesn’t seem as nefarious as a snooze button. After all, nobody ever said, “You drowse, you lose.”
At some point in time between the invention of glow in the dark clock hands and those cool little flipping numbers, some drowsing expert decided that the universal snooze interval should be nine minutes. Even the internet, which can answer just about any ignorant ass question you ask, can’t come up with a conclusive reason for how this came to be.
Regardless of why the snooze button came to be, or how its length of reprieve was decided, it has become a standard feature on almost every nightstand alarm clock sold in the last several decades, and has been embraced by at least two generations of non-morning people who have slapped it’s extra large button more often than Moe slapped the shit out of Curly, all just to try to spend an extra nine minutes in heaven that will only come crashing down in another brain-stabbing hell. It’s time to stop the insanity and embrace a more restful and continuous sleep right up until the loud and bitter end. Let’s lay off the snooze buttons everyone!