It was only in 1956 that General Electric-Telechron released the Snooz-Alarm, which came equipped with a control bar for snoozing. Westclox released their Drowse Alarm three years later, which featured the choice between snoozing for five minutes and 10 minutes. There is so much more truth in advertising with drowse than snooze, since what you get with each interval is less like sleeping and more like drowsing—a pitiful mix of hazy, haunted wakefulness.The original Snooz-Alarm had a nine-minute snooze, which became the standard, though there is not much consensus about what dictated that arbitrary interval. There is some speculation that engineers were constrained by mechanical gears and had to choose between complicated double-digit intervals and the easier nine-minute dose. Nine minutes was the most you could get without designing a more sophisticated mechanism. For all the customizable features of modern alarms, from radio stations, specific songs, a multitude of tones, user-recorded messages, it’s surprising that no one has allowed us the freedom of timing our own snoozing for something less regulated than nine minutes.A stitch in time may save nine, but every nine minutes of snooze wastes a little slice of our lives. Since 1956, we have been confusing snooze for sleep, sacrificing our waking life nine minutes at a time. Not only do we delay the start of our days, but we compromise the very sleep we are trying to steal. The healthy, continuous sleep cycles we need are thoroughly disrupted by the snooze. When we hear the first sound of the alarm, our bodies release adrenaline and cortisol, hormones that wake us, interrupting our natural sleep cycle to make us alert.