Snoozing through time compression

Snoozing through time compression

Snooze header image credit: razihusin.

A deadly snooze

The snooze function on the alarm clock is a near deadly feature. Mine used to be on an analogue clock where the alarm time was set by positioning an alarm hand which was essentially a secondary hour hand. When the real hour hand crossed the alarm hand, the alarm rang.

snooze alarm clock mechanism

I’d smack the snooze button, and drift off back to sleep for another 5 minutes. Alarm rings again, and I’d swipe the button (note this is the old fashioned “swipe” which means “smack in a violent and an unloving way”, rather then the gentle loving caresses we give our phones and tablets now). Another 5 minutes slumber.

The process would repeat a few times until the hour hand had moved off the alarm hand, thus preventing the mechanics of the alarm system from triggering the audible call from hell to get out of bed.

Result: I’d oversleep
Follow on result: My boss kills me.

Changing times

multi snoozes and alarms on phone

Not that times change. I use my phone alarm now. It’s really convenient because different days have different alarm times depending on whether, for example, it’s my turn to take the girls to school (I need to get up earlier…) or whether I can just get up and get to work.

The phone alarm plays some sort of audible tone which both I and my wife consider alarming enough to wake us up, but gently enough so as not to cause us to piss ourselves in bed in panic.

I swipe – now in the modern definition of the word – and the snooze feature is activated, and I’m welcomed back into my world of dreams. For 5 minutes. Another alarm, another swipe, and again, the process continues.

You’d think that my phone might learn my sleeping / waking habits, but in truth the learning has been on my side. It only took a few nights with a few snooze iterations when I saw that all was not well in the time2timetravel bed.

A change of function

It turns out that Mrs time2timetravel isn’t happy with the snooze button because she’s got this crazy idea that the alarm clock ringing is an indication that it’s time to get out of bed.

The snooze look

“But I set it half an hour before the time I actually need to get out of bed!”

The heating is timed to come on in the morning, but even so, the temperature drops a few tens of degrees with the look. (I think we all know what that is. Forget your sweet dreams; the look gives you nightmares).

“When the alarm goes, we get out of bed. Besides, I can’t get back to sleep afterwards.”

OK clear enough, but I have a solution. My wife sets her alarm for whatever unGodly time in the morning she wants to get out of bed, and I set mine for 5 minutes afterwards. My phone has now become the snooze button.

Time compression

I don’t get my full half hour snooze, but still, it’s 5 minutes and that’s something!

But there’s a new problem. Once my wife gets out of bed I know I have only 5 minutes left for sleep before I have to face the day. The problem is relatively clear – the whole night of sleep hasn’t been enough (hence snooze required) so this needs to be squeezed into the last remaining 5 minutes.

Whether you’d call this negative time dilation, or plain and simple time compression is up to you.

As for me, I’m going to sleep on it! 😉


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