Design Thinking About Snooze

Many mornings, I wake up when my alarm goes off. I get out of bed, and I begin my day. Many other mornings, I don’t.

Instead of getting up right when the alarm rings, I press “Snooze” and sleep longer.

This morning, as I was preparing for my day over tea and some light reading, I got to thinking about this snoozing tendency and wondering what the design thinkers of the world would say.

Here are some initial thoughts.

  • The body needs sleep.  Trying to guess how much sleep it needs, and letting factors such as your morning schedule dictate sleep time to your body, rather than letting the body decide, is not a very user-centered design.
  • Applying the 8 hours a night rule steadfastly seems an awful lot like a “one-size-fits-all” solution.
  • Snoozing is a way to rapidly iterate through different sleep lengths to discover the one which matches your specific needs for that day.
  • With all the variety in our daily activities and upcoming activities, can we ever expect to have a more accurate gauge for how much sleep we need than when we are “in the moment?”

Unfortunately, my case for why snoozing is good, from a design thinking perspective, runs in to some scientific barriers (based on sleep cycles) and more devastatingly, some realistic barriers (based on your morning schedule).  Still, I enjoy exploring the concept of making daily adaptations to one’s sleep length, even if implementing such a routine is unfeasible.

Go on, let me know what you think!


  1. Do you think there was perhaps one lazy product designer on that team that invented the snooze button who insisted on getting another 10 minutes of sleep? The decision was not scientific in any way — the design team just got tired of hearing that lazy guy demand delayed alarm functionality.

  2. Haha. Could be! And sick of his “I just slept through my alarm.” excuse. This gave them a way to have the alarm keep going off.

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