To Sleep, Or Not To Sleep, That Is The Question

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by brotherandy, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. brotherandy macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2009
    OK guys - I am looking for an answer to that age old Mac question:

    Do I put my macbook to sleep at night or not? Wouldn't it be better to just shut them off completely?

    I am sure you guys have seen this question bouncing around the web. Why is it important? Here's why I think it is important:

    1.) The "sleep" feature on macs draws considerable battery power, so if your macbook is sleeping overnight, and is not plugged in, you are using up to 6% of your battery life each night, which translates over time into wasted battery life cycles, in my view at least.

    2.) If you leave you macbook plugged in overnight, this raise a whole range of other issues. The lifespan of the adapter may be shortened, or you run the risk of overhearing the laptop.

    3.) And this is the big one - do macbooks even need to be shut off? Does it improve system efficiency, and life span of the hardware components to avoid frequent shut downs, or does putting your macbook to sleep on a regular basis have no benefits over and against shutting it down every night?

    So the question remains - to sleep or not to sleep. I would appreciate your answers, thoughts, and comments.
  2. puma1552 macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    I just do both.

    Some night I sleep it, other nights I shut it down.

    Sometimes I sleep it two or three days in a row, shut it down for one, let it sleep for a couple more, shut it down for the next couple, whatever. I don't really think about it at all, I just do what comes to mind at the time. I think a mix of both it best.

    That said, it's a desktop replacement so it's always plugged in at night when I'm doing this. It's nine months old and showing 11 cycles, three of which are from this week.

    Just do whatever you feel like, you won't hurt it either way.:)
  3. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    Short answer: Sleep

    Long answer:
    More battery cycles are actually better for your battery health. Apple even recommends more cycles. If you are worried about battery drain overnight, keep it plugged in!
    A Windows laptop will use at least 15-20% of the battery overnight, so 6% on a Mac is nothing.

    There are no such issues. This is simple paranoia. Computers are meant to be used.

    No, they don't need to be shut off. You only need to restart when installing system updates.
    You will find that most Mac users never shut their Mac off. I usually have my MBP and Mini on for months (only to restart for system updates).
    Putting it to sleep means that wake up time is a few seconds versus start up time which can be up to a minute. Big difference.
  4. kornyboy macrumors 68000

    Sep 27, 2004
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7A341 Safari/528.16)

    I always just close my MB up before I go to bed each night. It goes to sleep and it is there ready for me in the morning. I still get a good lifespan out of the battery and the MB itself. I'm on my 4th Apple laptop since 1995 and haven't purchased an additional battery since the first (this one was kept as a secondary computer when I bought an iMac DV). I sold each and every one of my Mac laptops when I purchased a new one. I've had 1 hard drive fail on me in that time and that occured less than 1 year after purchase ad was covered under Apple Care.

    All-in-all, I'm for leaving the MB all the time putting it into sleep mode when you are not using it. That's my 2 cents anyhow.
  5. cjacks68 macrumors regular


    May 27, 2009
    +1. This is pretty much what I do too, except I probably shut down more nights than sleep.
  6. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    If you've got stuff open and/or you just want to be able to open your notebook and carry on working at a later time/date then just shut the lid and let it sleep.

    If the above doesn't apply then shut down, that bit of battery life might come in useful when you're next computing :)
  7. zw-gator macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2005
    I shut it down every night....I put it to sleep if I'm walking around with it.
  8. neil1980 macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2008
    I just close the lid and let it sleep usually.

    I only shut it down if I'm traveling with it
  9. BPresley321 macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    I def follow this pattern.
  10. sn0warmy macrumors 6502a


    Mar 26, 2009
    Denver, CO
    I use my computer all day at work and at the end of the day I put it to sleep. Then when I get home I can just open the lid and get right back to using it for music/videos etc. Then before I go to bed I shut it down completely.

    I had my old Macbook Pro for 3 years of college. I shut that one down only once a week. It was still going very very strong when I sold it recently to get this new one.
  11. atticus18244fsa macrumors 6502


    Jul 11, 2008
    Waterloo, ON
    I sleep it if I'm coming back to it within about 3 hours by shutting the lid. I leave it open and sleep it when I'm leaving for less than half an hour. I shut it down at night.
  12. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Never shut down any of my Macintosh portable computers since the iBook, except if I don't use it for more than a week.

    My iMac gets sleep most of the time, unless I'm away for more than a week.

    I find sleeping more convenient, especially with battery powered computers like Apple's portables collection.
  13. Grayer macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2009
    Do you guys leave it plugged in in the night?
    I have a battery question. I read that it's best to keep the computer plugged in when possible, but to use the battery around 30 min a day. My question is, if i use the battery for 30 min, then plug it in the current again, will I complete a cycle?
  14. brotherandy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2009
    Thanks for the answers guys! I think that everyone has there own style when it comes to putting "baby" to sleep at night! I know a lot of my confusion comes from being a long time Windows user - on a Windows machine not only does the power adapter get HOT, even when the laptop is in "hibernation" mode, but it is also absolutely essential to do a full shut down at least once a week. Ahhhh... the joys of a Mac. Still, I think the question needs to be asked, and I appreciate everyone responding.

  15. brotherandy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2009
    Hi Grayer!

    From what I can gather on the Apple website, one battery cycle means that the battery has been depleted through one entire potential charge period, which for the macbooks with the non-removable battery is about 7 hours. It doesn't matter how many times you recharge, I think. So, given you current battery usage, you would take 14 days to go through 1 cycle. At least, that's my take on it.
  16. hyperpiper45 macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2007
    Calgary, Canada
    I sleep mine constantly and only restart when im forced to by a software update.

    As i consequence my mac has been running for nearly 21 days now.

  17. applebook macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2009
    Always sleep unless I won't be using the computer for a long time.
  18. brotherandy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2009
    The Definitive Answer - From Apple

    O.K. Guys,

    Here is the DEFINITIVE ANSWER from the mouth of the all-knowing Apple rep I spoke to this morning:



    He also said that putting the Macbook to sleep at night, while on battery power alone, will lead to a much shortened battery life. Also, and this was really interesting, he said that the laptop will be faster if you shut it down regularly. His message to everyone who just puts their Macbook to sleep (not shut down) - you'll be calling the support line some time soon (his words, not mine). So ... I think that settles it. Shut down at night, and unplug/power down the Macbook. Sleep only during the day. So ... that is it for me - I'm off to give my Macbook a siesta!!!:)
  19. Goettel macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2008
    I call BS...

    This rep doesn't know what he is talking about. I have had my MBP with an uptime of over 60 days with absolutely no problems. Actually, this is how the sleep mode works: All components are shut down except the RAM that stays powered-up as RAM is volatile and looses it's contents if it looses power. This means that only 2-3 Watts of power are used. It will NOT reduce the lifespan of the machine, in fact it might even increase it as the HD will have less reading/writing to do at startup/shutdown. Also, OS X is built upon UNIX, an OS made to run on servers that can go for months without a restart...
  20. DeejayKnight macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2009
    Fort Bragg, NC
    I've had my 15" MacBook Pro Unibody for about four and a half months now, and I've used 49 cycles.

    Then again, I use it for at least eight hours a day because I work on it, so isn't that about right?
  21. adamk77 macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2008
    Ok, this is a blanket, canned advice at best and just a bad advice at worst.

    Once the battery reaches the "almost charged" level, it goes into trickle charge mode. Then once it reaches 100%, it stops charging at all until it goes back down to the "almost charged" level and it then it goes back into the trickle charge mode. It's not going to degrade the battery life that much.

    Every once or twice a month, you want to run your laptop off of battery alone and take it down to around 50%, then charge it back up to keep it healthy.

    As for it being faster if you shut down regularly -- yes, if you have lot of stuff running in the background, restarting your computer will get rid of all that junk. This is obvious. It sounds like advice I'd give to my grandmother.

    You can leave it on sleep. I have since I purchased my MBP a year ago. It hasn't given me any issues. I didn't have to take it in once for anything. Just use your laptop like it was meant to be used. Don't stress out and try to micromanage every aspect of technology being used in it. Unless of course, you're a glutton for pain that is.
  22. adamfishercox macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2007
    AppleCare guy is wrong. Trust him or everyone here who sleeps and have experienced no problems.
  23. avediswolf macrumors regular


    Jul 23, 2008
    I would agree with this if we were talking about Windows.
    I've always put mine to sleep, My girlfriend does the same... Never has it caused slowness, or any other issues.

    Windows on the other hand, Sleep is useless, It slow when it comes back up, or drops directly to blue screen because of IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL.

    Sleep is implemented right on a mac. Use it. All your friends are doing it... C'Mon... Do it! :)

  24. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL is typically a driver problem. Sleep works perfectly in Windows 7. On XP it usually works like **** but what can you expect from an OS that is 8 years old?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the hybrid sleep mode used in OSX (and Win7) turns off everything but the RAM when going to sleep. I don't see how that would be a big power drain or would cause problems.
  25. Signal-11 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    2nd Star to the Right
    That's just bad, technically incorrect advice.

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