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sleep — Delays program execution.


void sleep(seconds);
integer seconds: Number of seconds to sleep




sleep() is used to delay the execution of the current program. The delay lasts for the number of seconds specified in the seconds argument and begins at the point in the script where the sleep() function call is made.


On some operating systems, sleep() is not guaranteed to delay program execution for the exact number of seconds specified. Check your system documentation and perform a few tests before relying on the precision of this function.


PHP Version: 3+, 4+

See also

To sleep for a number of microseconds:



Example 761. Slightly inaccurate way to test the accuracy of sleep()

function time_convert ($microtime) {
    list ($milliseconds, $time) = explode (' ', $microtime);
    return $milliseconds + $time;

for ($x = 1; $x < 5; ++$x) {
    $time[$x]['start'] = microtime ();
    sleep ($x);
    $time[$x]['end'] = microtime ();
    $time[$x]['diff'] = time_convert ($time[$x]['start']) - time_convert ($time[$x]['end']);

print_r ($time);

# To get a more accurate estimate of the accuracy of sleep() on UNIX-like OSes,
# use the time utility

PHP Functions Essential Reference. Copyright © 2002 by New Riders Publishing (Authors: Zak Greant, Graeme Merrall, Torben Wilson, Brett Michlitsch). This material may be distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v1.0 or later (the latest version is presently available at The authors of this book have elected not to choose any options under the OPL. This online book was obtained from and is designed to provide information about the PHP programming language, focusing on PHP version 4.0.4 for the most part. The information is provided on an as-is basis, and no warranty or fitness is implied. All persons and entities shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage arising from the information contained in this book.

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