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Sleep function

Suspends the execution of the current thread until the time-out interval elapses.

To enter an alertable wait state, use the SleepEx function.

Syntax


VOID WINAPI Sleep(
  _In_  DWORD dwMilliseconds
);

Parameters

dwMilliseconds [in]

The time interval for which execution is to be suspended, in milliseconds.

A value of zero causes the thread to relinquish the remainder of its time slice to any other thread that is ready to run. If there are no other threads ready to run, the function returns immediately, and the thread continues execution.

Windows XP:  A value of zero causes the thread to relinquish the remainder of its time slice to any other thread of equal priority that is ready to run. If there are no other threads of equal priority ready to run, the function returns immediately, and the thread continues execution. This behavior changed starting with Windows Server 2003.

A value of INFINITE indicates that the suspension should not time out.

Return value

This function does not return a value.

Remarks

This function causes a thread to relinquish the remainder of its time slice and become unrunnable for an interval based on the value of dwMilliseconds. The system clock "ticks" at a constant rate. If dwMilliseconds is less than the resolution of the system clock, the thread may sleep for less than the specified length of time. If dwMilliseconds is greater than one tick but less than two, the wait can be anywhere between one and two ticks, and so on. To increase the accuracy of the sleep interval, call the timeGetDevCaps function to determine the supported minimum timer resolution and the timeBeginPeriod function to set the timer resolution to its minimum. Use caution when calling timeBeginPeriod, as frequent calls can significantly affect the system clock, system power usage, and the scheduler. If you call timeBeginPeriod, call it one time early in the application and be sure to call the timeEndPeriod function at the very end of the application.

After the sleep interval has passed, the thread is ready to run. If you specify 0 milliseconds, the thread will relinquish the remainder of its time slice but remain ready. Note that a ready thread is not guaranteed to run immediately. Consequently, the thread may not run until some time after the sleep interval elapses. For more information, see Scheduling Priorities.

Be careful when using Sleep in the following scenarios:

  • Code that directly or indirectly creates windows (for example, DDE and COM CoInitialize). If a thread creates any windows, it must process messages. Message broadcasts are sent to all windows in the system. If you have a thread that uses Sleep with infinite delay, the system will deadlock.
  • Threads that are under concurrency control. For example, an I/O completion port or thread pool limits the number of associated threads that can run. If the maximum number of threads is already running, no additional associated thread can run until a running thread finishes. If a thread uses Sleep with an interval of zero to wait for one of the additional associated threads to accomplish some work, the process might deadlock.

For these scenarios, use MsgWaitForMultipleObjects or MsgWaitForMultipleObjectsEx, rather than Sleep.

Examples

For an example, see Using Thread Local Storage.

Requirements

Minimum supported client

Windows XP [desktop apps only]

Minimum supported server

Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps only]

Header

WinBase.h on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 (include Windows.h);
Synchapi.h on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012

Library

Kernel32.lib

DLL

Kernel32.dll

See also

MsgWaitForMultipleObjects
MsgWaitForMultipleObjectsEx
Process and Thread Functions
SleepEx
Suspending Thread Execution
Threads
WaitOnAddress

 

 

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