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To download Should I Sleep from the Mac App Store, you need a Mac with OS X 10.6.6 or later. Learn More.

Should I Sleep

By Marcelo Leite

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Annoyed by the display getting dim when you're reading or watching something? Installed an app for that but always forget to activate it? By using a combination of heuristic sensors, such as FACE DETECTION, Should I Sleep checks if you are actually at the computer before it sleeps. Yes, the computer "sees and hears" you.

NOTE: To quickly see it in action, first, disable the screen saver, quit any other sleep prevention app (such as Caffeine), open System Preferences > Energy Saver, set the display sleep to 1 minute and wait (don't touch the computer). On 10.8 and above you will see a notification message.


When the display is about to dim, Should I Sleep will start its sensors. Camera, microphone all other software processing will stay on for only about 3 seconds. After that, sleep will be allowed or prevented. No need to touch any button.


Face Detection is the most effective sensor and works by capturing video from the camera and looking for eyes, nose and mouth (all three are needed to make a face). If one or more faces are detected, sleep is prevented.


Sleep is prevented if a moving target is captured by the camera (such as waving, walking or even slightly moving your head). A perfect combination for the default Face Detection as it works even when you are not directly facing the camera.


Prevent sleep if there is network traffic. It works with all apps, on operations such as downloads and uploads, enjoying online videos and music and also receiving emails. And it even lets you keep downloads with the display dimmed!


Prevent sleep if any app is performing CPU intensive tasks, such as audio and video conversions, encodings, renderings, scientific calculations, image processing, etc.


Prevent sleep if an external display is plugged-in. A must-have for those who give presentations, speeches, demonstrations and/or trainings.


Prevent sleep If ambient sound is detected. Useful when you're talking near the computer such as in workshops and meetings where the camera may not be in a favorable position.


We have also added a Prevent by Time (caffeine) mode. You just choose a predefined time period for the computer and/or the display to be awake. Time periods and menu items are customizable.


Having the display dimmed when we're focused on the computer is certainly annoying. Staying alert to "press any key" and prevent (or worse, fix) that, is disturbing and counterproductive. And that may happen during many activities, such as:

- Carefully reading a web page, book or documentation
- Listening to online music or watching online videos
- Downloading or uploading files
- Receiving an email with a big attachment
- Following the progress of a software operation
- Doing a presentation, training or demonstration
- Converting, rendering audio, video and images
- On a conversation, taking notes between intervals


- Sleep prevention with unique heuristic sensors
- Timer mode for display and screensaver prevention
- Face detection - the most effective sensor - included
- Additional sensors available as affordable in-app purchases
- Try before you buy for additional sensors
- Blazing fast, 3-second, hardware-accelerated detection
- OS X notification center integration
- Sensor sensitivity and accuracy fine-tuning
- Modular development approach (more sensors on the way)


Should I Sleep includes the Face Detection sensor and customizable Prevent by Time (caffeine) mode. Additional sensors can be purchased for an affordable price from within the application menu.


Please, write to instead of submitting bugs or questions in an App Store review. We are not allowed to answer reviews and do not have access to user's email addresses. But we do answer each and every email!

What's New in Version 1.8.4


- Fixed: app corruption/redownload message


- Fixed: occasional crash on 10.9


- Added: Mavericks compatibility
- Fixed: Camera tests not working
- Changed: Minor text revision
- Added: Idle timer alternatives


Please, write to instead of submitting bugs or questions in an App Store review. We are not allowed to answer reviews and do not have access to user's email addresses. But we do answer each and every email!


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Customer Reviews

Needs work

I didn’t enjoy finding out that all of the sensors (except face detection) require in app purchases after already buying the software but, if it worked well, it would be worth it. Playing with it, it’s not bad but needs work. The face recognition seems fine to me, as long as my head doesn’t happen to be resting on my hand or something. The sound sensor doesn’t seem that great. It’s either way too sensitive (picking up the sound of my fan, I assume) or too hard to notice me 6 feet away watching a movie on my laptop. Network sensors should include uploads and downloads over the wifi network, and they don’t seem to. When I tried to stream a movie from my computer to another computer in the house, it still went to sleep. Motion sensor doesn’t work at all. Even when i put my camera in a drawer, it recognizes motion that isn’t there, unless my pencils are coming to life.

Needs Keyboard Shortcuts!

Good concept but for it to be truly useful, the developer need to incorporate keyboard shortcuts. Until then I have returned to Caffeine since I can control it via Alfred workflow. The face detection is miss or hit, terribly useless if you read in low lights (night time) and even in good lighting my display has to be adjusted at a certain angle to work. When you are studying, you need software problems/adjustments to stay out of your way. I will be turning that feature off if possible but until I can control this software with keyboard shortcuts or somebody creates Alfred workflow toggle, it’s back to Caffeine.

Great app but seems to be abandoned

This app did a fantastic job of controlling computer sleep. It’s really “should I stay awake” since for best results you set the computer to sleep in 1 or 2 minutes and Should I Sleep keeps it awake.

However there are problems — the links to the authors website and support are broken. The app hasn’t been updated in two years. It silently crashes randomly under Yosemite or El Capitan. I’m also unsure how great it is on newer Macs that no longer have the time-to-sleep setting in preferences.

Basically, I can no longer recommend this app.

Should I Sleep
View in Mac App Store
  • $1.99
  • Category: Utilities
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.8.4
  • Size: 3.7 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:

Compatibility: OS X 10.7.3 or later, 64-bit processor

Customer Ratings

Current Version:
All Versions:

Top In-App Purchases

  1. All Sensors + Future Additions$2.99
  2. Download Monitor$0.99
  3. Camera Motion Sensor$0.99
  4. Processor Usage$0.99
  5. External Display Sensor$0.99
  6. Sound Activity Sensor$0.99