How to use the Python Sleep function – with examples

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What is the Python Sleep method used for?

Python has a module named time that provides several useful functions such as the sleep function. The Python sleep function suspends the execution of a particular piece of code for a certain amount of time.



Since this is a built-in Python module to use our code all that we need to do is import that time module into our code. The specific syntax of using the Python sleep function is as shown below.  




The number of seconds that we want our code to sleep can be specified within the parentheses. The time specified can be a whole number integer as well as a floating-point number.  


python sleep

How to use the Python sleep method?

Now to explore the functionality of the Python sleep function we are going to use the print function to print statements. Using the Python sleep function we are going to delay the execution of the second print function by two seconds.




In the code snippet above the first print function prints the “Hello” statement right away while the second print function prints the second statement two seconds later.

This may be particularly useful when retrying some part of the code in order to establish its behaviour.  


python sleep

Countdown script with Python sleep() function

A slightly better illustration would be a countdown script that is going to count down 10 to 1. Now using the Python sleep function we are going to write the script in such a way that it counts down within the seconds that we are going to specify. 

We are going to use the for loop together with the range function from 1 to 11 since the range functions span from the first number up to but do not include the last number. However, since we want a countdown we are going to do a reverse range.




But what we can do is after we print the number, we can just do the time.sleep() function such that after one second the loop prints out one number at a time. We can also add a statement that is printed after the loop is done printing all the numbers.



This can also be used if we were trying to do a retry or request to a server or an API or maybe we just wanted to have a short break before the execution of each request so as to avoid reaching the maximum number of tries.

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