How do you add a timed delay to a C++ program?


I am trying to add a timed delay in a C++ program, and was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on what I can try or information I can look at?

I wish I had more details on how I am implementing this timed delay, but until I have more information on how to add a timed delay I am not sure on how I should even attempt to implement this.

4/21/2009 5:34:52 PM

Accepted Answer

Win32: Sleep(milliseconds) is what you what

unix: usleep(microseconds) is what you want.

sleep() only takes a number of seconds which is often too long.

6/19/2015 12:49:19 AM

An updated answer for C++11:

Use the sleep_for and sleep_until functions:

#include <chrono>
#include <thread>

int main() {
    using namespace std::this_thread; // sleep_for, sleep_until
    using namespace std::chrono; // nanoseconds, system_clock, seconds

    sleep_until(system_clock::now() + seconds(1));

With these functions there's no longer a need to continually add new functions for better resolution: sleep, usleep, nanosleep, etc. sleep_for and sleep_until are template functions that can accept values of any resolution via chrono types; hours, seconds, femtoseconds, etc.

In C++14 you can further simplify the code with the literal suffixes for nanoseconds and seconds:

#include <chrono>
#include <thread>

int main() {
    using namespace std::this_thread;     // sleep_for, sleep_until
    using namespace std::chrono_literals; // ns, us, ms, s, h, etc.
    using std::chrono::system_clock;

    sleep_until(system_clock::now() + 1s);

Note that the actual duration of a sleep depends on the implementation: You can ask to sleep for 10 nanoseconds, but an implementation might end up sleeping for a millisecond instead, if that's the shortest it can do.

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