Putting the insomniac Mac to sleep: help is at hand

When answering questions from Mac users, those that I dread most concern sleep. Until fairly recently, the most common of those problems was Macs suffering a kernel panic when trying to wake up; in many cases, the solution is frustratingly simple, as there was a bug in that model’s firmware, and only Apple could solve that.

Lately, many Macs simply won’t stay asleep. When their user opens them up in the morning ready for a day’s work, the battery is flat, requiring that day to be rescheduled around the availability of mains power. This is particularly frustrating with new Apple silicon models, which should enjoy prolonged battery endurance, if only you can get them to stay asleep the whole night.

While there are some instant answers, like magnetic fields from adjacent iPad cases and incompletely closed lids, which can account for Mac notebooks waking when they should be asleep, diagnosing the great majority has been almost impossible. Without trawling through thousands of log entries during the previous night, it’s very difficult to guess what has been causing this insomnia.

I’m delighted to report a new app, available from today, to chart your Mac’s activity over the previous couple of weeks, highlighting when it wakes, so helping you discover why. Sleep Aid from Ohanaware looks to be everything you could possibly need to diagnose and fix an over-wakeful Mac whose insomnia keeps flattening its battery overnight.

Among the tools provided in addition to its Sleep History chart are:

  • Sleep Check, which reveals settings and apps preventing sleep.
  • Better Sleep Controller, which can disable some system services to help sleep start and be maintained.
  • The ability to disable Bluetooth during sleep, so preventing devices like headphones from waking the Mac.
  • Sleep Settings, which extends those provided in System Preferences.

Sleep Aid is compatible with macOS 10.13.6 and later, and with both Intel and Apple silicon models. It’s now available from here, as a 14-day free trial if you prefer to try before buying. Ohanaware has generously given readers of this blog an extra $5 off its launch promotion price: to take advantage of this, use the coupon code eclecticlight when buying your licence.

I have just downloaded my own copy, and will be reviewing it in depth here next week.

If you develop in Xojo and don’t already use Ohanaware’s products, take a look at its front page.

I wish Joy and Sam of Ohanaware every success with this new app, and hope it ends my sinking feeling of dread when I’m asked why someone’s Mac notebook keeps flattening its battery overnight.