JavaScript Sleep

This page describes a simple implementation of a sleep function in javascript.

Java has a Thread.sleep() functionality however there is nothing like this in javascript. In order to obtain this functionality you will need to create a custom function.

This is a simple way to implement a sleep function in JavaScript. It works by implementing an semi-infinite loop. In each iteration it checks and breaks out, if the difference in the start time and the current time is greater than the number of milliseconds specified as the argument.

function sleep(milliseconds) {
  var start = new Date().getTime();
  for (var i = 0; i < 1e7; i++) {
    if ((new Date().getTime() - start) > milliseconds){

Call the function like this:

sleep(1000); // sleep for 1 second

This is a form of busy waiting… But currently the only way. Please post a comment if you disagree.


2 Responses to “JavaScript Sleep”

  1. June 17, 2011 at 7:04 am

    I agree that this is a form of busy waiting… But, “currently the only way”

    JS is asynchronous, why fire a setTimeout(requiredFunc(), time);

    Better to call it later, than lock up the browser…

  2. 2 kanian77
    June 24, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I agree with vanitylicenseplate. JS being asynchronous, it provides functions such as setinterval and settimeout. Another way is to pass a function around to use as a callback in case the wait is for a function to complete. And as, said earlier sleep would lock the browser. Maybe we may get some kind of context if you share with us the reason why you needed the sleep function?

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