“Should I sleep or hibernate my computer?” is probably the second most asked question in the world, right behind “What is the meaning of life?” The second question might be easier to answer, but we will try an unravel the mystery and confusion of Sleep, Hibernating and Hybrid power options for your computer. Back in the day (a few years ago) computers would virtually stay on forever at full power mode until monitors burned in and computer burst into flames. Modern desktops and laptops now have power options for everyone’s needs. Pick what works best for your workflow and apply it.
Sleep is a power-saving state that allows a computer to quickly come back up to full-power within a couple of seconds. Putting your computer into the sleep state is like pausing a movie—the PC immediately stops what it’s doing and is ready to resume again when you want to continue working.
Hibernation is a power-saving state for laptops. While sleep puts your work and settings in memory and draws a small amount of power, hibernation saves your work and then turns off your computer. Hibernation uses the least amount of power.
On a laptop, use hibernation when you know you’re going to be away from the laptop for an extended period of time to save all of the battery power you possibly can.
Hybrid sleep is designed for desktop computers and is a combination of sleep and hibernate. It puts open documents and programs in memory and on your hard disk, then puts your computer into a very low-power state so that you can quickly resume your work. When hybrid sleep is turned on, putting your computer into sleep automatically puts your computer into hybrid sleep. Hybrid sleep is typically turned on by default.
Tweaking your power saving options can help you save money and extend the life of your computer. Some computers might have problems waking up from sleep and hibernation mode. Changing some of the settings might help bring the computer back up faster. You should still reboot your computer every couple of days to refresh your memory, but leaving your computer in low power mode overnight is fine.