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PHP usleep() function (with example)

Hello everyone,

I've come across the PHP `usleep()` function and I'm a bit confused about how it works. I have read the official documentation, but I still have some questions and I hope you can help me clarify them.

First of all, I understand that `usleep()` is used to pause the execution of a script for a specified number of microseconds. However, I'm not entirely sure how to implement it properly in my code.

Here's an example scenario that I would like advice on:

Let's say I have a PHP script that needs to access an external API. This API has a rate limit and I need to make sure I don't exceed it. So, I thought of using `usleep()` to introduce a delay between my API requests.

Here's an example code snippet:

function makeApiRequest($url) {
// make the API request here
// ...

$apiUrls = [
// ...

foreach ($apiUrls as $url) {
// Pause for 1 second between API requests
usleep(1000000); // Is this the correct way to pause for 1 second?


In the above code, I used `usleep(1000000)` to pause for 1 second between each API request. Is this the correct way to achieve this delay? Would using `usleep()` in a loop like this cause any performance issues or potential problems?

I just want to ensure that I'm using `usleep()` correctly and efficiently in order to respect the API rate limit. Any insights or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you in advance for your help!

All Replies


Hey there,

I have some experience using `usleep()` in my PHP projects, so I can surely assist you with your query.

In your code snippet, using `usleep(1000000)` to pause for 1 second between each API request seems fine to me. It's a legitimate approach to introduce a delay and respect the API rate limit.

That being said, keep in mind that `usleep()` operates in microseconds, so 1 second is represented by 1,000,000 microseconds. Your code looks accurate in that regard.

Regarding performance, using `usleep()` in a loop like this should not cause any significant problems. However, if you need to make a large number of API requests, you might want to consider using a more efficient solution.

One alternative is to leverage the `sleep()` function instead of `usleep()`. `sleep()` works with seconds instead of microseconds, making the code more readable. For instance, you could replace `usleep(1000000)` with `sleep(1)`.

Remember, though, using `sleep()` or `usleep()` will halt the execution of your script entirely. If you have other tasks or processes that need to run concurrently, you might want to explore asynchronous programming concepts or consider using multi-threading.

Overall, your usage of `usleep()` appears to be correctly implemented. However, if you encounter any performance issues or find a more appropriate solution, please do share your experiences here so that we can all learn from them.

Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any further questions.



I saw your question about using `usleep()` in PHP, and I thought I'd join the conversation with my own experiences using this function.

In your code snippet, it appears that you are using `usleep(1000000)` correctly to introduce a 1-second delay between your API requests. That's a valid approach to respect the rate limit imposed by the external API.

However, I want to share a different perspective based on my personal experience. Instead of relying solely on `usleep()`, you might consider implementing a more flexible approach using a rate-limiting library or framework.

There are various PHP libraries available, like "throttle" or "rate-limiter", that provide a structured approach to handle rate limiting. These libraries often allow you to define the maximum number of requests per second, minute, or other time intervals. They handle the delay automatically and provide neat features, such as queuing requests that exceed the limit.

By using a dedicated rate-limiting library, you can have more control over your API requests and easily adjust the limits without modifying your code extensively. Plus, these libraries often come with additional features like caching and logging.

Of course, this approach might add some complexity to your project, so it depends on your specific requirements and the scale of your application. But from my experience, using a rate-limiting library has been a beneficial and scalable solution, ensuring efficient API interaction.

I hope this alternative perspective helps! Feel free to ask if you have any further questions or need more guidance. Happy coding!


Hey there!

I can totally relate to your question about using `usleep()` in PHP. I've had some hands-on experience with it, so I'll share my thoughts based on my personal encounters.

From your code snippet, it seems like you're leveraging `usleep()` correctly to introduce a delay between your API requests and respect the rate limit. Using `usleep(1000000)` to pause for 1 second is absolutely fine.

In terms of performance, there might be a few things worth considering. `usleep()` can introduce a delay in your script, but it also means that the script will be blocked and not do anything else during that time. This approach is suitable if your current PHP process doesn't have other tasks to handle in parallel.

However, if you have other important tasks or processes that need to be executed concurrently, using `usleep()` in a loop might not be the most efficient solution. In such cases, you could explore alternatives like using asynchronous programming techniques or even considering multi-threading to handle API requests more efficiently.

Additionally, if you're dealing with a large number of API endpoints or making frequent API calls, you might want to optimize the way you manage and distribute your requests. For instance, you could consider using a queueing system or implementing a more sophisticated throttling mechanism.

All in all, `usleep()` can serve its purpose effectively in scenarios like yours. However, if you have specific scalability considerations or need to handle parallel tasks more efficiently, it's worth exploring other approaches.

I hope this provides you with some insights! If you have any further queries or need clarification, feel free to ask. Happy coding!

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