Friday, September 29, 2023


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Restless Mac Syndrome

Ventura's hourly wakes led me to discover something far far worse.

Friday, September 29, 2023 - Sam Rowlands

Hat tip to @Jeff_Tullin for the name inspiration. While researching the Ventura hourly wake issue, I accidentally stumbled onto this problem, which is potentially the worst sleep problem to date.

What is it

Restless Mac Syndrome is where the Mac wakes/sleeps every few seconds, resulting in 100s of wakes an hour. A typical Apple Silicon Mac will wake between 3.7 & 8 times an hour.

Restless Mac Syndrome only appears to affect Apple Silicon based Macs.


In general, attempting to make the Mac sleep all the way through without any insomnia. Because this issue is inconsistent and the lack of data, I've not been able to narrow much further.

I believe this is a bug in the macOS, or the PMU. Because of inconsistency, wakeType not being specified, and none of the wake scheduling values appear to exist (kIOPMSettingAutoWakeSecondsKey, kIOPMSettingAutoWakeCalendarKey, kIOPMSettingMaintenanceWakeCalendarKey & kIOPMSettingDebugWakeRelativeKey).

Without a working Intel Mac, I have been unable to confirm if these keys are simply not present on ARM or no longer used by the macOS.



This issue has also highlighted a problem in Sleep Aid that I'm current investigating. The darkwake durations DO NOT tally up with the CPU time, in this case the difference can be as much 8 hours.