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In wireless communications, a sleep mode is commonly used to save power for mobile stations (MS). When there is no traffic to transmit, an MS periodically switches to sleep mode. Obviously, the performance of a power-saving mechanism depends on its sleep mode scheduling algorithm and the traffic characteristics of the user. In real systems, the power-saving mechanism of IEEE802.11 WLAN uses a constant sleep interval, and the IEEE802.16e WMAN adopts one with truncated exponentially extending sleep intervals denoted by PS-16, which contains constant sleep intervals as special cases. The two mechanisms are compared, resulting in the, finding that in the case of Poisson traffic, they have the same performance; whereas in the case of non-Poisson traffic PS-16 has better performance. For non-Poisson traffic, the performance of PS-16 lacks a closed form expression, which makes its design challenging. The authors propose to approximate the idle durations of an MS by hyper-exponentials, based on which an online sleep mode scheduling algorithm is developed. Numerical examples are provided to illustrate the efficiency of the proposed algorithm.