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When my computer is sleeping it still plays the 'new mail' notification sound. Is there a way to disable this? It's quite annoying to hear it all night long.

I have my energy saving preferences to put hard disk to sleep after 3 hours.

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Are you sure your computer is sleeping? Neither display nor hard disk sleep are actual standby modes. – Daniel Beck Sep 18 '11 at 16:27

To start with, your Mac is not asleep. the is notorious for preventing sleep. However most sleep issues can be fixed by clearing the PRAM.

To clear the PRAM, power off the Mac - Then power it back on while holding Command+Option+P+R. Continue holding the keys until the Mac reboots itself again. With any luck this will allow your mac to sleep normally again.

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