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are you talking about the "show processlist" command in MySQL?
if so, the sleep means the connection to the database is not processing but not yet freed. You should check your code to see if you are closing the connections correctly. the connections can also be there because you use pooling, so the system can reuse exist connnections.
I don't think sleeping processes will take up CPU, but if a large number of them don't eventually die, your MySQL will run out of avaliable connections.
if i kill mine, more just show up. are you supposed to close the db connection in your php file for these to stop showing up? there's no setting in mysql to automatically close connections after x number of seconds?