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Turning my pi on I am able to connect with ssh pi@192.168.1.20 as normal. If I leave the Pi idle for some time I am unable to ping from another computer on my LAN.

If I open the local terminal on the Pi and enter sudo ping google.com, I am able to SSH again while the ping is running.

Is there an idle mode or similar that is kicking in which is preventing me from connecting?

EDIT: I am using a Pi 3 model B

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As @Dev_Man pointed out, I believe your wifi dongle is turning itself off after some time of inactivity. To make sure that this indeed is the problem, type this into your raspberry pi terminal :

iwconfig 

If you can see "Power Management : On" somewhere in the output, then you can confirm that this indeed is the problem. Follow these steps to fix it :

1)Open /etc/network/interfaces :

nano /etc/network/interfaces

2)Add the following lines anywhere on the file :

wireless-power off

3)Save the file and close :

Press Ctrl + O and answer Y and press enter. Then, Ctrl + X and answer Y if prompted and enter.

4)Restart networking :

service networking restart

Then do iwconfig to make sure that "Power Mangement:Off" is shown.

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In case you are using wifi adapter to connect, that needs power management. It becomes idle and doesn't work as expected. Can you tell more about whether its wifi or ethernet and the drivers in case it is wifi.

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