Embodiments herein include a method implemented by a wireless device for detecting requests to connect to a wireless communications network. The method includes determining a receiver sensitivity that is sufficient, given channel conditions at the device, for the device to detect connection requests. The method then entails dynamically selecting, from among different receiver sensitivity configurations of the device, a configuration that has a receiver sensitivity at least as good as the determined sensitivity and that has less energy consumption than at least one other configuration. Finally, the method includes using the selected configuration for request detection. A wireless device herein thereby reduces its energy consumption when it is disconnected from the network, but intelligently limits the extent of that energy consumption reduction in order to maintain an ability to detect network connection requests.