External monitor won't receive signal after display turns off

I have my laptop set to turn the screen off after an hour of unuse. I also have turned off sleep under power settings. However, when I go to bed at night, I close my laptop and turn off my external monitor. When I wake up and open my computer, I press a key to turn the screen on, but the external monitor doesn’t turn back on; it says “No signal”. Under display settings, the computer detects the monitor even in this state, and the only fix seems to be rebooting the computer.

Testing things now, I seem to be able to turn off and on the external monitor without incident as well as closing the laptop (when I close the laptop, the monitor says no signal, but moving the mouse wakes it up. This does NOT work when waking the computer up in the morning). However, if I close the laptop AND turn off the monitor, the issue presents itself. I would like to fix this without having to leave the laptop or monitor on/open, as I keep them right next to my bed and the light prevents sleep.

System info:
Laptop: Asus G73Sw
OS: OpenSUSE 12.3 64-bit (Linux 3.7.10-1.11-desktop Kernel)
Desktop: Gnome 3.6.2
Graphics: GeForce GTX 460M
Graphics Driver: Proprietary NVIDIA driver

Edit: It appears that putting the laptop to sleep before turning off the monitor and closing the laptop prevents my problem from occurring. I would stilll like to solve the issue, however.

Try this https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/517/caffeine/