Sleep is regulated by a homeostatic process which in the two-process model of human sleep regulation is represented by EEG slow-wave activity (SWA). Many studies of acute manipulation of wake duration have confirmed the precise homeostatic regulation of SWA in rodents and humans. However, some chronic sleep restriction studies in rodents show that the sleep homeostatic response, as indexed by SWA, is absent or diminishes suggesting adaptation occurs. Here, we investigate the response to 7 days of sleep restriction (6 h time in bed) and extension (10 h time in bed) as well as the response to subsequent total sleep deprivation in 35 healthy participants in a cross-over design. The homeostatic response was quantified by analyzing sleep structure and SWA measures. Sleep restriction resulted primarily in a reduction of REM sleep. SWA and accumulated SWA (slow-wave energy) were not much affected by sleep extension/restriction. The SWA responses did not diminish significantly in the course of the intervention and did not deviate significantly from the predictions of the two-process model. The response to total sleep deprivation consisted of an increase in SWA, rise rate of SWA and SWE and did not differ between the two conditions. The data show that changes in sleep duration within an ecologically relevant range, have a marked effect on REM sleep and that SWA responds in accordance with predictions based on a saturating exponential increase during wake and an exponential decline in sleep of homeostatic sleep pressure during both chronic sleep restriction and extension.