Although repeated selective rapid eye movement (REM) sleep deprivation by awakenings during nighttime has shown that the number of sleep interruptions required to prevent REM sleep increases within and across consecutive nights, the underlying regulatory processes remained unspecified. To assess the role of circadian and homeostatic factors in REM sleep regulation, REM sleep was selectively deprived in healthy young adult males during a daytime sleep episode (7-15 h) after a night without sleep. Circadian REM sleep propensity is known to be high in the early morning. The number of interventions required to prevent REM sleep increased from the first to the third 2-h interval by a factor of two and then leveled off. Only a minor REM sleep rebound (11.6%) occurred in the following undisturbed recovery night. It is concluded that the limited rise of interventions during selective daytime REM sleep deprivation may be due to the declining circadian REM sleep propensity, which may partly offset the homeostatic drive and the sleep-dependent disinhibition of REM sleep.