In the framework of a selective sleep deprivation study, eight young men were repeatedly awakened during 3 nights from nonREM sleep (nonREMS). The mean number of awakenings per night was 27.4, 29.5 and 32.8. In order to avoid excessive suppression of slow wave sleep, no awakening occurred in the first nonREMS episode. Compared to baseline, cycle 2 was significantly prolonged in all 3 nights, and cycle 3 in night 3 only. However, after subtracting the waking intervals, the differences from baseline was eliminated. The results show that the mechanisms underlying sleep cycle control keep track of sleep time and disregard epochs of waking.