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It has been shown previously in Djungarian hamsters that the initial electroencephalography (EEG) slow-wave activity (power in the 0.5-4.0 Hz band; SWA) in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep following an episode of daily torpor is consistently enhanced, similar to the SWA increase after sleep deprivation (SD). However, it is unknown whether the network mechanisms underlying the SWA increase after torpor and SD are similar. EEG slow waves recorded in the neocortex during sleep reflect synchronized transitions between periods of activity and silence among large neuronal populations. We therefore set out to investigate characteristics of individual cortical EEG slow waves recorded during NREM sleep after 4 h SD and during sleep after emergence from an episode of daily torpor in adult male Djungarian hamsters. We found that during the first hour after both SD and torpor, the SWA increase was associated with an increase in slow-wave incidence and amplitude. However, the slopes of single slow waves during NREM sleep were steeper in the first hour after SD but not after torpor, and, in contrast to sleep after SD, the magnitude of change in slopes after torpor was unrelated to the changes in SWA. Furthermore, slow-wave slopes decreased progressively within the first 2 h after SD, while a progressive increase in slow-wave slopes was apparent during the first 2 h after torpor. The data suggest that prolonged waking and torpor have different effects on cortical network activity underlying slow-wave characteristics, while resulting in a similar homeostatic sleep response of SWA. We suggest that sleep plays an important role in network homeostasis after both waking and torpor, consistent with a recovery function for both states.