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Definition of Homeostatic Sleep Drive

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Updated February 19, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition: This refers to the desire to sleep that gradually increases with prolonged wakefulness. It is lessened during sleep. This equilibrium is one of the primary determinants of sleep.
Also Known As: Sleep debt, Sleep load
Examples:
If one stays up for 3 days, the homeostatic sleep drive will cause profound sleepiness.
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