During sleep, the mammalian CNS undergoes widespread, synchronized slow wave activity (SWA) that directly varies with prior waking duration (Borbely, 1982;Dijk et al., 1990a). When sleep is restricted, an enhanced SWA response follows in the next sleep period. The enhancement of SWA is associated with improved cognitive performance (Huber et al., 2004c), but it is unclear either how the SWA is enhanced or whether SWA is needed to maintain normal cognitive performance. A conditional, CNS knockout of the adenosine receptor, AdoA1R gene, shows selective attenuation of the SWA rebound response to restricted sleep, but sleep duration is not affected. During sleep restriction, wild phenotype animals, express a rebound SWA response and maintain cognitive performance in a working memory task. However, the knockout animals not only show a reduced rebound SWA response but they also fail to maintain normal cognitive function, although this function is normal when sleep is not restricted. Thus, AdoA1R activation is needed for normal rebound SWA, and when the SWA rebound is reduced, there is a failure to maintain working memory function suggesting a functional role for SWA homeostasis.