Electroencephalograms (EEGs) of 14 normal subjects were recorded every 2 h during 38 h constant routines. Adjacent narrow frequency bands (NFB) with similar temporal trends were grouped into frequency clusters. Clusters I (2.00-7.75 Hz) and III (11.00-14.75 Hz) exhibited similar time courses which may reflect both the duration of time awake and a circadian modulation. Cluster II (8.00-10.75 Hz) was characterized by a time course similar to the circadian modulation of core body temperature. Cluster V (18.00-24.75 Hz) was correlated with subjective sleepiness and may reflect the increasing effort made by subjects to perform the task as sleep deprivation lengthened. Various NFB in the waking EEG may reflect different physiological mechanisms underlying variations in vigilance states.