Regional differences in EEG slow wave activity (SWA) during sleep after sleep deprivation (SD) may be a consequence of differential metabolic activation of cortical areas. We investigated the relationship between the regional EEG dynamics and 2-deoxyglucose (DG) uptake after SD in mice. Six hours' SD were combined with natural unilateral whisker stimulation in an enriched environment to selectively activate the barrel cortex and motor areas. As expected, an interhemispheric asymmetry of 2-DG uptake was found in the barrel cortex immediately after SD. To test whether sleep contributes to recovery of the asymmetry, the stimulation was followed by either undisturbed sleep or by an additional SD. The asymmetry vanished after recovery sleep but also after the additional period of wakefulness without stimulation. In addition, relative 2-DG uptake in the primary motor cortex and retrosplenial area was significantly higher immediately after the SD than after the additional sleep or wakefulness, whereas no other region differed between the groups. Whisker stimulation elicited a greater increase in EEG SWA during non rapid eye movement sleep in the stimulated hemisphere than in the control hemisphere; this increase lasted for 10 h. Within a hemisphere, the initial increase in SWA was higher in the frontal than in the parietal derivation. We conclude that the regional SWA differences during sleep are use-dependent and may be related to the regional pattern of metabolism during the previous waking episode. However, the regional metabolic recovery is not dependent on sleep, and is not directly reflected in changes in SWA during sleep.