The aim of the present study was to verify the effects of pre- or post-training paradoxical sleep (PS) deprivation in mice tested in the passive and the plus-maze discriminative avoidance tasks. Three-month-old Swiss male mice were placed in narrow platforms in a water tank for 72 h to prevent the occurrence of PS. Control animals were kept in the same room, but in their home cages. Before or after this period, the animals were submitted to the training session of one of the behavioral tasks. The test sessions were performed 3 and 10 days after the training. The animals that were PS-deprived before the training session showed retention deficits in the test sessions performed 3 days later in both tasks (decreased latency to enter the dark chamber of the passive avoidance apparatus or increased percent time spent in the aversive arm of the plus-maze discriminative avoidance apparatus). Animals that were PS deprived after the training session showed no differences from control animals in the test sessions performed 3 days after the training in any of the tasks, but showed passive and discriminative avoidance retention deficits in the test performed 10 days after the training. The results suggest that both pre- and post-training paradoxical sleep deprivation produce memory deficits in mice. However, these effects have different temporal characteristics.