A better understanding of sleep requires evaluating the distinct activity patterns of the brain during sleep. We performed extracellular recordings of large populations of hippocampal region CA1 neurons in freely moving rats across sleep and waking states. Throughout non-REM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep, we observed periods of diminished oscillatory and population spiking activity lasting on the order of seconds, which we refer to as ″LOW″ activity sleep states. LOW states featured enhanced firing in a subset of ″LOW-active″ cells, and greater firing in putative interneurons compared to DOWN/OFF states. LOW activity sleep was preceded and followed by increased sharp-wave ripple (SWR) activity. We also observed decreased slow-wave activity (SWA) and sleep spindles in the hippocampus local-field potential (LFP) and neocortical electroencephalogram (EEG) upon LOW onset, but only a partial rebound immediately after LOW. LOW states demonstrated LFP, EEG, and EMG patterns consistent with sleep, but frequently transitioned into microarousals (MAs) and showed EMG and LFP spectral differences from previously described small-amplitude irregular activity (SIA) during quiet waking. Their likelihood increased over the course of sleep, particularly following REM sleep. To confirm that LOW is a brain-wide phenomenon, we analyzed data from the entorhinal cortex of rats, medial prefrontal cortex, and anterior thalamus of mice, obtained from crcns.org and found that LOW states corresponded to markedly diminished activity simultaneously in all of these regions. We propose that LOW states are an important microstate within non-REM sleep that provide respite from high-activity sleep, and may serve a restorative function.