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Medium access control MAC layer plays an important role for energy management in wireless sensor network (WSN). In this paper we present an adaptive wake-up-interval scheme for preamble sampling (MAC) protocols for variable traffic in WSN. The wake-up-interval is updated based on the traffic status register (whose contents depend on the presence of messages for a particular node). The proposed algorithm considers dominant effect of recent traffic with regards to the old traffic and also it relies on the occurrence of consecutive data packets. The results show that the sensor node adapts and converges its wake-up-interval to the best trade-off value for fixed and variable traffic patterns. Two optimization parameters (length of traffic status register and initial wake-up-interval value) are also tuned to achieve fast convergence speed for different traffic rates and variations.