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A sensor net consists of tiny devices with severe energy constraints. Employing energy efficient, sensor-specific MAC protocols is of necessity for sensor nets, and such protocols have been proposed in the literature. Sensor MAC protocols introduce sleep in sensor nodes to conserve energy and the impact of sleep on protocol performance needs a detailed investigation. In this paper, we quantify the effect of sleep on protocol performance through queueing analysis and simulation. Results demonstrate quantitatively the tradeoff between energy consumption and average latency in sensor MAC protocols.