Information processing in the brain occurs through a hierarchy of temporal receptive windows (TRWs). Anesthetic drugs induce a reversible suppression of consciousness and thus offer a unique opportunity to investigate the state-dependence of TRWs. Here we demonstrate that sedation with propofol is accompanied by the prolongation of the brain’s intrinsic functional timescales, i.e. enlarged TRWs. This is accomplished by an increase of local and regional signal synchronization, which in turn disrupts information exchange among distant brain regions. Finally, we show that the brain’s information processing timescales exhibit distinct dynamic signatures in sedation, deep anesthesia, and disorders of consciousness.