Objective To gain insight in the underlying mechanism of reduced levels of consciousness due to hypoactive delirium versus recovery from anesthesia, we studied functional connectivity and network topology using electroencephalography (EEG). Methods EEG recordings were performed in age and sex-matched patients with hypoactive delirium (n = 18), patients recovering from anesthesia (n = 20), and non-delirious control patients (n = 20), all after cardiac surgery. Functional and directed connectivity were studied with phase lag index and directed phase transfer entropy. Network topology was characterized using the minimum spanning tree (MST). A random forest classifier was calculated based on all measures to obtain discriminative ability between the three groups. Results Non-delirious control subjects showed a back-to-front information flow, which was lost during hypoactive delirium (p = 0.01) and recovery from anesthesia (p < 0.01). The recovery from anesthesia group had more integrated network in the delta band compared to non-delirious controls. In contrast, hypoactive delirium showed a less integrated network in the alpha band. High accuracy for discrimination between hypoactive delirious patients and controls (86%) and recovery from anesthesia and controls (95%) were found. Accuracy for discrimination between hypoactive delirium and recovery from anesthesia was 73%. Conclusion Loss of functional and directed connectivity were observed in both hypoactive delirium and recovery from anesthesia, which might be related to the reduced level of consciousness in both states. These states could be distinguished in topology, which was a less integrated network during hypoactive delirium. Significance Functional and directed connectivity are similarly disturbed during a reduced level of consciousness due to hypoactive delirium and sedatives, however topology was differently affected.