Sleep deprivation, whether it occurs over the short or long term, can lead to some characteristic symptoms. These resulting symptoms may range from the relatively expected and commonplace, such as sleepiness, to somewhat more serious complaints of hallucinations and memory problems.
Before exploring these symptoms, it is important to understand that the degree of severity will depend on two factors. First, you will obviously suffer more from symptoms of sleep deprivation the longer the time that you spend awake. As an example, staying up an extra hour to watch your favorite television show is far different from getting only four hours of sleep. This may be especially true if the sleep deprivation occurs night after night or if it becomes extreme (such as "pulling an all-nighter").
Secondly, the intensity of your symptoms will vary depending on your circadian clock. Therefore, the symptoms of sleep deprivation will seem much more pronounced during times when you should naturally be asleep.
Explore some of the common symptoms of sleep deprivation, and you may recognize complaints that might encourage you to get the sleep that you need.