There have been many studies on sleep deprivation. A small amount will affect your ability to communicate with language and remember things. Long term sleep deprivation has been associated with problems from Bipolar Disorder to the ability to heal.
You might experience something like the following:
- 24 hours — Mild delirium, mood swings and periods of intense sleepiness or activity
- 48 hours — Impaired coordination, hormonal changes and decreased general memory function, but improved short-term memory (according to at least one study)
- 72 hours — Visual hallucinations and unintentional periods of “microsleep” (a few seconds to a minute of blacking out)
- 100+ hours — Re-enactment of Fight Club
- 11+ days — Win the prize for longest period a human has voluntarily gone without sleep (current holder is one Randy Gardner)
- 2+ weeks — Some chance of death. Experiments with rats showed that they died after 2-4 weeks of researchers keeping them awake in an experimental setting, probably from hypermetabolism
- 6+ months — Certain death; staying awake this long is only associated with rare disorders like Fatal familial insomnia
In other words; you need to sleep! But you can train yourself to be healthy with less.
Though, I do not understand how anyone would not want to enjoy some shut-eye. Sleep is like plugging your body into a battery charger.