This is an old article from the Harvard Business Review.
The general effect of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance is well-known: Stay awake longer than 18 consecutive hours, and your reaction speed, short-term and long-term memory, ability to focus, decision-making capacity, math processing, cognitive speed, and spatial orientation all start to suffer. Cut sleep back to five or six hours a night for several days in a row, and the accumulated sleep deficit magnifies these negative effects.
I knew sleep deprivation was bad but I didn’t realize how much it could snowball or that:
…24 hours without sleep or a week of sleeping four or five hours a night induces an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of .1%.
In an industry thriving on and praising all nighters it basically means people doing this are coding drunk. I’ve certainly been the person pulling all nighters and in fact the perceived dedication to the company for a few all nighters helped me earn a reputation as a hard worker and one who ‘gets it’. It is interesting to learn why I should never have done it.