Previous studies have shown that healthy anatomical as well as functional brain networks have small-world properties and become less optimal with brain disease. During sleep, the functional brain network becomes more small-world-like. Here we test the hypothesis that the functional brain network during wakefulness becomes less optimal after sleep deprivation (SD). Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded five times a day after a night of SD and after a night of normal sleep in eight young healthy subjects, both during eyes-closed and eyes-open resting state. Overall synchronization was determined with the synchronization likelihood (SL) and the phase lag index (PLI). From these coupling strength matrices the normalized clustering coefficient C (a measurement of local clustering) and path length L (a measurement of global integration) were computed. Both measures were normalized by dividing them by their corresponding C-s and L-s values of random control networks. SD reduced alpha band C/C-s and L/L-s and theta band C/C-s during eyes-closed resting state. In contrast, SD increased gamma-band C/C-s and L/L-s during eyes-open resting state. Functional relevance of these changes in network properties was suggested by their association with sleep deprivation-induced performance deficits on a sustained attention simple reaction time task. The findings indicate that SD results in a more random network of alpha-coupling and a more ordered network of gamma-coupling. The present study shows that SD induces frequency-specific changes in the functional network topology of the brain, supporting the idea that sleep plays a role in the maintenance of an optimal functional network. Hum Brain Mapp, 2013. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.