The 24-h sleep-wake cycle is one of the most prominent outputs of the circadian clock system. At the same time, changes in sleep-wake behavior feedback on behavioral and physiological circadian rhythms, thus altering the coordination of the body's clock network. Sleep and circadian rhythm disruption have similar physiological endpoints including metabolic, cognitive, and immunologic impairments. This raises the question to which extent these phenomena are causally linked. In this review, we summarize different physiologic outcomes of sleep deprivation and mistimed sleep and discuss the experimental evidence for a mediating role of the circadian clock machinery in this context.