As a Dr I can tell you that this has been accepted by scientific community, so it will affect on your brain, body physiology, metabolisms,behavior and even your gene expression.
Clearly, sleep is not only for the brain but also for the rest of the body.
and there is tons of articles in this field just search in PubMed.
For example read these may help you:
If you want to read just one article as your answer i recommend to read this one Metabolic Consequences in Humans of Prolonged Sleep Restriction Combined with Circadian Disruption examined healthy volunteers over a 29-day period. They were made to sleep less and at varying bedtimes; sleeping patterns similar to those experienced by shift-workers.
They found that the shift-like sleep patterns led to poorer glucose regulation and metabolism. The authors explained that eventually, over time, the raised risk of obesity and diabetes became apparent.
Review:The Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Hormones and Metabolism
Behavioral and psychophysiological correlates of irregularity in chronic sleep routine
(sleep irregularity effect on physiological arousal indexes, psychomotor performance and subjective mood )
Sleep disorders as core symptoms of depression
Effect of sleep deprivation on healing process
a review on cortisol level and sleep relation
review on sleep disturbance and suicide risk
Sleep deprivation Impact on cognitive performance
Effects of sleep deprivation on neural functioning: an integrative review
How sleep deprivation affects gene expression in the brain: a review of recent findings.
WebMD( interesting facts to read)
They are all valid scientific publication with standard experiments and a lot more articles that proves effect of sleep on behavior and health mental and physical.