MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, abundant, non-coding RNA fragments that regulate gene expression and silencing at the post-transcriptional level. The miRNAs each control various downstream targets and play established roles in different biological processes. Given that miRNAs were recently proposed to contribute to the molecular control of sleep–wake regulation in animal models and narcoleptic patients, we investigated the impact of acute sleep deprivation on blood miRNA expression in healthy adult men of two different age groups. Twenty-two young (mean age: 24 ± 3 years) and nine older (65 ± 1 years) volunteers completed a controlled in-lab study, consisting of 8 h baseline sleep, followed by 40 h of extended wakefulness, and a 10-h recovery sleep opportunity. At the same circadian time in all three conditions (at 4:23 p.m. ± 23 min), qPCR expression profiling of 86 miRNAs was performed in blood serum. Thirteen different miRNAs could be reliably quantified and were analyzed using mixed-model ANOVAs. It was found that miR-30c and miR-127 were reliably affected by previous sleep and wakefulness, such that expression of these miRNAs was upregulated after extended wakefulness and normalized after recovery sleep. Together with previous findings in narcolepsy patients, our preliminary data indicate that miR-30c and its target proteins may provide a biomarker of elevated sleep debt in humans.