Wakefulness is a condition of being alert, rather than sleepy. Last night's wakefulness might catch up with you later and make it hard to keep your eyes open during chemistry class.

A new baby's wakefulness, keeping them wide awake all night, usually results in exhausted parents. You can also use this noun for a kind of vigilance or alertness, sort of a figurative way of being awake: "The teacher's wakefulness meant that she noticed immediately if a student was falling behind or being bullied." The original meaning of wakeful, in fact, was "diligent," from an Old English root meaning "night watch."

Definitions of wakefulness
  1. noun
    a periodic state during which you are conscious and aware of the world
    “consciousness during wakefulness in a sane person is pretty well ordered and familiar”
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    awakening from sleep
    a period of sleeplessness
    type of:
    the state of remaining awake
    physical condition, physiological condition, physiological state
    the condition or state of the body or bodily functions
  2. noun
    the process of paying close and continuous attention
    wakefulness, watchfulness, and bellicosity make a good hunter”
    synonyms: alertness, vigilance, watchfulness
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    zealous vigilance
    type of:
    the faculty or power of mental concentration
  3. noun
    a temporary state in which you are unable (or unwilling) to sleep
    “accept your wakefulness and sleep in its own contrary way is more likely to come”
    synonyms: sleeplessness
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    drowsiness, sleepiness, somnolence
    a very sleepy state
    type of:
    temporary state
    a state that continues for a limited time
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