The AP-2 transcription factor APTF-1 is crucially required for developmentally controlled sleep behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans larvae. Its human ortholog, TFAP-2beta, causes Char disease and has also been linked to sleep disorders. These data suggest that AP-2 transcription factors may be highly conserved regulators of various types of sleep behavior. Here, we tested the idea that AP-2 controls adult sleep in Drosophila. Drosophila has one AP-2 ortholog called TfAP-2, which is essential for viability. To investigate its potential role in sleep behavior and neural development, we specifically downregulated TfAP-2 in the nervous system. We found that neuronal TfAP-2 knockdown almost completely abolished night sleep but did not affect day sleep. TfAP-2 insufficiency affected nervous system development. Conditional TfAP-2 knockdown in the adult also produced a modest sleep phenotype, suggesting that TfAP-2 acts both in larval as well as in differentiated neurons. Thus, our results show that AP-2 transcription factors are highly conserved regulators of development and sleep.