In a piece for the Atlantic, medical writer James Hamblin takes on some common questions about sleep like “How much sleep do I actually need?” and “Can I train myself to need less sleep?”

Since my residency, I’ve become sort of obsessive about sleep—how much we really need, how to optimize it, whether there are ways to game the system. What can be said definitively about sleep and wakefulness? What I’ve found is a perpetual divide between what’s known to scientists and what most people do.

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