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Can sleeping patterns be trained, or are they genetic? I read that a human needs to sleep at least 4 hours. Can sleeping time be reduced without having a negative impact?

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not really an answer, but this article about the myth of the 8-hour sleep was quite interesting! bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16964783 –  Luke May 29 '12 at 8:17
    
a related question: biology.stackexchange.com/questions/2025/… –  Michael Kuhn May 30 '12 at 8:51
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Polyphasic sleep can allow people to sleep at multiple regular intervals throughout the day and allows people to get by with less total sleep. I don't know of any training that can help people reduce the amount of monophasic sleep they need without a negative impact.

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