Michael Mosley tests the extraordinary claim that we might only need a few hours of sleep - if that - each night.
Having given up a medical profession because of his inability to function without sleep and, like the rest of us, anxious to squeeze more out of each day, Michael wants to see if there really is a cure for sleep.
He attempts to forego sleep for as long as possible, with the help of the world record-breaker for staying awake. He also meets a professor depriving human guinea pigs of sleep, and a scientist keeping flies awake for much longer, to discover if we need sleep at all. He visits Texas to speak with contenders in an annual sleep deprivation contest, and hears how it ended in tragedy.
Eventually he turns to prescription drugs, only to discover that they do not hold the cure for sleep that he had hoped for.