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"I think we could solve our problems more easily through strength of character; but that's always been a commodity in extremely short supply."
- Gregory Benford

Morphogen  
  A drug that party relieves the need for sleep.  

"A hundred thousand miles of blood vessels. You see very little of it now; most of it is microscopic and won't be visible to you without considerable magnification, but put it all together in a single line and it would go four times around the Earth or, if you prefer, nearly half-way to the Moon. -Have you had any sleep, Grant?"

"About six hours. I napped on the plane, too. I'm in good shape."

"Good, you'll have a chance to eat and shave and tend to other such matters if necessary. I wish I had slept." He held up a hand as soon as he had said that. "Not that I'm in bad shape. I'm not complaining. Have you ever taken a morphogen?"

"Never heard of it. Is it some kind of drug?"

"Yes. Relatively new. It's not the sleep you need, you know. One doesn't rest in sleep to any greater extent than one would by stretching out comfortably with the eyes open. Less, maybe. It's the dreams we need. We've got to have dreaming time, otherwise cerebral coordination breaks down and you begin to have hallucinations and, eventually, death."

"The morphogen makes you dream? Is that it?"

"Exactly. It knocks you out for half an hour of solid dreaming and then you're set for the day. Take my advice, though, and stay away from the stuff unless it's an emergency."

"Why? Does it leave you tired?"

"No. Not particularly tired. It's just that the dreams are bad. The morphogen vacuums the mind; cleans out the mental garbage-pit accumulated during the day; and it's quite an experience. Don't do it. -But, I had no choice. That map had to be prepared and I spent all night at it."

From Fantastic Voyage (Novel), by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Bantam in 1966
Additional resources -

Robert Heinlein's 1941 story Methuselah's Children has a reference to a "sleep surrogate" that you could take in the morning after an inadequate night's sleep. Also, see the article for A-som, anti-somnolence drugs mentioned in Paul Di Filippo's 2006 story Shuteye for the Timebroker; this story examines what it would be like to eliminate sleep.

Thanks to David K.M. klaus for pointing this out.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Fantastic Voyage (Novel)
  More Ideas and Technology by Isaac Asimov
  Tech news articles related to Fantastic Voyage (Novel)
  Tech news articles related to works by Isaac Asimov

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