Humans sleep more then nearly any other creature (true sleep, not low-activity like cats and sloths), and are some of the only true sapient species on earth. Many other intelligent, or nearly sapient, species similarly have much higher degrees of sleep. Clearly we find sleep to be useful.
Of course, sleep has its downsides. we spend 1/3 of our life in a state where we can not do anything to take care of ourselves. While sleeping were not producing or finding food, nor are we raising young, finding mates, achieving dominance, higher social status, or more territory, or any of the other things that animals need to do for survival of the fittest. Plus were more vulnerable when asleep. Clearly if humans, or other sapience, could achieve our brain power without dedicating so much time to sleep this would be preferable. The question is rather or not we can.
Thus the question, Can a sapient species evolve that does not require sleep, or requires far less sleep?
Lets narrow the question scope some though, since I may ask follow up questions for certain aspects of sleep and don't want to repeat answers. For this questions I'm specifically looking at sleep as related to brain power alone (which probably means mostly REM parts of sleep). Sleep serves uses in physical healing and other functions as well, but there are other approaches to addressing the body maintenance aspect of sleep and I may ask about them in separate question. Feel free to touch on that aspect if relevant, but mostly I want to focus on just the part of sleep mandated by sapience.
I'm asking in terms of any species, not just species evolved on earth-like planets, this may include planets without a standard day-night structure. However, lets focus on species that would be at least recognizable to humans, carbon based, human-like sapience, basically not completely alien (yes I said not completely-alien aliens, I'm invoking some poetic license here; they need to be similar enough to earth species for audiences to be able to understand them).
I may ask a follow up question on what alternative sleep-like approaches may evolve in place of sleep, if something sleep-like is required, as a follow up question. For now I'm more focused on rather sleep specifically is required, or generally what parts of sleep may be required if not sleep specifically.