"Kannst du nicht schlafen?"
Translation:Can you not sleep?
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I agree with you. Can someone kindly explain what does really the sentence "Kannst du nicht schlafen" mean?
(1) Is one asked if he is able (and ready) to spend a certain period without sleeping (e.g. in order to work extra time urgently) (2) or the querist wonders about one's possible problems with sleeping (e.g. insomnia)?
In Russian it sounds: (1) Можешь ли ты не спать? or Ты можешь не спать? (2) Ты не можешь спать (заснуть)? And these are quite different meanings.
In English, "can" normally refers to ability. If a person cannot sleep, that means something is wrong, something removed his ability to sleep, as in your (2). Your (1) is more like "Will you not sleep?" or "Won't you sleep?" - asking if it is the person's intention to stay awake.
Other ideas by me: Kannst du die Nacht durchmachen?/Kannst du auf bleiben?/Kannst du wach bleiben?(Can you stay awake?) Even Kannst du nicht schlafen? but then stressed on the "nicht" and with a short break between "du" and "nicht". So you won't write it.
Referring to your second sentence I would say it without "können", just: "Kommst du ohne Schlaf aus?" It is not wrong, but in language shorter is usually better. The verb "auskommen"(google: "get by") already contains the aspect of possibility. Other word: zurechtkommen (speak like: zu Recht kommen). means the same.