One brand I didn’t expect to be brought up this morning, while looking around for fresh sleep-related stories in my capacity as TechRadar’s Sleep Editor, was Pokemon. I used to write about video games for a living, and back in the day I could throw an average Jigglypuff in the original. Game Super Smash Bros, but the actual Pokemon games have passed me by. however Pokemon Sleep It caught my attention this morning completely, and in a half-interesting, half-terrible way.
Let’s start with the basics: Pokemon Sleep It’s a sleep tracking app, but with Pokemon. You install the app on your iOS or Android device, and you put your phone to your headset when you go to sleep at night (or use Pokémon GO Plus +, an upcoming Bluetooth accessory); Pokemon Sleep then monitor your sleep throughout the night and, come morning, reward you with Pokémon depending on the quality and duration of your sleep.
It gets better (especially if you buy into the whole Pokémon thing): according to the Pokémon Company, the app will classify your sleep as one of three styles – dozing, snoozing or slumbering – and the Pokémon you find in the morning will be the ones that sleep in similar ways. And, amazingly, they will come and gather around Snorlax, the original sleepy Pokémon.
All of these sound fun, and I’ve already heard from one other gaming-oriented colleague who struggles to get a good night’s sleep and is very interested in Pokemon Sleep His offer is. He even mentioned the potential for sleep gambling – and that’s when I start to worry a little.
On the one hand, there’s the definite appeal of a fun alternative to the best sleep apps; one that rewards good sleep habits with delightful digital collectibles, and ultimately guides you to adopt a healthy sleep schedule. There is no argument.
On the other hand, I remember what happened when Pokémon GO it really started, with a lot of people flocking to random places – not always in the most obvious locations – in the hope of catching super rare Pokémon, and I can’t help but wonder what kind of strange and disturbing results it looks like Pokemon Sleep craze could inspire.
Because while The Pokémon Company’s promise to turn your sleep into entertainment feels pretty good – not to mention guaranteeing that waking up in the morning will be something to look forward to – I’m not sure, especially if kids are involved…
Imagine a younger player going to bed excited at the prospect of earning a new rare Pokémon in his sleep. They don’t sleep! As our article Why can’t I sleep when I’m tired? which explains, if you are mentally wired and you want to go to sleep, it will not happen. And to add insult to injury, after a sleepless night those babies would probably be rewarded in the morning with a dozing Magikarp (see, I know some Pokemon facts).
This explainer video suggests at least that much Pokemon Sleep It’s aimed squarely at adults (although, come on, kids are sure to be involved, aren’t they?). Another potential concern (and no age limit) is the whole ‘gotta catch ’em all’ aspect of Pokémon; does this mean you have to mess with your sleep patterns if you’re an obsessive gamer who needs to catch every one of them completely?
I can definitely relate to that, as my whole series of it Vampire survivors game achievements will attest. But I hope that Pokemon Sleep it is wired to account for that; he mentions that each Pokemon has several different sleep styles, so it seems like you’ll be able to collect the entire set eventually, just by sleeping.
It goes without saying that all sorts of fitness and health apps already use gamification techniques to motivate you to take action, so I think it ultimately sounds like an interesting (and let’s be honest, fun) approach to making sleep habits more better nurture; maybe it will make some gamers rushing out to equip themselves with the best mattress and best pillows to improve their sleeping arrangement and catch more Pokémon.
Pokemon Sleep is due to launch some time around June or July, so we’ll find out more then.