Back in 2019, The Pokemon Company announced Pokemon Sleep: a sleep tracking app to gamify good sleep habits and, I guess, use Pokemon to trick millennials into being functional adults. There’s been little word of it since that announcement, and in the meantime my sleep has somehow gotten even worse than it was, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel! Pokemon Sleep had a soft launch a couple of days ago, and New Zealand is one of the lucky nations included.
In essence, uses your phone to track your sleep patterns by monitoring you as you sleep. Sounds creepy? Perhaps, but from that it can get a pretty good estimation of how deeply you’re sleeping—dozing, snoozing, or slumbering—and serve up a report of your night’s sleep the next morning. It’s also got an optional bedtime reminder and alarm. You can also use the Pokemon GO + accessory instead of your phone, if you have one.
The Pokemon twist comes in how the app turns your sleep into a game. You’re cast as an assistant to a professor researching the ways Pokemon sleep, with the “Sleep score” you accumulate while you snooze causing Pokemon to show up around you the next morning, ready to be studied and befriended. There’s a Snorlax with a mysterious “Drowsy Power” involved (because of course there is), and you can strengthen it—and your sleep scores—by feeding it berries and other food throughout the day.
There’s not much more to it than that. Filling out a “Sleep Style Dex” is the overarching goal, and you can earn and/or buy items that help towards that end, like incenses that increase the chance of rare Pokemon showing up overnight. Largely, though, it’s a passive game that you play by sleeping, with a little bit of Pokemotivation (sorry) to help encourage consistent bed times, longer sleep, and better rest.
Pokemon Sleep is available now for Android and iOS in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Latin America, and Europe, with plans to release it elsewhere later this month.