Catching Z’s with Pokémon Sleep: How the new app combines gaming and health

Explore the innovative blend of gaming and health with Pokémon Sleep, diving into its unique features, benefits, and potential challenges.
snorlax and pikachu sleeping together

Last month, The Pokémon Company introduced Pokémon Sleep to the U.S., adding a touch of fun to the realm of sleep tracking. This app, announced in 2019 and experienced a four-year delay, has finally made its debut. By merging the captivating world of Pokémon with sleep science, the app offers entertainment and valuable health insights.

Pokémon Sleep is more than just a sleep-tracking app; it’s an experience. The premise is simple yet engaging: the better one sleeps, the more Pokémon they can catch. This gamification angle is not just for fun; it is designed to motivate users to prioritize their sleep and establish consistent bedtime routines.

The importance of sleep for mental and physical well-being is undeniable. Many individuals grapple with achieving a restful night’s sleep. By rewarding consistent bedtime habits in-game, the app aims to foster better sleep hygiene and heighten awareness about the importance of sleep.

Beyond just tracking, the app offers a comprehensive analysis of one’s sleep. Using the phone’s accelerometer, it detects movements during sleep, providing insights into different sleep stages. An added feature allows the app to record nighttime audio, offering a glimpse into potential disturbances like snoring.

For those who prefer not to keep their phone close at night, The Pokémon Company offers a standalone item: the Pokémon Go Plus+. This device, humorously named because of the pre-existing Pokémon Go Plus, is a small pokéball with a button. Users can press the button to start or stop their sleep tracking. Inside the ball is a little Pikachu that can sing lullabies and even act as an alarm in the morning. The device is also compatible with Pokémon Go, allowing users to interact with pokéstops without using their phone. Pairing Pokémon Go Plus+ with either Pokémon Go or Pokémon Sleep offers special rewards in each game.

However, as with any innovation, there are challenges to consider. One concern is the potential dependency on technology. The allure of catching Pokémon might divert users from the app’s primary objective: genuine sleep improvement. Additionally, the thrill of the game might inadvertently prompt users to check their phones during the night, potentially disrupting their sleep cycle. While the app is free, it offers in-app purchases, which could lead to unexpected expenses for users. Furthermore, the Pokémon Go Plus+ peripheral retails for $55, which might be a consideration for budget-conscious users.

In wrapping up, Pokémon Sleep stands as a testament to the potential of technology to improve health in unconventional ways. Users, however, should approach with a discerning eye, balancing the game’s enjoyment with the overarching goal of improved sleep.

Next: Zygarde is coming to Pokémon GO with a new feature

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