Pokémon Sleep?

Will the game help children catch sleep and 'em all?

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Will children be able to catch sleep - and 'em all - with Pokémon Sleep?

By Daniel J. McLaughlin

Pokémon Go helped trainers catch 'em all on their smartphones by walking - and the company behind the successful app now wants to gamify sleep.

Released next year, Pokémon Sleep will catch 'em all when users catch forty winks at night.

The new game has been described as a "parent's dream invention".

However, critics call gamifying sleep "fundamentally unethical".

The Claim

The Huffington Post's Mike Rampton asks whether Pokémon Sleep is "every parent's dream invention".

He writes: "Salvation may be on its way... in the unlikely but charming form of Pokémon.

"The gaming company has promised it will soon do for sleeping what they did for walking with Pokémon Go - gamifying it and making it newly exciting for children who would rather do almost anything else."

He calls Pokémon Go a "step forward" by making "screen-obsessed kids who would previously have balked at the idea of going for a walk" actually doing it.

With Pokémon Sleep, it will work like a sleep tracker app. Rampton adds: "If kids won’t stay in bed past six in the morning for Mummy and Daddy, maybe they’ll do it for Snorlax."

He concludes: "If it takes a bit of competitiveness and encouragement from a weird-ass blob thing to persuade a child to get a healthy night’s sleep - and let their parents get a few more minutes in bed - that’s probably not entirely a bad thing."

The Counterclaim

However, The Spinoff's Don Rowe is not a fan, arguing that "catching Pokémon while you sleep is gross and wrong".

He says that any attempt to commercialise and gamify sleep is "fundamentally unethical".

Rowe argues: "Unless you’re selling mattresses, you shouldn’t commercialise sleep.

"It doesn’t need gamifying, it doesn’t need achievements or progress meters or any number of psychological arm-twists - it’s one of the final places we have to ourselves free of a sales pitch."

He adds that the reward for sleep should not be a "shiny Snorlax" - it should be that the person is "well rested".

The Facts

Pokémon Sleep is set to be released in 2020.

It does, however, require a special device for it to work. The Pokémon Go Plus Plus is a Bluetooth-enabled sleep tracker that will transmit the child’s sleep data to a smartphone.

It could help British children get the sleep that they need - with many of them failing to get enough hours of shuteye during the night.

A third of primary school children (32 per cent) are not getting enough sleep, a new poll for the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) found. It also revealed that 70 per cent of secondary school pupils sleep for less than nine hours - the minimum they should get.

According to the NHS, five-year-olds - the starting age for primary school children - should get 11 hours of sleep at night. This decreases by 15 minutes for each year they grow older, stopping at nine hours of sleep for 14-year-olds and above.

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