Pokémon Sleep: the sleep incentive the nation’s children have been waiting for?
Following the recent announcement that giants of the video game world, Pokémon, are working on a brand new game which will reward players for the number of hours they sleep, schoolchildren everywhere could soon have a slightly different attitude to sleep.
Pokémon chiefs say that the new game, which is likely to launch in 2020, will not just be aimed solely at existing Pokémon fans, but at those who have an interest in sleep and maintaining a healthy lifestyle too.
Although further details on how the game will actually work are still yet to be revealed, what we do know is that information about how long users sleep for, and when they wake up will play a part, with Pokémon planning to ‘turn sleep into entertainment’.
Can tech affect my child’s sleep?
While introducing a game into the world of sleep may incentivise some, others fear that ‘rewarding’ sleep in such a way may potentially have a negative impact on children’s mental health, leaving them feeling stressed or anxious about not scoring enough ‘sleep points’.
Silentnight’s resident sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, believes that sleep problems often begin at a young age, and recommends that children aim for 10 hours sleep a night.
However despite this, research conducted by Silentnight and the University of Leeds shows that many schoolchildren are getting as little as seven hours a night – and while 10 hours may seem a lot, it may well be the best solution to addressing what some have described as the current ‘crisis’.
Should schools consider starting later to help children’s sleep?
Back in February, a petition calling for school days to begin at 10am instead of nine surpassed 180,000 signatures, with the Parliamentary Petitions Committee hearing evidence from more than 5,000 students, parents and teachers that teenagers need more sleep, and hence became the subject of parliamentary discussion.
At the time, those in favour of a permanent change to kids’ timetables said that an extra hour’s sleep in the morning could boost a child’s positivity, meaning they would be far more engaged when they arrived at school to start their day.
Commenting on the topic, Dr Nerina said: “Sadly, I’m not surprised by the impact lack of sleep is having on the nation’s children, and it is so important for parents to recognise how essential good, quality, restorative sleep is for them.
“Ten hours might seem a lot but children’s brains are constantly growing and developing, particularly at primary school age, and having time to rest and recover after a busy day at school is vital.
“Concentration and the ability to learn can be severely affected by lack of sleep. By establishing a regular sleep routine like this, the whole family will sleep better, perform better at school and work, and be happier and healthier as a result.”
With this in mind, could incentivising sleep with Pokémon rewards be the answer youngsters across the UK have been waiting for, or could ‘rewarding’ sleep potentially be disastrous for the mental health and wellbeing of the nation’s kids?
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