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How to level up and evolve Pokémon in Pokémon Sleep

Get more Skills by levelling up helpers.

Image credit: The Pokémon Company/Eurogamer

Pokémon Sleep offers a new way to build a collection of sleepy variations on our favourite Pokémon, but there are still familiar mechanics present for improving our little buddies' capabilities, even in a game designed around snoozing.

Although they're not used for battling, you still need to level up and evolve Pokémon in Pokémon Sleep so your helpers can get useful Skills, amongst other benefits.

Whether you're a snoozer, dozer, or slumberer, make the most of your naps by learning how to level up Pokémon in Pokémon Sleep, and how to evolve Pokémon.

On this page:

How to level up Pokémon in Pokémon Sleep

There are two ways to level up Pokémon in Pokémon Sleep:

  • Sleeping
  • Using Candy and Dream Shards


To level up a Pokémon by sleeping, you have to have that Pokémon in your current team before you start a sleep session. You can change your team by going to the 'Pokémon' menu on the bottom left-hand of the screen, then choose 'Edit Teams'.

Image credit: The Pokémon Company/Eurogamer

Pop the Pokémon you want to level up in your active team, and when you wake up and choose to end a sleep session, your helper will have gained some EXP and might level up!

You can also boost the EXP gained from sleeping by using items like Growth Incense.

Using Candy and Dream Shards

Image credit: The Pokémon Company/Eurogamer

For instant EXP gains, you can use Dream Shards with different types of Candy to level up in Pokémon Sleep instead. To level up this way, you first have to collect seven different Pokémon Styles. This unlocks the 'new way to raise Pokémon' reward that can be seen in the Sleep Style Dex Goal menu.

You unlock new Pokémon styles by completing sleep sessions to attract Pokémon and then feed them a biscuit to become friends. Certain Pokémon and their associated Styles are only available if you sleep one of the three ways: Snoozing, Dozing, or Slumbering.

Once you've collected seven Sleep Styles, you have to go to the 'Pokémon' menu, then 'Pokémon Box'. Select the Pokémon you want to improve and press 'Level Up'. You can then level up that Pokémon by using a combination of:

  • That Pokémon's Candy
  • Handy Candy
  • Dream Shards

Pokémon Candy

You get a Pokémon's specific Candy by collecting their different Styles after sleep sessions. The more of a particular Pokémon that appears, the more of their Candy you get.

There's also a chance you can get Candy by tapping your helper Pokémon on the main screen, although it's part of a loot pool that also contains ingredients and possibly more types of items.

Lastly, you can also get Candy by sending Pokémon back to Professor Neroli. Like transferring in Pokémon GO, this removes that Pokémon from your storage.

Handy Candy

Image credit: The Pokémon Company/Eurogamer

This is Pokémon Sleep's version of Rare Candy, meaning you can use Handy Candy on any Pokémon to level it up. Handy Candy comes in three sizes: S, M, and L - the bigger the Candy, the more EXP your helper Pokémon gets from it.

You can get Handy Candy by completing Missions, and by purchasing it from the Regular Exchange and Premium Exchange shops.

Dream Shards

Think of Dream Shards as Pokémon Sleep's version of Stardust in Pokémon GO. You need to use it with Candies to be able to level up a helper Pokémon. If you don't have enough Dream Shards, that Pokémon can't level up, even if you have lots of Candies.

Dream Shards are acquired after sleep sessions, by completing Missions, consuming Dream Cluster items, and selling ingredients. Dream Clusters can be obtained from places like bundles in the General Store, the Premium Exchange shop, and from the 'lavish rewards' given to Premium Pass subscribers every three months.

You can also use 'Luck Incense' to double the Dream Shards received after completing sleep research.

How to evolve Pokémon in Pokémon Sleep

Image credit: The Pokémon Company/Eurogamer

You need to level up Pokémon to specific levels and spend Candy to evolve them in Pokémon Sleep. Each Pokémon has a different level they evolve at, and some even require items such as evolution stones, King's Rock, and the Linking Cord.

These Evolution items are obtainable from the Regular Exchange shop by spending Sleep Points.

Additionally - although we haven't been able to confirm this ourselves yet - if a Pokémon had a happiness or steps requirement to evolve in the main series of games, then you might need to have that helper Pokémon in your team while sleeping for a set number of hours before they can evolve.

You can check to see what level and Candy requirements you need to evolve a particular Pokémon by selecting the 'Evolve' button right next to the 'Level Up' button in the 'Pokémon Box' menu.

Once you meet the requirements, you can then use this evolution menu to evolve your Pokémon.

Hope you're having fun in Pokémon Sleep!

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