Moshi: Sleep & Mindfulness is what you get when you combine the meditation app Calm with the beloved virtual pets of Moshi Monsters. Meant to be played after the lights go out, the app’s audio-only stories are designed to help kids ages 4 to 9 fall asleep faster—and give parents back a few precious moments of their evening.
“We were hearing more and more anecdotal information about kids struggling to sleep at night,” says Calm cofounder Michael Acton Smith. After seeing success with Calm’s Sleep Stories—a series of snooze-inducing bedtime tales for adults—he brought the idea for a crossover to Moshi Monsters’ developer, Mind Candy, a company Smith also founded.
Mind Candy created new characters for the app: The Sleepies, as they’re called, include Little Bo Nap the Sleepy Sheepy, Nodkins the Bedtime Bunny, Professor Feathersnooze, the Owl of Nod, and many more snoozy friends.
“There’s some light science behind it,” says Ian Chambers, CEO of Mind Candy. “Most stories have a start, middle, and end, but that’s not great for sending kids to sleep as they’re waiting for the ending. These stories take you through the different stages of sleep and then stimulate the right brain waves with different kinds of content.”
Ranging from 15 to 20 minutes long, the tales start with an engaging beginning set to music. As they progress, however, the storytelling slows down, often ending with several minutes of solo music. “Mr. Snoodle’s Twilight Train,” for example, features a train sound that matches the rhythm of a child’s resting heart rate.
Chambers tested the prototype with his family. “My daughter loved the story, and it made her fall asleep,” he says. “I thought, ‘This is a miracle.’”
If you're concerned Moshi will replace that crucial family bonding time before bed, Chambers wants to assure you: It won’t.
“We read to our children every night,” he says, “but there’s a fidgety period after you turn the lights out and you end up holding their hand, they get up, ask to go to the loo seven times.”
Even reducing that by 10 minutes would make a difference in most parents’ lives, he says. “Our goal is to help parents have more time.”