Sleep (眠り, Nemuri) is a recurring negative status ailment in the Dragon Quest series, which first appeared in the original game. A character or enemy that has been put to sleep will be unable to act until they are awakened. This also means that certain effects such as Forbearance and being psyched up will be cancelled if a character it put to sleep. The spells Snooze and Kasnooze are capable of inflicting sleep, as well as the Sweet Breath and Sleep Attack abilities.
At the beginning of each turn, a sleeping character or enemy has a chance of waking up on their own, with the chance increasing as each turn goes by. The effect can be cancelled if they are hit with a physical attack. Sleeping characters can also be awakened immediately with either the Cock-a-doodle-doo or Tingle spell, the Sobering Slap skill, or items such as the Wakerobin and Moonwort bulb in certain games.
In some games, the effect can be stacked and it is even possible to be put into a state of Deep Sleep (深い眠り, Fukai nemuri), increasing the amount of turns it takes to wake up.
In the original version of the game, a Snooze spell cast by an enemy will always work on the Hero, making it an especially dangerous status effect. No enemy in the game is completely immune to the effects of Snooze, and there is even a small possibility to put the Dragonlord to sleep. The Hero can also find the Faerie Flute hidden in the village of Kol, which has a chance of putting monsters to sleep. It will always work on the Golem that guards the walls of Cantlin.
- In remake versions of the game, the chance of the Hero waking up on his own will gradually increase per turn, with 25% on the first turn, 50% on the second turn, 75% on the third turn, and so on. For enemies, the chance of waking up is 0% on the first turn, 25% on the second turn, 50% on the third turn, and so on. Some enemies, particularly later on, are now immune to being put to sleep.
Sweet Breath and Sleep Attack make their first appearance in the series. Starting with this game, it is possible to awaken from sleep even on the turn it is inflicted, although the sleeping character or enemy won't be able to act on the turn they wake up. In the original version of the game, if a character has been put to sleep, they will take approximately 1.25 times more damage from normal attacks. This effect was removed in all remake versions of the game. Most bosses later in the game are now completely immune to being put to sleep.
Also, as paralysis did not exist yet, Man o' wars can instead put characters to sleep with their attacks. The Banishing bell accessory will reduce the accuracy of enemy sleep effects on characters from 3⁄8 (37.5%) to 3⁄32 (9.375%).
Cock-a-doodle-doo makes its first appearance in the series. Enemies that act twice per turn are capable of acting on their second turn when they wake up. Starting at level 3, Gadabouts have a chance to going to sleep on their own if they keel over. In the Game Boy Color version of the game, Ortega's Helm is the only piece of equipment in the game that will increase resistance against sleep.
Kasnooze makes its first appearance in the series and only affects a single enemy in this game. The Robe of serenity is also introduced, which halves the amount of damage a character takes if they are put to sleep or paralysed. The Dream blade sword has a chance of putting enemies to sleep with each attack or will cast Snooze when used as a tool.
Bedbugs have a chance to be asleep at the beginning of battle, while Rockbombs are always asleep when a battle starts. In a change from the previous game, enemies that act twice per turn will not be able to act at all on the turn that they wake up.
- Starting with remake versions of the game, sleeping characters now have a chance to wake up if they are attacked.
There are more monsters in this game that have a chance to be asleep at the start of battle, including Funghouls, Lazy eyes, and Wallop scallops. Notably, the superboss Estark is not completely immune to being put to sleep.
- In remake versions of the game, sleeping characters have a 50% chance of instantly waking up if they are attacked, while enemies have a 25% chance of waking up when attacked. Starting with the Sony PlayStation 2 version of the game, if a monster has been put to sleep, it will be shown in their polygon model.
In this game, Tingle now has the ability to awaken sleeping party members, replacing Cock-a-doodle-doo. This game also introduced the chance of a sleeping character or enemy waking up if they are hit with an attack. Gadabouts are able to learn the Nap skill, which lets them recover HP and MP on the field while walking, but will put them to sleep at the start of the next battle.
For the first time in the series, characters now have their own animations if they have been put to sleep. The Ring of awakening and Catholicon ring are accessories that make the wearer completely immune to sleep.
Due to the game's day-night cycle, certain monsters will be asleep at the start of battle if fought at night or early in the morning. In a change from the rest of the series, it is possible to awaken a sleeping character if they are targeted by a spell or breath attack.
As in the previous game, some monsters can be found asleep on the field in the middle of the night, while certain nocturnal monsters sleep during the day. If the player initiates a battle by slashing them, they will be awake at the start of the battle. In this game, there are only certain monsters bosses that are completely immune to sleep, and even metal slimes can be put to sleep. The Pep power Dirge of Dundrasil will always put an enemy to sleep unless they are immune. A sleeping character or enemy is unable to become confused or beguiled.
A sleeping blue dragon in Dragon Quest XI