PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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When I was battling someone I used sleep powder and the affected poke woke up immediately and then I battled this person again and the poke woke up right away with one of the pokes and then another one in the same battle. Somebody please explain.

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Sleep Powder just causes sleep, and sleep can last from 1-3 turns in Generation 6 and 5 (1-4 in Generation 4, 1-6 in Generation 3 and 1-7 in Generation 1)

Source: http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Sleep_Powder_(move)

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also, beware of the ability early bird. Pokémon with this wake up in half the time, so if it was 1, it would become half, and halves are rounded down, so it wakes up straight away