First of all, I’m not normally a procrastinator. I am a chronic snooze alarm abuser though. The snooze function on Microsoft Outlook has proven to be one of the most damaging features for my career. My current record for putting off the completion of a project is an appointment that keeps popping up on my calendar marked “56 weeks overdue.” Hey, I’m not proud, but at least I’m honest.
I preface this to explain why I’ve been sitting on my review of the new. The reason I haven’t been able to get the darn thing done is that I keep falling asleep every time I use the software. And that’s a good thing. I felt a responsibility to you all to listen to the whole sleep program all the way through while I stayed awake to make sure that they weren’t slipping in any subliminal suggestions that would cause me to act like Reggie Jackson in “The Naked Gun.”
“Must…kill…the…Queen!” (Howdy, deranged Google searchers.)
In a nutshell, pzizz is a napping program. There is a lot of scientific data that proves the effectiveness of power napping to improve health, productivity and well-being. I’ve never been much of a napper myself. I tend to sleep the sleep of the dead when I do nod off, so I never found mid-day slumber to be very restful.
Plus, the uncertainty of the duration of a nap meant I never wanted to take twenty minutes of sleep at the end of a lunch hour for fear of waking up an hour later. The good folks at pzizz have solved all of these problems.
It’s not just your typical sleep music or subliminal suggestion New Age pan flute jazzy noodling. As a matter of fact, you can listen to it for yourself. Free downloads of both the energizer nap program and their sleep module are available at the pzizz web site. Go ahead and download the sample mp3’s. It’s ok. Go on…I’ll wait.
The samples are a good representation of the pzizz experience. The software combines what the developers call Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques along with soft music, subsonic sound effects and a droning beat to induce a relaxed state, similar to that of the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep. The combined effect leads to a peaceful short break in the day that convinced this previously skeptical reviewer.
But the software offers a lot more than what can be demonstrated by the sample mp3’s. The point of pzizz is that every nap is unique. The interface allows you to set the type and duration duration of your break
as well as the ratio of spoken word vs. music.
Don’t worry, each energizer nap ends with a suggestion to wake up, stretch and face the rest of your day and then a loud alarm tone to make sure you don’t miss that 3:00 conference call. The sleep module, of course, just fades out at the end to alow you to fall deeper into your slumber.
The dashboard is attractive and clearly laid out.
A minor objection would be that there’s not a lot of onscreen help, but really not much is needed. It’s not like the software really does a lot; most of the action takes place in the background. So how does it work?
, “pzizz uses a complex mathematical formula, or ‘algorithm’, based on structured random selection. This means that although the processor follows a certain path ensuring a full experience each time, the data it selects and subsequently delivers along the route is selected in a random manner making each nap different to a period of time you determine.”
In reality, the droning sound and positive suggestions knocked me out like reading the IRS tax codes while swilling an Ambien cocktail. Even with only 20 minutes set aside for a nap after lunch, I found myself feeling deeply relaxed even on the occasions where I didn’t really fall fully asleep. When the nap was over, I really did feel refreshed.
I discovered an interesting effect when using headphones to listen during the short relaxation naps. As the almost subsonic tones moved through the frequencies, I could feel individual muscle groups untense and unknot. The vocal portion of the soundtrack was not the typical sublimnal Stuart Smalleyesque affirmations. Instead, pzizz offers positive statements like “taking a break in the middle of the day allows you to perform better when the pressure is on,” and “you deserve to get more rest.” I, for one, can use some nice words in the middle of my work day.
The web site presents a lot ofof how and why the beta, alpha and other various greek letter waves help to give you the equivalent of a full night’s sleep in twenty minutes. I’m not into mumbo jumbo. I was a History major. All I know is that it works for me and I think it’s worth trying if you want to improve the quality of your rest time.
The software is available for both PC and Mac. Due to the complexity of the pzizz algorhythm and the iPod export functions, Mac users need to be running a version of Mac OS at least 10.3 (Panther) or newer. The export function was a nice touch for the ability to create a few naps of various durations and take them with you to work or on the road if you don’t want to schlep your notebook with you. Unfortunately, on my iBook, it was glacially slow to export into iTunes. Luckily, if you’re in a hurry to nap, you probably have the wrong attitude going in.
There is also a
The pzizz is available from the .
MSRP: $29.95 per module Sleep and Energizer
$49.95 for both
What I Like: Ease of use. Ability to customize length and type of naps. The product delivers what it promises: A great nap.
What Needs Improvement: Onscreen help function. Slow speed of export function.