Feeling worn down, stressed out, or just not getting enough quality sleep? Guess what — yep! — there’s an app for that. Gadgeteer.(pronounced puh-zizz) may be just what you need. In the most simple terms, Pzizz Relax is a power-nap app. Using the application religiously over the past two weeks I can say it is much more. The application is new for the iPhone/iPod Touch, but it’s been around for quite some time for the Mac/PC — and those earlier versions have been reviewed by Gear Diary as well as the original “Pzizz player” on the
So, is an application that can help relieve daily stress, promote relaxation, and maybe even help give a boost during those long work days something worth a slot on your iPhone?
Let me start by saying that I’m no stranger to Pzizz. Over the years I’ve used the application off and on. There was a time, not so long ago, that I was lucky to get 3 hours of sleep a night (I don’t recommend that, by the way). So, feeling completely run down during the day, and very stressed out trying to juggle multiple projects I found Pzizz and gave it a shot. Power naps are great, but there were always some problems in putting them to practice. One, it’s difficult to take a break and fully relax if you are worried you are going to oversleep. Two, I would always find myself thinking about the problems of the day instead of actually letting go. Then there’s the issue of where the heck to actually take a power nap (easy if you can work from home, not so much if you’re in an office setting or at a client site).
Luckily, Pzizz made the convenience part farily simple. Before the iPhone app, I could just fire up the desktop app and export sessions into MP3 format to put on any MP3 audio player or mobile phone capable of playing audio files. The new iPhone app makes the entire process even easier, since you don’t have to worry about exporting a number of sessions ahead of time. Just start the app on your iPhone and go — every session will be different than the previous one!
The default setting for Pzizz Relax is for a 20-minute nap, but you can modify the length from 10 minutes all the way up to 90 minutes. Likewise you can modify voice, suggestions, music, effects, suggestions and alarm delay.
OK. I know what you’re thinking — suggestions? Voices? That’s exactly what I thought when I first tried Pzizz two years ago when I loaded it to a PC at home. I’m not “new agey” at all, so I was relieved that I wasn’t getting a bunch of “flower power” mumbo jumbo with the Pzizz Relax sessions. You’ll hear “it’s ok to take a break during the day” starting off the session, but what I found was that the real point of the voice part of the Pzizz Relax program was just to get you to listen and tune out all the mind “chatter” you’may otherwise have thinking about deadlines, what you need to do next, etc. It works. Soon the background effects — sounds of waves at the beach, music, and other effects — do get you to relax and even catch some needed zzz’s. Don’t worry, the program will gently begin to wake you up as the session ends and even uses an alarm to make sure you don’t doze off for any time longer than the actual session.
Over the last two weeks, I’ve made it a priority to actually step away from the computer and take twenty minutes to just use Pzizz (one or two sessions, while definitely good, won’t give you as much benefit as making it part of your regular routine). Having the application right on the iPhone has made it very convenient to use, and I’ve definitely noticed that my productivity increased as I wasn’t trudging through those late afternoon energy dips.
The developers already have a iTunes App Store , it is definitely a cheaper alternative to the Pzizz desktop applications ($39.95 for the Pzizz Daytime Energizer or the Pzizz Sleep program — or $59.95 for the desktop bundle including both the Energizer & Sleep sessions). The iPhone Pzizz Relax app just does the Relax/Energizer sessions — but since each session is unique and you can control the length, the $2.99 price makes this an application that may deserve a slot on your iPhone or iPod Touch.they’re working on for the next version. Priced at $2.99 on the
What I Like: A great “techy” way to approach power-naps, stress relief, and a daily energizer/productivity boost. $2.99 seems a great price for a seemingly endless number of unique sessions.
What Needs Improvement: Definitely a non-flashy interface, I would like to see more session choices (adding a “sleep” session would be a good idea — perhaps that will end up becoming a separate application).