When I was young, I got into trouble for not taking naps. It was one reason I was dismissed from kindergarten. Years later, I look forward to my naps. This isn’t your average nap, but a short energizing power nap. Rather than having some teacher standing guard, I rely on software for my cell phone. You might think of it as high tech relaxation training.
I wouldn’t say I’m an insomniac, but to get a restful night’s sleep takes work on my part. After another series of sleepless nights, I was noticing decreased productivity in the afternoon. I set out to see what solutions might be available. I first came across this company called Pzizz several years ago, which had a commercial program. The company was quiet for several years, but is back with a free version for either an iPhone or Android phone. And even if you don’t have a compatible phone, they’ll send you an MP3 file.
What’s a Pzizz?
Pzizz is an interesting name for a company. It is a derived word from “zizz” which in the U.K means a short nap. The company added the “P” for power. After doing three years of research on power napping, self-hypnosis, and relaxation training, the company broke down the structure of effective power naps into components, which the software assembles into unique audio files. These components are segments of music, sound effects and instructions from Michael Breen who is a Master NLP trainer.
What will you hear
These audio files are a bit difficult to describe and differ. Each file is designed to put you in your desired state whether it’s the energizing power nap or getting you ready for sleep. Some sounds are easily identifiable such as rhythmic ocean waves. Other sounds seem computer generated and unique. Some remind me of something you might hear from the “Twilight Zone” television show. These might be the “binaural beats”. You hear a tone in one ear and then a slightly different tone in the other ear. At first, I didn’t like this and felt like I was consciously moving my eyes in response to the tones shifting from one ear to the other. Now, I don’t even give it a second thought.
I’ve been using the power nap module for five weeks and have made it a habit to take these power naps. Each of my power napping sessions starts with a soothing male voice asking me to get comfortable. He instructs me to either tense every muscle in my body or to yawn and stretch. From there I hear a combination of waves and sound effects interspersed with instructions or reminders of the benefits of relaxation. Perhaps 5 minutes before the end, I hear instructions guiding me to a more awakened state. I’m asked to think about what I want to do the rest of the day and to stretch.
Effectiveness of Pzizz Power Naps
While I now look forward to these power naps, I wasn’t immediately convinced of the benefits. At first, I stayed fully awake for the 20 minutes. I perceived the biggest benefit was a 20 minute break from the computer. Gradually, I got more relaxed such that 10 minutes into the playback I couldn’t tell you what I was hearing.
I’m still playing with the sleep module. This has more to do with my sleeping arrangements and testing different headsets. I haven’t found a set of ear buds that are comfortable enough. The good news is my afternoon naps seem to make it easier for me to sleep at night.
- Ease of Use
Pzizz is a free software application for your Android or iOS phone that helps you get better rest either through a timed "power nap" or sleep sound track. It allows you to mark favorite sessions and decide how long the session should last. Sessions can last from 10 minutes to 12 hours.
- Website: http://pzizz.com/
- Cost: Free
- Device: iPhone, iTouch or Android Smartphone