Review: Pzizz 1.6 Napping Software

Relax, refresh, and sleep well with Pzizz (September 7th, 2005)

MacNN Rating:


Product Manufacturer: Brainwave Limited

Price: MSRP $39.95 US + $19.95 (Sleep module)

The Good

  • Software is designed to help people sleep better or take quick, rejuvenating naps.

The Bad

  • It takes a little practice to get used to using the software.

You're Not Alone

On the go 18 hours a day, I work 66 hours a week for a growing retail tire store and at night to take care of my freelance business. I rarely find the time to relax. When I slow down, I get very, very tired, and I don't sleep well at night. My wife said something just last night, that I need to stop being angry all the time. I am not alone. Our modern economic lifestyles leave many of us without leisure time. Like most people, I am skeptical of remedies.

A growing body of research indicates that a good night's rest and daytime napping improves health and productivity. Rested workers are more alert, in a better mood, and concentrate better, which contributes to enhanced morale, communication, and performance. Research shows strong evidence that restorative naps renew energy, plus reduce accidents and errors. That's good news for everyone, especially employers. Although napping on an employer's dime is still taboo, there is a growing number of products to help us sleep and nap, so we can retrieve our lives, health, and sanity.

What the Phreak is Pzizz?

Brainwave Limited offers a non-invasive solution to those of us with sleep problems. Pzizz Napping Software combines Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), enchanting music, sound effects, and a binaural beat to coax a wonderfully relaxed state in the listener; a state similar to the REM stage of sleep. Pzizz technology incorporates Michael Breen's voice, one of the World's foremost NLP Master Trainers, to guide users through the modules, and provide all of the benefits of positive suggestion in a private session.

Brainwave Limited claims that each play of this uniquely mixed recipe improves sleep, creativity, concentration, memory, work performance, energy levels, skin conditions, and general health. It is purported to relieve stress-related headaches, ulcers, indigestion, and help control habits such as smoking, plus leads to increased tolerance for difficult situations and people. With more than 100 billion possible combinations, the mix is never duplicated. By its very definition, the Pzizz experience is not available on CD or cassette, but with Pzizz software, it can be exported to an MP3 player. Pzizz Hardware to Pzizz Software Pzizz technology comes in two flavors. It was first released as a small electronic personal companion, resembling an MP3 player. The simple, 3-button device delivers relaxing superb quality audio through Sennheiser MX300 headphones (included). The Pzizz hardware also boasts interchangeable multi-media cards for new programs and a 13-hour battery life from two AAA batteries. The Pzizz hardware allows users to nap any time any place, creating a new and unique nap every time it is played. (Honestly, I'd be happy with the same restorative nap every time I pressed play!) The hardware has received many positive reviews.

Pzizz software, is less expensive, but provides the same powerful technology. Pzizz mixes can be exported for use with iTunes, iPod and other MP3 players. Instructions are on the Pzizz web site. The Pzizz software and modules are easily purchased online, downloaded and installed. There are two components to Pzizz, the software and Energizer bundle, and the extra Sleep module. To register the Pzizz software, you must enter and register the Pzizz software key. The additional Sleep module helps you quiet your waking thoughts and slip into a good night's sleep, but is purchased separately and has its own key.

Total Control of Pzizz Nap and Sleep Sessions

There are only three simple preferences in Pzizz. You can check for updates, insert a silent 5-second lead into live naps, and disable the computer's sleep and screensavers. The controls are just as simple. In the interface window, you select the default Energizer Nap, (or Sleep Nap, if the Sleep module has been installed), and start playing. Pzizz also configures and saves nap configurations. You can choose Nap Type, Effects, Voice, Length of track, and Volume for effects and voice. Regardless of the configuration, Pzizz generates a unique nap each time it is played, but the configurations can be stored like an iTunes playlist.

Pzizz Nap

The nap session is the energizer bundle included with the Pzizz software. Due to workplace culture, I only used Pzizz to nap once or twice on a weekend. I preferred to use the voice option so that I didn't fall completely asleep. I feel the voice helped ground me so that I could wake from the nap when prompted. The energizer bundle seemed to work as advertised.

Pzizz Sleep

The Sleep module is designed to quiet one's thoughts and help you drift into a full sleep, not just a nap. I lay in bed with my 18-month-old son and started Pzizz on my PowerBook for a 30:05 session. We were greeted with the soothing sounds of waves, bells, birds, a synthesizer (don't know what else to call it), and Michael Breen's voice. At first, my son sat up and tried to figure out who was talking, but after a few minutes he grew less restless, as did I. Just when I felt would succumb to sleep, Michael Breen's voice would begin again and startle me. When the session was over, I was relaxed and drowsy, but not asleep, but my son was thoroughly asleep. I felt that it would have been more successful without the voice.

I tested the Sleep module later that night with my wife, who also has trouble sleeping. I set the voice to 20% instead of the default 100% and started Pzizz. As the drowsiness set in, my wife noted that the sounds were soothing. After the specified 30 minutes, we were close to being asleep, but our nighttime conversation habit kept us awake. Now we listen to Pzizz every night on my laptop, its screen lighting the room. We turned off the voice of Michael Breen, preferring just the music and sound effects. We believe that we relax faster and sleep deeper when Pzizz coaxes us to sleep. Pzizz affects my 18-month-old and 3-year-old sons in a similar manner, so bedtime is less chaotic. Pzizz seems to create its own environment. Even without the benefit of headphones, Pzizz's Aurora stereo feels 3-dimensional, as though we are immersed in it.

Simple. Powerful. Amazing.

Many famous people napped daily: Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Napoleon Bonaparte, Johannes Brahms, Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan. Although old school managers frown upon napping at U.S. companies, I have no reservations about recommending Pzizz. In fact, I encourage interested but skeptical parties to check the Internet for napping research, which will encourage you to try Pzizz, or check out their web site for links. The software is designed to help people sleep better or take quick, rejuvenating naps. After using Pzizz software, my wife and I are sold on it. I have asked for an iPod-ready alarm clock for Christmas, so we can Pzizz more conveniently.

Pzizz is available for Windows (XP and XP Pro, 64 MB RAM, QuickTime 6.0.2 or later) and Macintosh (10.3 and higher, 512 MB RAM, G4 667 MHz minimum). Buy Pzizz software in September and they will donate 50% of all sales to the people affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Mike Swope


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