I recently discovered a fascinating tool called "pzizz" and am really enjoying it. Developed by Brainwave Enterprises Ltd., pzizz is software (Windows or Mac) that generates "soundtracks" to help you sleep or take a power nap to re-energize yourself in the middle of the day. pzizz applies techniques learned from scientific sleep research, and creates special sounds that enable you to relax while stimulating your brain at a subconscious level, stimulating your brain waves in a way that energizes you.
Rev up or calm down - it's your choice
- Energizer Nap - generates a nap soundtrack designed to help you take the ultimate power nap (you can program it for as long as you want - they recommend you take 20-40 minute power naps for greatest effect. Each Energizer map ends with an "alarm" sound to wake you up so you can continue your day.
- Sleep Nap - generates a nap soundtrack designed to help you get to sleep and achieve a restful, deep sleep. Sleep naps fade out at the end so you stay asleep.
The software can play the nap files directly on your computer, or you can play them using iTunes or on your mp3 player. If you're playing them on your computer, you can tell the software to automatically shut down your computer or put it to sleep (or do nothing, if you prefer). Each time you generate a nap, it creates a new soundtrack so you don't get bored.
What an experience!
Using a pzizz nap soundtrack is a very interesting experience, and I initially did it just to see what would happen (you can download sample mp3's of the "energizer" and "sleep" modules from the pzizz site). I tried it with one of the "Energizer" naps and found it to be very relaxing and every bit as energizing as they say.
The soundtracks are calming combinations of soothing sounds and music. Additionally, you can turn on an option that tells pzizz to add in some encouraging messages using Neuro Linguistic Programming (also known as NLP, or the power of suggestion) to further improve your state of mind. This isn't the subliminal, "secret message" sort of thing that conspiracy theorists worry about - it's just a quiet voice saying words of encouragement designed to leave a lasting, positive effect.
On the pzizz site, there are some interesting statistics and explanations of some of the science behind this along with scientific data on the value of power naps.
Mid-day power naps
I've been trying these at home and liked it so much, I purchased the software (it's about 30 bucks per module, or you can get both for $50).
Now, I'm going to expand my use of pzizz and try out the Energizer Nap at lunch during the day to see if it helps with my focus, energy level, and - ultimately - my productivity. I'm also going to test these modules next time I'm trying to deal with jet lag to see if it helps.
I'll let you know what I find in my experimentation. Meanwhile, go download one of the samples and have a nap - on me!
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