When You Want to Sleep on the Job: Pzizz Power Nap Software
If you can sell your co-workers on the value of the power nap, this unusual software aims to help you drift off to slumber quickly.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
No more counting sheep when it’s time for a power nap: New software called pzizz plays a combination of words, music and sound effects to help send you off to dreamland and return you to work in a more productive state.
Sleeping on the job is typically frowned upon in corporate environments, you say? Studies have shown that 15 or 20-minute “power naps” here or there can dramatically improve employees’ focus and productivity levels. A group of British researchers recently found that afternoon naps can even drive down your blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks.
But many people can’t tap into power naps because they can’t quickly get to sleep, or at least a state of restfulness, then wake up fresh and ready for action. That’s where pzizz energizer software, made by Brainwave Enterprise, comes in.
Developed by a former British Special Forces agent to help get the most out of the little time he had to sleep, the pzizz software uses identical phrases to start and end every nap. The rest of the recording is a new combination of music and effects for each nap.
According to Brainwave, the software uses an algorithm to create 10- to 90-minute naps, and it can come up with billions of possible combinations of sounds. The idea: Get users familiar with the identifying sound, or “ident,” after repeated use, to make the conscious mind associate that sound with sleep or rest, while keeping the subconscious active via randomly generated music and sounds, like ocean waves, chimes and birds chirping. An alarm sounds at the end of the specified time period to make sure users don’t continue to drift into slumber.
“Pzizzers” use an Apple iTunes-like interface to set parameters for naps, such as whether they want constant spoken phrases throughout–“While you’re relaxing, it’s a good time for ideas and solutions to form in the back of your head,” “Working hard and relaxation go together”–or only at the start and finish. You can also adjust the sound levels of music and words, for example, to make the speaker sound like he’s talking from afar. (The voice sounds something like Barry White but with a bit less romance.)
Pzizz sets itself apart from similar recordings on CD or other napping techniques because it uses Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), or the effects of specific patterns of language, to maximize the level of restfulness users achieve in short periods of time, the company says. The software is also supposed to become more effective with repeated use.
So the next time you see an employee or coworker with earbuds sleeping at his or her desk, don’t jump to conclusions. He could simply be trying to be more productive.
A separate version of pzizz (called pzizz sleep) aims to help insomniacs get some rest at night. The software works with PCs running Windows XP or Vista and Macs with OS X 10.4 or later. Naps can also be exported to iTunes for use on iPods and other MP3 players. Both pzizz energizer and sleep are available via download for $29.99 or as a bundle for $49.99.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.