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It seems modern life has taken its toll on our sleep patterns. Lack of exercise, stress, junk food and extended hours of staring at screens can all contribute to the dreaded insomnia. I’ve battled insomnia for a number of years now and frequently find sleep elusive. Even when extremely tired it takes me at least an hour or so to drop off. On bad nights I’ll lie awake until the dawn light begins to filter through the blinds. I figure this makes me a prime candidate for pzizz.
The oddly named pzizz app has been around for a while and has done great business on the iPhone. It has now been released for Android smartphones and so I installed it on my HTC Desire and gave it a try.
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What’s the Big Idea?
The idea is that the app helps you to relax and drift off to the land of nod. It offers two modes -- sleep and power nap. The basic premise is that the app plays you a calming and soothing soundtrack of music, sounds and words. No doubt you’ve heard of, or even tried, tapes or CDs that offer the same thing. Well, the difference with pzizz is that the soundtrack is randomized, so each time you set the app up to lull you off to sleep it generates a unique blend of slumber inducing audio.
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Customize Your Slumber
You can select from a simple set of options. Duration goes from 15 minutes all the way up to 8 hours for a sleep and from 10 minutes up to 1 hour 30 minutes for a power nap. A countdown timer displays on screen but you can disable it if you prefer. You can also choose to set an alarm if you like and you’ll get a gentle wake up call. The alarm is set by default for the power nap option but you can turn it off.
The last option is the background image but I can’t really see the point in this. Unless you change your Screen timeout option in Android then the screen will turn off automatically and since you are closing your eyes to sleep anyway what’s the point in having a background? In any case you have a few options to choose from or you can select an existing image from your phone (which is a nice touch).
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Catching Forty Winks
The big question is – does it actually work? Truthfully I think that depends on you. Some of you will find this kind of audio extremely helpful, for others it may actually keep you awake. I tried it the first night on the minimum setting of 15 minutes. My wife was asleep inside 10 minutes but she has never had a problem dropping off. I was still awake at the end of the 15 minutes but I did feel very relaxed and drifted off to the land of nod soon after.
The next day I tried out the power nap option. I never nap during the day so I wasn’t really expecting this to work but what it did do was relax me. Even if you don’t actually doze I think this option could be a great way to take a short break and de-stress yourself.
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Style and Usability
The audio is obviously the key factor and it includes a wide range of soothing sounds, gentle music and spoken fragments of text that really do help to relax you. The voice is a gently spoken American male and the speech seems to be well written. It’s exactly the type of thing you would expect -- clearing your mind and encouraging you to relax.
If you struggle to snooze because your mind is whirling with worries then pzizz could work very well for you. The audio is intrusive enough to prevent you from getting lost in your own thoughts but not so intrusive as to demand your full attention. Equally for people stuck in a noisy environment pzizz could be ideal for drowning out the background noise.
In short -- it is a well-made app.
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What’s a Good Night’s Sleep Worth?
The pzizz app is being offered for an introductory price of $4.99 but you’ll have to be quick to snap it up because at the end of June it will go up to $9.99. That may sound quite expensive for an app but there is a lot of content here. If you can imagine paying out $10 for a CD to help you sleep then you shouldn’t balk at the price of this app because the randomizing algorithm keeps it fresh and the developer claims there are billions of possible sound combinations. There is also the prospect of additional content and updates to follow.
This is a great sleep and relaxation aid which I will continue to use and I would definitely recommend it.
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- All references and images from pzizz app on an HTC Desire.
- Android Market, https://market.android.com/details?id=com.pzizz.bundle
Suffering from Insomnia? Try pzizz on Android
*Please note - the author received 'pzizz review copy' from a company other than Bright Hub in order to develop the content contained within this article or review.