The best sleep aid is not a medication. Sleeping pills and over-the-counter supplements are not long-term solutions to insomnia. Prescription pills come with a range of negative side-effects, while supplements decrease in effectiveness over time. The best sleep aids are different: they use your body’s natural processes and patterns to get you to sleep fast, do not prevent your body from going into the most-restful state of REM sleep, and let you wake feeling rejuvenated, not groggy.
Pzizz is a revolutionary sleep aid for iPhone and Android that combines cutting-edge research in sleep, neuroscience, psychophysiology, and psychoacoustics to give you the most restful sleep you have had in years— without the negative side effects of sleeping pills and over-the-counter medications.
Download for a FREE 7-DAY TRIAL and start sleeping in minutes.
Most people already know sound can have great effects on our physiology. We use music to help pump us up at the gym, to focus and get work done, and even to put our children to sleep. However, cutting edge research helped us build a sleep aid much more advanced than “twinkle, twinkle, little star.”
Read on to learn about the importance of sleep, the uses and harms of sleeping pills and herbal supplements, and how Pzizz’s revolutionary approach to the science of sleep makes it the best sleep aid available.
From insomnia to jet-lag to stress-induced sleeplessness, the effects of sleep deprivation are experienced by everyone at one time or another. However, too often people overlook the negative side effects of their lack of sleep and the potential for sleeplessness to cause serious harm to themselves and others.
An estimated 40.6 million working adults in the United States do not get enough sleep, significantly impacting their health. Even partial sleep loss causes a decrease in immune response, particularly in cancer-fighting “natural killer cells.” Sleep deprivation also causes an increased inflammatory response which can potentially lead to such a breakdown of immune function as to cause death. Other negative side effects include an increase in blood pressure, an increased appetite and weight gain, as well as changes in the way the body regulates glucose, potentially causing diabetes.
Though many Americans fight through their exhaustion with caffeine, sleep deprivation is not only unhealthy, it has the potential to be dangerous. When suffering from a lack of sleep, people work more slowly, make more errors, lag in response time, and have a difficult time staying on task. Motor function can be so seriously impaired by a lack of sleep that its effects that resemble those of alcohol consumption. It is no surprise that 20% of car crashes are linked to drivers having too little sleep, nor that sleep-related accidents cause an estimated 50 billion dollars of damage each year.
In addition to effects on motor function, a lack of sleep can significantly affect a person’s mood. Negative emotional reactions to stress rise when people are sleep deprived and even losing part of a night’s sleep increases stress hormones. Sleep deprivation has been shown to increase the potential of social conflict and make people more likely to act on feelings of aggression.
Sleep deprivation--especially chronic sleep deprivation--can have serious short-and long-term effects on an individual. With the potential for great harm to your work, health, and relationships, be sure that you treat your sleeplessness with the seriousness it deserves.
While prescription sleep aids seem like the best solution--take a pill and fall asleep--benzodiazepines are as bad for your sleep as they are for your health.
Benzodiazepines are dangerous, with a significant portion of users developing a chemical dependence and, upon stoppage of treatment, experiencing withdrawal symptoms. These side effects occur even when sleeping pills are used at a therapeutic dosage. As so-called “non-benzodiazepines” also act on benzodiazepine receptors, even these supposedly safer drugs can have the same harmful effects.
Yet, even were they safe, benzodiazepines would not be the best sleep aid for a long-term solution to sleeplessness, insomnia, or jet-lag. Though these “sleep aids” do induce pharmacological sleep, that sleep is of significantly lower quality than natural sleep, with benzodiazepine users exhibiting a significantly decrease in the amount of REM sleep they get each night, less delta and theta brain activity throughout the night, fewer sleep-stage shifts overall, and a general increase in response to stressful stimuli by the user.
While doctors may prescribe sleeping pills for dire cases of insomnia, they should in no way be understood as a long-term replacement for natural sleep. In fact, in clinical trials that compare benzodiazepines to relaxation training similar to that used by Pzizz, the two sleep aids perform equally well in the short-term with the relaxation training vastly out-performing benzodiazepines over time, even after the relaxation training ended.
There is no supplement for natural sleep. However, some online natural remedy retailers argue that taking supplements like melatonin has the effect of bringing about natural sleep, insofar as melatonin is produced in the body and used to regulate our sleep cycles. What they ignore, however, is that not only is there no scientific consensus around the long-term use of melatonin, even the confirmation of some positive effects is undercut by the lack of regulation of OTC melatonin-based sleep aids.
One study showed that over 70% of melatonin supplements were not within 10% amount of melatonin listed on the label, while more than a quarter of the supplements were shown to contain serotonin--a controlled substance. With an abundance of shady dealers hawking OTC pills of questionable quality and purity, melatonin should be avoided as a sleep aid unless the product is properly tested before use.
Other supplements, such as valerian, are often touted as natural supplements that mimic the effect of prescription sleeping pills like benzodiazepines. However, research has shown that though there is a reduction in perceived sleep latency and wake time after sleep onset, under controlled conditions there were no significant differences from the placebo and no evidence of changes in sleep stages, either positively or negatively. This has led researchers to believe that there is likely some mild hypnotic action produced by valerian, but not one significant enough to make it effective as a sleep aid.
However, like many pills marketed as “the best sleep aid available,” valerian has been shown to produce serious withdrawal symptoms in users, including cardiac complications and delirium, after stopping long-term use.
What makes Pzizz the best sleep aid for those fighting insomnia, jet-lag, and stress-induced sleeplessness is that it harnesses your body’s biological mechanisms to help you get a healthy, natural, restful night’s sleep.
Our researchers survey academic literature in an array of sleep-related fields, from neurobiology to psychoacoustics (the effect of sound on the human brain), in order to determine what it is that our bodies need to fall asleep and how to coax them into a restful state. From this research they create best-practices by which our composers create music that best aids in the sleep process.
For example, research shows that as the body changes from a waking to a sleeping state, heart rate lowers. Other research shows that, when exposed to music, peoples’ heart rates will speed or slow to match the tempo of the music. Using these insights in combination, Pzizz’s sleep-inducing music causes actual physical changes in the body’s functioning that encourage it to slip into sleep.
Other research that underpins Pzizz involves a common impediment to sleep known as “processing fatigue.” When the human body stops experiencing changes in the sensory stimuli it is receiving, it triggers an activation of the nervous system--a fight or flight response--in order to provoke new stimuli. Many people experience this sensation as a jolt or twitch while drifting off to sleep. At the same time, a body exposed to too much new stimulation is unable to fall asleep at all. A major strength of the Pzizz app has been the creation of music that maintains enough regularity to allow for sleep, while still creating enough difference to avoid processing fatigue.
Though there are plenty of sleep apps on the market, they often treat sleeplessness as a problem to be solved by generic sounds of waves or white noise. While it is true those sounds aid people in getting to sleep, the question that we pursue at Pzizz is, “Why do those sounds work?” The more we learn about the interaction of the body and sound in the production of sleep, the better a sleep aid Pzizz becomes.
Pzizz has devoted itself to treating sleeplessness as the serious scientific problem that it is, and so we have built our product without relying on buzzwords or junk-science. If you struggle with getting to sleep, try Pzizz’s free 7-day trial and experience the best sleep aid available.
Download for a FREE 7-DAY TRIAL and let science help you sleep.