If you’re looking for a new approach to replenish yourself with lasting energy, then you need to learn about Non-Sleep Deep Rest! Let your creativity (and body) be unleashed with this revolutionary way of recharging that doesn’t even involve hitting the hay.
In this blog post, I’ll review non-sleep deep rest, also known as NSDR, a centuries-old practice that’s making a comeback thanks to the research of neuroscientist and researcher Andrew Huberman, PhD.
What is Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR)?
NSDR, or Non-Sleep Deep Rest, is a technique used to alleviate stress and promote relaxation through a series of physical exercises.
NSDR is a form of relaxation that’s deeper than your average nap or sleep. It’s essentially a state of rest where your mind is awake, but your body is completely relaxed. Think of it as a mental vacation that you can take any time, anywhere. (A must-need break for those of us suffering from hurry sickness!)
The technique involves tensing and relaxing muscles in various parts of the body, starting with the feet and working up to the head.
Now, you might be wondering how exactly you can achieve this level of relaxation.
According to Dr. Huberman’s research, one of the most effective ways to induce NSDR is through the practice of yoga nidra, a Sanskrit term that translates to “yogic sleep”.
3 Amazing Benefits of Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR)
So, what are some of the benefits of NSDR and yoga nidra? Here are just a few:
1. Increases Relaxation & Reduces Stress
Stressed out and feeling frazzled? NSDR and yoga nidra may be just what the doctor ordered. These relaxation techniques have been shown to be effective in reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
By practicing these techniques, you can lower your cortisol levels and feel more at ease. Who doesn’t want that?
Plus, stress management could reduce your heart rate, improve your overall physical well-being, and mitigate the risk of heart disease.
So, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and get ready to unwind with some NSDR and yoga nidra. It’s time to relax and de-stress!
2. Improve Overall Sleep Quality
If you want to improve your sleep and enhance your overall health and well-being, consider incorporating NSDR into your routine.
By allowing your brain to enter a state of deep relaxation, NSDR can help improve sleep quality, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep for longer periods of time.
The Sleep Foundation explains that poor sleep quality can lead to cognitive impairment and that both insufficient and interrupted sleep can make it difficult to think and function properly – not to mention lead to chronic health coniditons.
According to Dr. Huberman, our brain works best when it is allowed to relax and reach its optimal “fluid state” – meaning switching thoughts off like an on/off switch isn’t always necessary!
By practicing short periods of shallowness throughout the day, we are teaching ourselves how to undistractedly power down as bedtime approaches for more calming evenings with no tossing and turning needed just before sleepy-bye time.
3. Enhances Creativity & Productivity
During non-sleep deep rest (NSDR), the state of relaxation can help reduce stress, enhance cognitive performance, and improve sleep quality.
Moreover, it has been shown that NSDR can unlock creativity, giving you new ideas and helping you solve old problems. (Takes new meaning to ‘just sleep on it’!)
By reducing stress levels and promoting relaxation, NSDR can help free up your mind to explore new ideas and perspectives, leading to enhanced creativity and productivity in your work.
Recent studies have even demonstrated that 20 minutes or so of non-sleep deep rest may amplify learning speed by up to 50 percent; meaning you’ll be able to acquire new skills quickly and remember them for longer!
What is Yoga Nidra?
Yoga nidra is a restorative practice that takes you on the journey between wakefulness and sleep – a.k.a., NSDR! Yes, it’s basically the same thing!
While lying down, guided instructions lead practitioners through processes of body scanning, breathing awareness and intense focus to promote deep relaxation in both mind and body.
With just 30 minutes investment into each session, yoga nidra experts share it can be equivalent to three-four hours worth of quality sleep!
Getting Started with Non-Sleep Deep Rest (Yoga Nidra)
To get started with NSDR, find a quiet, comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed, and lie down on your back with your arms at your sides.
You can also use a bolster or pillows to support your body and help you relax even further.
Then, follow a guided meditation or visualization designed to slow down your brainwave activity and enter a state of deep relaxation.
Many resources are available online, including apps, podcasts, and YouTube videos, that offer guided meditations specifically for NSDR.
A few of my favorites NSDR Resources:
It’s recommended to practice NSDR regularly, even daily, to experience its full benefits.
The Surprising Lasting Effects of Non-Sleep Deep Rest
The lasting effects of NSDR can be surprising and impressive. According to recent research, NSDR can improve memory retention, enhance rates of neuroplasticity, and relieve stress.
Additionally, NSDR strives to mimic the processes of slow-wave sleep, which is responsible for rejuvenation and recovery.
Therefore, NSDR can also help in reducing fatigue and improving overall physical and mental health.
In fact, studies have shown that practicing NSDR regularly can have long-lasting effects on brain function and cognitive performance.
Did you know?
Google CEO @sundarpichai uses NSDR protocols. He shares on Twitter, “I personally have been using NSDR daily for ~10 years and find them to be among the more powerful tools out there for recovering lost sleep, focus (after) & neuroplasticity.”
The Wrap – Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR)
With Non-Sleep Deep Rest, you can free yourself from feeling burnt out and re-energize like never before.
Letting go of tired habits and embracing new forms of rest can be life changing, really empowering your day to day routine.
Are you going to incorporate NSDR into your routine now? Go ahead, put it in your calendar right now!
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