Do you struggle to relax at bedtime? Do you crave moments of rest throughout the day after a poor night’s sleep? High performance leaders, like Google CEO Sundar Pichai, use the technique NSDR (Non-Sleep Deep Rest) to achieve relaxation. While other forms of meditation are more commonly known, NSDR can be extremely effective.
What is NSDR?
NSDR or “Non-sleep deep rest” is a term coined by neuroscientist Andrew Huberman to describe accessing rest without physical sleep.
During NSDR, your body maintains a relaxed state while your mind remains awake and conscious. The practice causes your brain wave frequency to slow down, much like brain activity during Slow-Wave Sleep (SWS).
There are 2 ways to access NSDR – Yoga Nidra meditation and hypnosis. Yoga Nidra is a meditation format, historically used to manage chronic sleep issues. During this meditation, an instructor guides you through an intense state of consciously directed relaxation using techniques like body scans, focused breathwork, and other tools to relax the mind.
Following these prompts “can cause your heart rate to slow down. Your brain may also switch from beta waves, which are associated with an active mind, to alpha waves, which correspond to a more relaxed brain state.”
Using NSDR in your day to day
The best times to utilize NSDR content are before bed when you are looking to power down, or after nights where you got poor sleep. If you track your sleep health using the Pod or other wearables, you can utilize NSDR content to boost recovery when needed. NSDR content should be played in quiet space, at any point in the day when you are looking to calm the mind and let your body rest.
✓ Improved sleep quality
✓ Stress relief
✓ Enhanced cognitive function
✓ Improved memory