WHY NSDR (Non Sleep Deep Rest) ?
Sundar Pichai, the Google CEO said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that NSDR is one of his go-to ways to relax. A great way to get the benefits of a power nap without, you know, taking a snooze!
NSDR was reportedly coined by Dr. Andrew Huberman(a neuroscientist at Stanford University). Dr Huberman who has been studying—and practicing—it for more than a decade said in an interview with podcaster Tim - he chose the term and acronym because he believed it would be more palatable to people who are not comfortable with meditation or yoga.
He says NSDR involves both a self-directed state of calm and focus on something, such as breathing or a visualization. NSDR is a catch-all term that encompasses practices as wide-ranging as yoga nidra, hypnosis, or even a nap to achieve a state of deep rest. According to Huberman, NSDR has been shown to also enhance the rate and depth of learning as it effectively “recharges your brain.”
Do you wish to find a simple daily routine that reduces stress and enhances concentration for difficult or mentally taxing tasks?
Well NSDR could be something you'd like to try!
It may feel like a meditation for sleep, but it’s decidedly not designed to help you doze off. Rather, it promises to let your mind into a deeply restorative, but still alert, state for a short period of time. This time-out can help you feel more calm, focused, and productive for the rest of the day. It can also help empower anyone with anxiety about getting good sleep.
The technique helps you get into that dreamy, semi-focused state that occurs just before drifting off, when you’re still sort of awake, but your awareness of space and time isn’t totally under your conscious control.
The idea behind NSDR is that getting yourself to a sleep-like state for a short period of time lets the brain rest intensely. This can help you feel restored to take on the rest of your day. Taking this time for deep rest can indeed give you a major boost, according to Dr. Chris Winter, a neurologist, author of "The Sleep Solution" and "The Rested Child," and Sleep.com Sleep Advisor who sometimes practices NSDR during his lunch break.
Feeling more energized isn’t the only benefit of NSDR, though. Huberman notes in a recent lecture that 20-minute NSDR sessions can help the brain learn more quickly and increase how long you retain information, due to the practice’s effect on neuroplasticity. Interestingly, Winter says that NSDR may also help you get better sleep come bedtime — a rather ironic outcome of a practice that’s not intended to directly lead to slumber.
NSDR’s effect on sleep has to do with feeling in control of our ability to rest. We’ve all had those nights when we’re lying in bed, but sleep just isn’t happening. We watch the numbers tick on the clock, knowing that every minute that goes by is one less minute that we have to sleep, making it more likely we’ll feel exhausted the following day
“Sleep isn’t always under our control, but rest is. I can tell anyone to close their eyes and rest for 10 minutes. How well you do that depends on your mental state, but you’re still resting,”
Check out this 10 min NSDR to relax during the breaks!