What is non-sleep deep rest? (NSDR)


Non-sleep deep rest (NSDR) is a term coined by to describe a range of practices that promote brain and body function by inducing a state of deep relaxation without sleeping. These practices include meditation, yoga nidra, and hypnosis. NSDR protocols deliberately shift one's state toward deeper relaxation and can also help to recover some of the sleep that might be missed at night, restore levels of dopamine for motivation and cognitive control, and support relaxation in real-time 1 2.

NSDR has been shown to be restorative, with neurochemical benefits that impact areas such as the striatum, involved in motor planning and execution. It is also highlighted as an excellent tool for restoring mental and physical work capacity, as well as accelerating plasticity and learning within the brain 1 2. notes that NSDR can be particularly beneficial for those struggling with sleep, anxiety, self-regulation, or simply as a restorative practice to return to focused work 2.

There are various NSDR scripts available online, including some free resources on YouTube read by himself, where he explains aspects of the science behind NSDR and provides guided experiences without mystical components 2. Additionally, NSDR has been demonstrated to enhance rates of learning when done for 20-minute bouts corresponding to an approximately 90-minute session of learning 3.

Non-Sleep Deep Rest

Andrew discusses the benefits of non-sleep deep rest (NSDR) and how it can improve brain and body function. He explains that NSDR protocols involve deliberate and directed shifts towards deeper relaxation, such as meditation, yoga nidra, and hypnosis. Andrew highlights hypnosis as a unique NSDR tool that can be directed towards specific goals and outcomes, promoting not just deep relaxation but also accelerating plasticity and learning within the brain.

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