What is non-sleep deep rest? (NSDR)


Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR) is an acronym coined by to describe various protocols designed to help the brain and body enter a state of deep relaxation without sleeping. These protocols include activities like meditation, yoga nidra, and hypnosis, and are meant to induce a deliberate shift toward relaxation. NSDR is noted for its benefits regarding better brain and body function, heightened focus, relaxation, recovery of sleep, and it can also accelerate brain plasticity and learning 1.

It is particularly effective when practiced in the context of learning; for example, doing a 20-minute session of NSDR following a 90-minute period of focused activity can significantly accelerate both the rate of learning and the retention of information 2. This technique is considered a zero-cost, drug-free method to promote learning without requiring additional sleep.

NSDR is also touted as a powerful restorative tool that can aid in falling asleep, reducing anxiety, self-regulation, and restorative recovery for focused work of any kind. has shared NSDR scripts on YouTube for everyone to access and has highlighted the absence of mystical components in these scripts, which makes them straightforward and scientific in nature 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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The practice of NSDR can reset specific neuromodulators in the brain, like dopamine in the striatum, which is involved in motor planning and execution. This reset can facilitate one's ability to deliberately engage with the world 4. Moreover, NSDR can be used in situations where sleep has been poor to aid in recovery and enable one to perform both mental and physical tasks more effectively on the following day 5.