What is non-sleep deep rest? (NSDR)


Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR) is an umbrella term coined by for a range of protocols designed to enhance brain and body functions through a state of deep relaxation. NSDR includes practices like meditation, yoga nidra, and hypnosis, all involving a focused shift toward relaxation. These activities support better sleep, physical and mental performance, and can reduce anxiety 1.

NSDR, especially when practiced in 20-minute sessions following a learning period, can increase learning rates and information retention. It's cost-free and drug-free, offering a method to accelerate learning without extra sleep. It is also notably linked with a neuroplasticity increase 2.

NSDR can be beneficial in various circumstances, including difficulty falling or staying asleep, anxiety, or as a restorative tool for focused work. It's a method to teach relaxation and recover sleep while restoring dopamine levels in the brain. It also facilitates a reset in neuromodulators like dopamine in the striatum, crucial in motor planning and execution 3 4.

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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To support individuals interested in NSDR, has shared accessible and free NSDR protocols. This includes a 10-minute NSDR which is available on YouTube, focusing on relaxation without the mystical aspects of other practices such as yoga nidra 3.

The main goal of NSDR is to achieve restorative relaxation that is different from sleep but provides profound rest akin to deep states of sleep 5. It can reset one's ability to engage in the world with intention and deliberate action, aiding in wellness and health significantly 6.