Exploring Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR): What is it and How to Practice it?

Non-Sleep Deep Rest,a woman laying in bed with a blue comforter


Have you ever felt exhausted despite getting a full night’s sleep? Or do you sometimes find it challenging to relax and truly unwind? If so, you may be interested in exploring a practice called Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR). In this article, we will delve into what NSDR is, how to practice it, the benefits it offers, and whether or not you need a guru to guide you.

The famed neuroscience professor Huberman has said that NSDR can help people relax, fall asleep more easily, reduce stress and anxiety, ease pain, and even accelerate learning. It’s commonly achieved through two NSDR protocols, namely yoga nidra and hypnosis.

What is Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR)?

Non-Sleep Deep Rest, commonly known as NSDR, is a technique that allows individuals to experience deep relaxation and rejuvenation without actually falling asleep. It involves entering a state of rest that is deeper than regular sleep, enabling the body and mind to release accumulated stress and tension.

NSDR is a practice that originated from a combination of ancient yogic and hypnosis. It combines elements of meditation, mindfulness, and conscious relaxation to induce a state of profound restfulness. 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. In simple words, the brain’s operational frequency to a rate of only 1-3 thoughts per minute compared to the average of 35 during everyday wakefulness

How to Practice NSDR

Practicing NSDR requires creating a conducive environment and dedicating a specific amount of time for the practice. Here are the steps to get started:

  1. Find a quiet space: Choose a calm and quiet space where you can relax without distractions.
  2. Assume a comfortable position: Sit or lie down in a position that allows your body to fully relax. You can use cushions or props to support your body if needed.
  3. Set a timer: Decide on the duration of your NSDR session. It could be anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your preference and availability.
  4. Focus on your breath: Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Take slow, deep breaths, and let go of any tension with each exhale.
  5. Relax your body: Gradually scan your body from head to toe, consciously releasing any areas of tension or discomfort.
  6. Quiet your mind: Allow your thoughts to come and go without judgment or attachment. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your breath.
  7. Experience the deep rest: As you continue to relax and let go, you may enter a state of deep restfulness. It is a state of being fully awake and aware while experiencing profound relaxation.
  8. End the session gradually: When your timer goes off, slowly bring your awareness back to your surroundings. Take a few moments to stretch and transition back into your regular activities.
  9. You can take the help of  NSDR YouTube.

The Benefits of NSDR

NSDR offers several benefits for both the body and mind. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Restores energy: NSDR provides deep rejuvenation, allowing you to replenish your energy levels and feel more refreshed.
  • Reduces stress: By releasing accumulated stress and tension, NSDR helps promote a sense of calm and relaxation.
  • Enhances focus and clarity: Regular practice of NSDR can improve mental clarity, concentration, and overall cognitive function.
  • Promotes better sleep: NSDR can help regulate sleep patterns and improve the quality of your sleep.
  • Boosts overall well-being: The deep rest experienced during NSDR positively impacts emotional well-being, leading to increased happiness and contentment.

Do You Need a Guru for NSDR?

While having a guru or teacher can provide guidance and support, NSDR can be practiced without one. The steps outlined above are sufficient for anyone interested in experiencing the benefits of NSDR.

However, if you prefer personalized instruction or want to deepen your practice, seeking guidance from an experienced practitioner or attending NSDR workshops and retreats can be beneficial.


Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR) is a powerful technique that allows individuals to experience profound relaxation and rejuvenation. By incorporating NSDR into your routine, you can enhance your overall well-being, reduce stress, and improve your quality of life. Whether you choose to practice NSDR on your own or seek guidance from a guru, the benefits of this practice are within your reach.

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