Are you into yoga or meditation and looking for next-generation techniques to enhance the quality of your overall physical and mental health?
If so, NSDR might be something you’re looking for.
NSRD refers to Non-Sleep Deep Rest and is a modern-day technique that can induce a state of calm and improve your brain’s neuroplasticity.
While we’ll discuss the characteristics of this technique later, right now, I’d like to share with you that since I started this technique, my energy levels and mood have turned upside down for good!
So, let’s learn 10 ways to do NSDR properly and benefit from it.
What is Non-Sleep Deep Rest?
Even if you thought that Non-Sleep Deep Rest is a term that refers to a single practice such as meditation or yoga, actually, it’s an umbrella term that can be used for various practices.
The thing that unites these techniques is that they help people achieve a calm state of mind and enhance their brain’s neuroplasticity.
Now you probably wonder what neuroplasticity is.
Well, neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to adapt to new information and develop connections between neurons. And as studies prove, neuroplasticity can improve our cognitive functions and memory.
Surprisingly, a simple technique such as NSDR is significantly linked to your brain’s neuroplasticity and is accompanied by various positive effects on your health.
And since I started to practice this technique, I’m sure that NSDR techniques help you achieve a state of mind where your brain can learn new things, which will make you feel more confident, happier, and healthier.
One more thing that makes this technique unique is that it doesn’t aim to induce sleep or make you dreamy.
Instead, it just helps you relax, focus your thoughts on one single thing, and turn your conscious mind into something specific that’s under your control.
Want to know the most beneficial part of the NSDR technique?
You can enjoy the benefits of sleep without actually sleeping!
Does this sound appealing to you?
If so, let’s get started and look at 10 ways to do NSDR properly so that we can benefit from this technique as much as possible!
1) Let go of any expectations you might have
The first and most important thing you should know about the NSDR technique is that you shouldn’t have any specific expectations about it.
In other words, if you have any expectations that your mind should relax or sleep, don’t do NSDR.
Instead, just let go of all such expectations and focus on the present moment.
Even if you think that thinking about something is a waste of time, let’s not think about anything for now. For the time being, just keep your mind blank and empty.
The thing is that NSDR is not the same as deep meditation or any other traditional practice.
That’s because it doesn’t require you to focus and be relaxed or be in a state of deep silence.
It is a very simple technique and doesn’t require you to close your eyes.
It is a mix of meditation, mindfulness, and other practices that can help you get the best of both worlds.
Now, this might sound counterintuitive, but believe me, when I say, expectations are the main reason why we fail to get the best out of everything.
When it comes to meditating, lots of people, especially beginners, have all these expectations from it. They expect the technique to work and that they’ll get all their problems solved in one go.
Expectations like these will ruin your meditation experience and will stop you from getting the benefits of it. So, let go of all your expectations and just go with the flow.
Because you don’t know what NSDR is going to bring to your life and what you can gain from it.
And you really shouldn’t know! That’s actually one of the benefits of NSDR.
So, just start practicing the technique and see what happens to your life in the next few days.
2) Start doing NSDR right after waking up in the morning
Did you know that you can do NSDR right after waking up in the morning?
And that’s not just a myth.
It is a proven fact that you are more likely to have better sleep if you do NSDR right after waking up in the morning.
And what’s more, it will help you wake up naturally.
While other similar techniques are usually done before going to sleep, NSDR is perfect for those who have trouble waking up early.
After all, that’s why it’s called the non-sleep technique, right?
So, over time, it will help them wake up naturally and without an alarm clock.
The reason is that NSDR can help you regain control of your body and mind.
And if your goal is to have better energy levels throughout the day and shift your mood towards being more positive, then start doing NSDR right after waking up in the morning.
The reason why I recommend doing it right after waking up is that when we wake up, our brains are still in deep sleep mode; this makes us feel groggy and unfocused.
But if you often have problems waking up in the morning and falling asleep in the middle of the night, try doing NSDR right after waking up. It can really help you get better sleep.
So, in order to get the most out of this technique, you should start doing it right after waking up in the morning.
This means that at least 10 minutes before going to bed, you should start doing NSDR.
This will help you get rid of any unwanted thoughts and make sure that your body is relaxed and ready for sleep.
3) Try to focus on one thing in particular
In order to get started with NSDR, you should try to keep your awareness of one specific thing.
This means that you should focus on the breathing process and let go of your thoughts.
If you are not yet familiar with NSDR, I’ll explain what I mean by this in a minute. But first, let me tell you about one of the best benefits of NSDR: it increases concentration.
Concentration is a very important aspect of learning, and some people are naturally more distracted than others.
In fact, research has shown that for most people, there is an inverse relationship between how much they pay attention and how well they can recall information from learning experiences later in life.
This means that the less we pay attention to something, the harder it becomes to learn it later on; this is why we often feel frustrated when trying to learn something new.
However, if we manage to increase our concentration while doing NSDR (which is easy since you are just focusing on your breathing), then it will help us remember what we have learned later on.
When you do this technique, try to focus on one single task instead of multiple tasks at once. Doing this will make you feel more relaxed than trying to concentrate on multiple things at once!
And the best part is that once your brain starts focusing on a specific topic, it will stay focused until the end of the practice!
Therefore, you can only enjoy the enhanced benefits of NSDR if you try to start this technique by keeping your mind on one thing.
4) Ensure you are in a dark, silent, and comfortable place
Perhaps not surprisingly, in order to do the NSDR technique the right way, you must be in a dark, silent, and comfortable place.
This means that it is not recommended to do this technique in a noisy place like a busy street or your noisy bedroom.
You should also make sure that the room you are doing this technique in is as quiet as possible.
In fact, I recommend that you do not even talk to anyone when starting this practice.
If there are other people around you at home, try to ensure they are sound asleep and completely quiet. If they are still awake while you are doing the technique, then it is best if they leave the room while you are practicing, so it will be more effective.
So, before you begin, ensure that the place you are in is dark and silent. You can either wear earplugs or headphones with soothing music.
That way, you’re in your own private place, with no distractions. In order to reap the best benefits from this technique, you must be comfortable.
So, try sitting on a comfortable mat or a pillow.
If you have trouble finding a quiet place at home, then perhaps you can find one at work or school (unless there is no one else around).
However, please be aware that doing NSDR in public places may reduce its potential benefits for your health.
So, make sure to do this in a private environment if possible.
You should also try to keep your surroundings dark so that your mind does not start worrying about anything else other than focusing on the breathing process.
This will help keep your mind focused on what matters most: relaxing and focusing on your breath!
5) Try grounding and breathing exercises
And now, let’s get to the most important part of doing NSDR.
You must try to do some grounding and breathing exercises before beginning the NSDR technique.
Grounding exercises are a very important part of this technique, as they will help you to become more mindful of your body and surroundings.
They can also help you to feel more at peace and relaxed when the time comes for you to do the practice.
The fact of the matter is that grounding is a very effective technique for reducing stress and anxiety. It is a technique that also helps to reduce any negative emotions in the body.
When you are grounded, you are connected to the earth, your body, and your core when you are grounded.
It helps to prevent any excess energy from gathering in the body. Some people prefer to do grounding in a meditative state.
While others prefer to do it while moving around a little bit, it’s completely up to you and what works best for you.
Breathing exercises are very useful with NSDR. You can either close your eyes while you’re doing it or keep them open.
If you keep them open, try looking at a spot or a blank wall or space.
So, try doing some grounding and breathing exercises before doing NSDR.
How can you do grounding exercises?
Well, the simplest way to practice grounding is to take a deep breath for 5 counts and then exhale for 5 counts slowly.
You can also do this exercise 3 times, and during the process, you should try to focus on the way your body relaxes.
You should try to feel the tension dissipate from your body naturally.
Breathing exercises are also very useful when it comes to practicing NSDR. It helps to relieve any negative emotions and helps to keep you grounded.
Try to do some breathing exercises before doing NSDR. You can also do this in a meditative state.
6) Try the Yoga Nidra technique
Even though there are different ways to do NSDR, experienced practitioners such as Stanford professor and neuroscientist Andrew Huberman talk about two main techniques of NSDR — Yoga Nidra and Self Hypnosis.
Let’s start with Yoga Nidra.
Now you probably wonder what the term Yoga Nidra means.
Well, as the name suggests, Yoga Nidra is a technique that is related to yoga. In particular, it can be translated as “yogic sleep” or “psychic sleep”.
Considering this, it’s a state of consciousness that people can maintain between their sleeping and waking phases.
What makes this state unique?
Well, it’s induced by guided meditation, and in this case, it’s induced by the NSDR technique.
Generally, the session of this deep guided meditation is led by an experienced instructor who is able to guide you through the session.
The guided meditation usually lasts for 20 minutes. In this way, it’s very easy to enter into this state of consciousness.
It can include various states such as visualization, rotation of your consciousness around different parts of the body, or focusing on different senses.
Wondering why you should use this technique?
The reason is that Yoga Nidra aims to help you maintain consciousness in a single state where you’re about to fall asleep but you’re not actually sleeping.
Still, this half-awareness phase comes with plenty of benefits for your mental and physical health.
So, what are the benefits of this technique?
From my experience, Yoga Nidra can help you boost your creativity, fill you with completely new ideas and energy to take a step forward, and constructively work on all the issues you might be having.
It can also help you to relieve stress and anxiety, and to release any negativity you might have.
Yoga Nidra also helps you to reach a state of inner silence and awareness where you’re able to see the world in a different way.
You’ll be able to see things from a different perspective that will allow you to solve many of your problems more effectively.
In conclusion, Yoga Nidra is a great technique that can help us maintain consciousness between our sleeping and waking phases.
It’s very easy to learn, especially if you’ve been practicing yoga for years. It has many benefits for your health as well as for your mind. Try it!
7) Practice self-hypnosis
And the second common way to do NSDR is to practice self-hypnosis.
While in some cases, you’ll be guided by a hypnotherapist through the process of NSDR, self-hypnosis means that you’ll try to induce the same state of consciousness using your own power.
You’ll use the method of self-suggestion to bring yourself into a state of hypnosis.
First, the process of self-hypnosis will help you relax your body. Next, you’ll focus on your breathing and on a specific part of your body. Finally, you’ll try to induce sleepiness by relaxing more and more.
Usually, it takes about 15 minutes for you to be able to enter into this state of consciousness.
You can use this technique whenever you want or need it!
What are the benefits?
From my experience, self-hypnosis can help you with a lot of things:
- To relieve stress and anxiety when you’re feeling tired or stressed by something in your life;
- To boost creativity;
- To improve memory;
- To find solutions to problems;
- To solve many other issues that come up in our lives;
- And last but not least, it helps us maintain consciousness between our sleeping and waking phases!
What’s more, self-hypnosis is a more convenient way to practice NSDR than other techniques.
You don’t need to find a hypnotherapist or a yoga teacher who will guide you through the process of self-hypnosis.
You can do it by yourself, in your own home, with only your favorite music playing in the background!
8) Bring your attention to the present moment
Similar to meditation and other techniques of mindfulness, you can also bring your attention to the present moment.
Why is focusing on the present so important?
Well, the present moment is the only moment that we have at any given point in time.
And I believe that the present moment is a very special place for us to be.
The reason is that the present moment is where we can experience all of our senses to their full potential.
When you’re in the present moment, you don’t have any thoughts of the past or future running through your mind.
You are completely immersed in your current activity. Your thoughts are at bay, and you’re enjoying the process of whatever you’re doing.
This is the easiest way to let go of your thoughts and worries. Simply, bring your attention to what you’re doing at that moment.
And one of the main benefits of the NSDR technique is increased focus on the present moment.
After you practice this technique for a while, you’ll be able to let go of your thoughts and worries with ease.
So, another way to properly benefit from NSDR is to try to bring your attention to the present moment as often as you can.
9) Don’t judge anything that comes up while you’re meditating
You probably won’t be surprised if I tell you that NSDR is not only about the correct way to breathe or focus on the mind in the present moment.
Instead, it’s also about what’s going on in your mind and how you can control your thoughts during the process.
And guess what?
In order to successfully practice this technique, you should try to avoid judging anything that comes up in your mind.
And this is very important because you can’t bring your attention to the present moment if you’re judging everything that comes up in your mind.
Whatever comes up while you’re meditating, just don’t judge it. Don’t try to figure out what it means and don’t give it a label.
Just let it be and flow through your mind.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to indulge in unhealthy habits and thoughts. Just let them be and keep doing what you’re doing.
So, before you start practicing NSDR, try to avoid judging anything that comes to your mind.
To do this, simply try to let go of any thoughts that come up in your mind and refocus on the present moment.
And once you’ve done this for a while, you’ll be able to easily control your thoughts during the process of meditating or self-hypnotizing.
10) Do not try to fix your breathing
And the final tip that I want to give you is to avoid the NSDR technique that is related to your breathing.
But no, I’m not going to teach you how you’re going to focus on your breathing while performing this technique.
Surprisingly, from my experience, the key here is to simply not try to fix your breathing.
One thing you should avoid while meditating is forcing your breathing. Don’t force your breath to go out or force your breath to come in.
Simply focus on your breathing and let it flow naturally.
And if you feel like you’re not breathing properly, simply try to focus on the present moment for a few seconds and then try to bring your attention back to your breath again.
So remember: the best way to go about this technique is to go slow.
Don’t rush through it. Take time to relax, take a few deep breaths, and then bring yourself back to the technique.
Next, don’t strain yourself. Don’t try too hard to do this as it’ll only make you tense.
So, relax and go slow and steady. Last but not the least, don’t breathe heavily. Try to slow down your breathing and breathe from the diaphragm. This will help you relax better.
This will help you get used to the technique and make sure that you don’t get distracted by trying to relax.
And once you have learned how to do NSDR, then it is time for you to start focusing on relaxing your mind and body!
To sum up, the technique of NSDR, or Non-Sleep Deep Rest, has plenty of benefits.
It can help you relax your body, it can help you slow down your breath, and it can help you calm down and focus better.
If you’re looking for a technique to relax your mind and body, then NSDR is definitely the way to go.
Hopefully, after sharing my experience with you, you already understand the ways to perform NSDR. Make sure to take advantage of these tips to get the most out of this technique for your health and well-being.