What is NSDR (Non-Sleep Deep Rest)?

How to practice at home.

NSDR, or nonsleep deep rest, refers to a state of deep relaxation akin to the restorative effects of sleep achieved while awake. It’s a concept popularized by Dr. Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist at Stanford University. This is one of our favorite forms of self-care as it allows us to prioritize our mental and physical health by promoting relaxation and restoration of our minds and bodies, similar to what happens during deep sleep.

The key to practicing NSDR is to find activities that help you unwind, quiet your mind, and promote deep relaxation. Experiment with different techniques and see what works best for you. In this article, we will share some of our favorite ways to practice NSDR at home.

BREATHE

Practice deep breathing exercises to calm your nervous system and induce relaxation. Focus on slow, deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. An easy practice to begin with is Diaphragmatic Breathing (Belly Breathing):

  1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
  2. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen.
  3. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise as you fill your lungs with air.
  4. Exhale slowly through your mouth, emptying your lungs completely and allowing your abdomen to fall.
  5. Focus on the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body, and the rise and fall of your abdomen with each breath.
  6. Repeat for several breaths, gradually increasing the duration of each inhalation and exhalation.

This deep breathing technique can help activate your body’s relaxation response, reduce stress, and promote a sense of calm and well-being. 

RELAX

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is a relaxation technique that involves systematically tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in the body. This method helps release physical tension and promote deep relaxation. Here’s how you can practice PMR for NSDR:

  1. Find a comfortable position and close your eyes.
  2. Tense one muscle group (e.g., toes) for 5-10 seconds.
  3. Release and relax the muscle completely.
  4. Notice the contrast between tension and relaxation.
  5. Repeat with each muscle group, moving from toes to head.
  6. End with deep breathing to enhance relaxation.

Practice PMR regularly to help reduce stress, promote relaxation, and improve overall well-being. It can be particularly beneficial as part of your NSDR routine, helping you achieve a state of deep rest and rejuvenation.

MOVE

Engage in gentle yoga or stretching exercises to release tension in your body and promote relaxation. Pay attention to your breath as you move through each posture. Opt for gentle yoga poses like Child’s Pose and Cat-Cow, or do relaxing stretches for major muscle groups. Practice regularly in a quiet space, focusing on deep breathing and mindfulness for maximum relaxation.

Whether you choose yoga, stretching, or a combination of both, aim to practice regularly to reap the full benefits of NSDR. Listen to your body and honor its needs, adjusting your practice as necessary to promote deep rest and rejuvenation.

VISUALIZE

Visualization is a powerful technique for promoting relaxation and deep rest. Visualize a peaceful scene in a quiet space. Engage all your senses to imagine yourself in a serene environment like a beach or forest. Stay present and relaxed, then gently return to the present moment when you’re ready. Practice regularly for deep rest and relaxation.

At the bottom, you will find a link to Sara Raymond’s “20-Minute Guided Meditation for Reducing Anxiety and Stress: Clear the Clutter to Calm Down.”

BATH

Take a warm bath to relax your muscles and soothe your mind. Add some essential oils or bath salts for an extra dose of relaxation. Taking a warm bath is an excellent way to practice NSDR at home. Here’s how you can make the most of your bath for relaxation:

  1. Prepare a comfortable bath with added scents like lavender.
  2. Set a calming atmosphere with dim lighting and soft music.
  3. Immerse yourself, relax your muscles, and focus on the sensory experience.
  4. Stay hydrated and exit the bath mindfully, carrying the relaxation with you.

By taking a warm bath mindfully and with intention, you can effectively practice NSDR at home and reap the benefits of deep relaxation and rejuvenation.

HYDRATE

Dehydration can increase your blood sugar levels! When you are dehydrated, the sugar in your circulation becomes more concentrated. High blood sugar also causes you to head to the bathroom more, resulting in dehydration. So, drink your water!

TOOLS + RESOURCES

Leave a Comment

Identify yourself – You are encouraged to use your actual name, including when posting comments or participating in discussions. Your online name is displayed as your first name and last initial. You may not represent yourself as another person, or imply any connection with any person or organization with which you are not in fact associated.  

Be courteous, respectful, and appropriate – You agree that your comments, ideas, and feedback will be constructive and will not sharply criticize or attack another Salveo Sister or her ideas. Further, you agree to refrain from posting or uploading anything obscene, hateful, blasphemous, or derogatory. You also agree to refrain from posting or uploading anything that is defamatory or libelous or invades another person’s privacy or proprietary rights. If you need to ask yourself whether something is appropriate, it’s probably not.  

No spamming or intentional disruptions – You agree not to deliberately disrupt discussions with repetitive messages, meaningless messages, or “spam.” Furthermore, you will not upload, post, or submit anything that contains any viruses or cancel bots, Trojan horses, harmful code, or other computer software programs designed to interrupt another person’s participation in, or enjoyment of this Salveo Sisterhood online forum.  

No solicitation – You agree to refrain from sending any bulk unsolicited advertising, promotional information, commercial email, or other solicitation (including, but not limited to junk mail, chain letters, or pyramid schemes of any sort) to any person through the online forum. 

Comply with the law – You will comply with all applicable laws when participating in this online forum and will not use the Salveo Sisterhood online forum for illegal purposes 

Be kind – Always