NSDR: A Tool by Andrew Huberman

What is NSDR (Important)?

The term “Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR)” was coined by Andrew Huberman. It refers to a set of relaxation methods that can help you achieve a state of deep rest similar to sleep, without actually sleeping.

It includes yoga nidra, hypnosis, and other meditation-like practices that promote a calm and restful state.

Benefits of NSDR.

  1. Dopamine increase: Dopamine released during NSDR is associated more with creativity and divergent thinking rather than motivation and drive, as it occurs within the nigrostriatal pathway. The dopamine release in this pathway during NSDR promotes access to visual imagery and a broader library of potential solutions, enhancing creative exploration & problem-solving.
  2. Stress Reduction: NSDR helps activate the body’s relaxation response, reducing the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. Regular practice can lead to a more relaxed and calmer state of mind.
  3. Enhanced Neuroplasticity: NSDR has been shown to enhance neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to adapt and rewire itself in response to experiences and learning. This can lead to improved cognitive functions, memory, and learning abilities.
  4. Improved Sleep: While your goal isn’t to sleep after NSDR (the “non-sleep” part), it can help improve the quality of sleep by promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.
  5. Better Focus and Concentration: Regular Non-Sleep Deep Rest practice can improve focus and concentration by calming the mind and reducing distractions.
  6. Emotional Regulation: NSDR can help individuals manage emotions better and improve emotional resilience.
  7. Reduced Anxiety: Non-Sleep Deep Rest can be effective in reducing anxiety and promoting a sense of inner calm.

Music or No Music?

Music is usually not played during Non-Sleep Deep Rest sessions. The studies conducted on NSDR did not incorporate music into the sessions, so we will adhere to the same protocol.

NSDR Sessions (10, 15 & 20 minutes).

20 Minutes.

Here is a 20-minute session based on the same protocol used by Andrew Huberman (audio generated using ElevenLabs).

15 Minutes.

Here is a 15-minute session based on the same protocol used by Andrew Huberman (audio generated using ElevenLabs).

10 Minutes (Narrated by Andrew Huberman).

Here is a Non-Sleep Deep Rest session narrated by Andrew Huberman himself. If you haven’t experienced an NSDR session before, this is a great place to start.

  • If you need longer sessions, please ask in the comments.


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Also read: Alternative to Dopamine Detox: Tools by Andrew Huberman (Faster Restoration of Dopamine for Motivation).