[Best] NSDR Protocols – How to Use Them for Deep Sleep and Rest

person about to touch the calm water. nsdr protocol

NSDR Protocols

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t get enough deep sleep. And that can have some serious consequences for your health and well-being.

But what if I told you there was a way to hack your sleep cycle and get more deep sleep? Well, there is! And it’s called NSDR protocols.

NSDR protocols are a series of specific actions and behaviors that you can do before bedtime to promote deep sleep. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to use NSDR protocols for deep sleep and restful nights.

So, let’s get started!

What are the best NSDR protocols to use for deep sleep and rest?

1. Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra is a form of guided meditation that induces hypnagogia, the state of consciousness between sleep and wakefulness. It is an effective NSDR protocol that helps to improve sleep quality, reduce stress and tension, and lower blood pressure. To practice Yoga Nidra, find a quiet place free from distractions and get comfortable.

You can play any of the Yoga Nidra tracks available on the internet to direct your awareness to different parts of your body until you get to a state where you’re half awake and half asleep.

girl in teal t-shirt lying on white and black stripe bed. nsdr protocol

The recommended duration for Yoga Nidra is about 20 minutes, and it can be practiced anytime in the day as a boost or in the evening to aid deep sleep.

The practice involves following a guided meditation called a script that guides you through a body scan, focusing on different body parts in turn. Yoga Nidra is an easy and effective choice for beginners and can be used as a bedtime ritual for calming the mind and body to help you get to sleep – but not to replace sleep.

2. Self-guided hypnosis

Self-guided hypnosis is a powerful tool to help you achieve deep sleep and relaxation. Self-hypnosis, is a technique that allows individuals to induce a hypnotic state in themselves without the need for a hypnotherapist or external guidance.

In self-guided hypnosis, individuals typically use recorded audio scripts, written scripts, or their own mental imagery and suggestions to guide themselves into a hypnotic trance. This can be done through techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, visualization, and positive affirmations.

Once in a hypnotic state, individuals can use the power of suggestion to work on various goals or address specific issues. This could include promoting relaxation, reducing stress or anxiety, enhancing self-confidence, improving sleep, managing pain, overcoming phobias, or changing certain behaviors or habits.

To start, find a quiet and comfortable place to lie down, free from distractions. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, inhaling for four counts and exhaling for eight counts. Then, begin to visualize a peaceful scene, such as a beach or a forest. Imagine yourself in this serene environment, feeling completely relaxed and at ease. As you continue to focus on this visualization, repeat a calming phrase to yourself, such as “I am calm and peaceful.” Allow yourself to sink deeper into relaxation with each breath. Finally, imagine yourself falling into a deep sleep, feeling completely rested and rejuvenated upon waking. With practice, self-guided hypnosis can become a powerful tool for achieving restful sleep and relaxation. Remember to be patient with yourself and enjoy the process.

What is NSDR protocol?

NSDR protocol, or non-sleep deep rest protocol, is a technique used to achieve a state of deep relaxation and rejuvenation without actually falling asleep. The purpose of NSDR is to achieve a level of deep rest that may have been missed during the previous night’s sleep.

The benefits of NSDR include improving cognitive function, accelerating learning, triggering neural plasticity, reducing anxiety, and improving the ability to fall asleep more easily. NSDR can be achieved through techniques such as yoga nidra and hypnosis, and it is recommended to practice it after engaging in activities that require intense focus or learning.

NSDR by Huberman

NSDR protocols, first coined by neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman, are essential daily practices that enhance learning, help recover from lack of sleep, and improve the quality of deep sleep. These protocols include Yoga Nidra and self-directed hypnosis, which help the body reach a state of deep relaxation while remaining conscious.

By following these protocols, individuals can lean into the day with more energy and reduce stress. NSDR protocols have been shown to improve overall sleep quality, enhance memory consolidation, and aid in emotional regulation.

Practicing NSDR for 10-30 minutes a day can help improve sleep quality and promote deep rest, leading to better physical and mental health. Overall, NSDR protocols are a useful tool for those looking to improve their sleep quality and overall well-being.

What NSDR does Huberman recommend?

NSDR (Non-Sleep Deep Rest) is a practice that promotes deep relaxation and restfulness without actually falling asleep. Dr. Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist and professor at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, has developed specific NSDR protocols that can help individuals achieve deep rest and better sleep quality. Here are some of the NSDR protocols that Huberman recommends:

  1. Yoga Nidra: A guided meditation technique that involves lying down and listening to a guided meditation that takes you through different stages of relaxation.
  2. Self-directed hypnosis: A technique that involves focusing on a specific goal or intention and using self-suggestion to achieve a deep state of relaxation.
  3. Progressive muscle relaxation: A technique that involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups to promote relaxation and release tension.
  4. Box breathing: A breathing technique similar to the 478 sleep trick that involves inhaling for a count of four, holding for a count of four, exhaling for a count of four, and holding for a count of four.

By incorporating these NSDR protocols into your daily routine, you can experience deep relaxation, better sleep quality, and improved cognitive function.

How Can Setting Effective Boundaries Help with Achieving Deep Sleep and Rest?

Setting stress-free sleep boundaries is crucial for achieving deep sleep and rest. By clearly defining when and where we sleep, we create a favorable environment for relaxation. This may involve establishing a regular sleep schedule, maintaining a peaceful bedroom ambiance, and refraining from engaging in stimulating activities close to bedtime. Emphasizing boundaries can help our mind and body recognize sleep as a priority, leading to more fulfilling and rejuvenating rest.


How can the NSDR Protocol help with deep sleep and rest?

The NSDR Protocol is a powerful way to promote deep sleep and rest by slowing down brain waves and mimicking the effects of slow-wave sleep. During this stage of sleep, growth hormone is released, promoting tissue repair, growth, and cognitive function. NSDR also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, decreasing stress levels and promoting relaxation.

NSDR can improve neuroplasticity, cognitive function, and mental clarity. It is recommended to practice NSDR after learning a new skill or engaging in an activity with intense focus to enhance neural plasticity and cognitive performance. Overall, NSDR is a free and effective tool for improving both physical and mental well-being.

What techniques are used in the NSDR Protocol?

NSDR, or non-sleep deep rest, is a technique used to achieve deep relaxation, rejuvenation, and even trigger neural plasticity. There are two primary techniques recommended for NSDR: Yoga Nidra and Hypnosis.

Yoga Nidra is a form of guided meditation, Self-Hypnosis involves engaging in a deeper, detached state of consciousness. This technique offers similar restorative benefits as Yoga Nidra but may involve the suppression of consciousness, leading to a potential loss of memory of the experience.

How do I access the NSDR Protocol?

NSDR, or Non-Sleep Deep Rest, is a powerful tool to help you relax, rejuvenate, and achieve a deeper and more restful sleep. Here’s a step-by-step guide to accessing the NSDR protocol:

  1. Find a comfortable, quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. This could be a couch or bed.
  2. Wear comfortable clothing that you would typically sleep in.
  3. Turn off all electronics in the room that may disturb you.
  4. Choose an NSDR protocol that suits your needs. Dr. Andrew Huberman recommends Yoga Nidra and Hypnosis.
  5. Play a guided NSDR video or track. There are many available on YouTube, and you can also find a zero-cost NSDR script made by Andrew Huberman P h D within the app Virtusan Clouds – Kayne.
  6. Focus on the self-guided track and relax. You will soon find yourself in an ultra-relaxed state somewhere between being awake and sleeping.

What are the benefits of using the NSDR Protocol?

The NSDR Protocol has numerous benefits that can improve overall well-being. These benefits include:

  1. Better sleep quality
  2. Increased energy levels throughout the day by reducing stress and anxiety
  3. Improved focus and concentration, leading to increased productivity and performance
  4. Enhanced memory retention and learning through neuroplasticity
  5. Improved cognitive function and mental clarity
  6. Potentially helps with pain management

How does NSDR Protocol compare to other relaxation techniques?

Unlike other popular relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation, NSDR Protocol focuses on achieving a state of deep rest that can improve brain plasticity and cement learning. While meditation and yoga can also improve relaxation and reduce anxiety, they may not offer the same level of restorative benefits as NSDR Protocol.

Overall, NSDR Protocol offers a low barrier to entry and can be easily incorporated into daily routines for those looking to achieve a deeper and more restful sleep.

TechniqueApproach and Focus BenefitsCustomizability
NSDR (Non-Sleep Deep Rest)Movement-based, body awarenessPromotes relaxation, stress reductionTailored to individual needs and conditions
MeditationMindfulness and focused attentionReduces stress, improves focus and mental clarityAdaptable to different techniques and styles
HypnosisInducing a state of deep relaxationFacilitates behavior change and personal growthTailored to individual needs and goals
Yoga NidraDeep relaxation and meditationPromotes relaxation, stress reduction, and healingAdaptable to individual preferences and needs
NSDR Protocol compared to other relaxation techniques

What research is there to support NSDR Protocol?

Research has shown that Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR) protocols, such as yoga nidra and hypnosis, can promote relaxation, rejuvenation, and deeper sleep. NSDR has been found to trigger neural plasticity, which can enhance learning and cognitive performance.

Practicing NSDR after learning a new skill or engaging in an activity with intense focus can accelerate neural plasticity and improve memory retention.

NSDR has been linked to stress relief, pain management, and improved cardiovascular health. Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist, has discussed the benefits of NSDR in his podcast.

What are the different types of NSDR Protocols available?

There are two main NSDR protocols recommended by Dr. Huberman: Yoga Nidra and hypnosis. Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation that induces a state of deep relaxation while hypnosis involves a state of focused attention. Free guided Yoga Nidra meditations can be found online, and self-guided hypnosis can be done through the Reveri app.

Type of NSDR ProtocolDescription
Mindful Movement NSDRInvolves gentle, mindful movements, stretching, and postural realignment to promote relaxation, release tension, and improve body awareness.
Breathwork NSDREmphasizes specific breathing techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing, to regulate the autonomic nervous system, induce relaxation, and reduce stress.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation NSDRInvolves systematically tensing and relaxing different muscle groups to release tension, promote deep relaxation, and enhance body-mind connection.
Guided Visualization NSDRUtilizes guided imagery and visualization techniques to create a mental landscape of relaxation and tranquility, promoting a sense of calm and rejuvenation.
Sensory Stimulation NSDRIncorporates sensory experiences, such as touch therapy, aromatherapy, or listening to calming music, to enhance relaxation, reduce stress, and promote well-being.
different types of Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR) protocols

By lezt

Lez Taylor, Founder and CEO of Corala Blanket. She tried every sleep system and trick to conquer her insomnia for good.