Non-Sleep Deep Rest: Way To Enhance Your Workplace Wellness
Most of us are living lives in rest deficit. But rest is the vitamin of the mind, body, and soul. So making sure you are getting enough rest is essential.
Deep rest is a state of relaxation with awareness involving rest followed by directed focus. NSDR or Non-sleep deep rest allows you to stay calm in a state of chaos. It is considered a centuries-old practice called Yoga Nidra, which means yogic sleep in Sanskrit.
A 10-minute NSDR can be as effective and restorative as sleeping, even at work.
About Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR)
Dr. Andrew Huberman, a Stanford University neuroscience professor, coined the term "non-sleep deep rest". This technique doesn't intend to induce sleep but helps you get into a semi-focused state. That occurs when you're still awake, but your consciousness isn't totally under your power.
Dr. Huberman is a long-term practitioner of NSDR. "I have been using NSDR daily for ~10 years and find it to be among the more powerful tools out there for recovering lost sleep, focus (after) & neuroplasticity," he wrote on Twitter.
Huberman, on the podcast The Tim Ferriss Show in 2021, stated that "the conscious access states of deep rest for the sake of, again, falling asleep more easily and reducing stress, but also for enhancing learning rates."
The idea behind NSDR is to get yourself to a sleep-like state for a short time to let the brain rest. It helps restore your energy for the rest of your day. According to Dr. Chris Winter, a neurologist, and author of "The Sleep Solution" and "The Rested Child," NSDR can give you a major boost during your lunch break.
You can also listen to our podcast: Deep Rest In The Workplace by Sindhujaa Kumar
Significance Of Non-Sleep Deep Rest in Employees' daily life
Stress is becoming an inevitable part of an employee's life. According to the American Psychological Association's (APA) annual stress survey in 2018, average stress levels in the United States were 4.9 on a scale from 1 to 10. And a 2018 review of studies found that work-related stress leads to heart disease.
Stress and anxiety causes work fatigue. Due to which, you can become less productive and more prone to absenteeism at work.
So, non-sleep deep rest allows you to redirect your focus amidst a hectic day and become more productive at work. Even 10 minutes of deep rest at work can work wonders. It allows the brain to cool down and reduce stress.
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai was asked how he manages the hectic silicon valley time. He expressed that meditation is something he values but struggles to do it. And finds walking or pacing easier and more helpful.
Also, unwind by listening to a podcast for relaxation, including those based on NSDR. It involves lying in place, unmoving, and directing your awareness to the rise and fall of the breath and the senses in different body parts.
The method also aims to cultivate a deep, recuperative level of rest but not necessarily through sleep. Therefore making it a powerful tool for your parasympathetic nervous system.
The parasympathetic nervous system is a network of nerves that relaxes your body after stress by improving digestion and body functioning.
7 Benefits of NSDR
A Yoga Nidra NSDR involves following guided meditation to attain a self-directed state of calmness. If led by an instructor, it involves a specific script that guides you through a body scan.
Huberman's NSDR is said to be the gateway to a state of repose. And it helps to shift your attention to different parts of your body. And thus, improves your learning, reduces stress, and helps you to relax.
Now, here are the 7 advantages of practicing NSDR;
1. It improves your memory retention and rates of neuroplasticity
"Your brain is working for you when you're resting, so rest is important for memory and cognitive function," Davachi.
Our memory is a skill that can be improved with healthy habits and rest. Restlessness is a hindrance to memory retention in the long run. The major factor behind this can be stress and anxiety from work-life. So, to remain healthy and avoid such conditions (like memory loss or dementia), deep rest is vital.
NSDR includes self-hypnosis, primarily used to facilitate lost-sleep recovery, focus, and neuroplasticity (according to Huberman). It is a powerful practice of conscious sleep for deep relaxation.
Thirty minutes of Yoga Nidra can be as restful as two to four hours of sleep.
2. Lessens stress
You might be involved in many daily tasks, like completing a pending task, meeting with an important client, etc. But do you know you cannot give 100 percent if you are rest deprived?
NSDR fosters a deep sense of tranquility and respite. Bringing yourself to a steady state through breathing and visualization is the essence of yoga nidra—and NSDR.
You might know stress is a modern-day well-being killer. And reducing it is the only way to become healthy.
NSDR is a powerful tool that, if done regularly, provides endless health benefits. It helps you reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
Moreover, at work, it increases focus and neuroplasticity of the brain's capacity to modify, alter, and acclimate in response to experiences.
3. Enhances cognitive functioning
Cognitive health is how well you think, learn, and remember. Engaging in meaningful activities or productive hobbies helps improve your cognitive function.
But besides that, you need to pause and reset your hectic schedule. Without adequate rest, your brain and body will slow down. Ultimately it will hamper your performance and productivity at work.
Practicing non-sleep deep rest can improve your cognitive function and behavioral health. Well, it will also help you avoid old-age conditions like Alzheimer's.
4. Re-energizes sleep quality
According to a Healthline article, a 2020 analysis found that adults who slept fewer than 7 hours per night have a 41% increased risk of developing obesity.
Getting a good night's sleep is fundamnetal as it intensifies well-being. It also boosts productivity and creativity by fostering intellectual wellness.
A sleep-deprived workforce usually undermines performance and creates a gap in building positive growth culture and environment.
You can also listen to our podcast: How To Build A Positive Company Culture?
5. Elevates mental clarity and focus
Mental clarity and focus are essential before you open your laptop and start work. With that, you could redirect to your work and finish it on time.
An employee must be mentally and emotionally healthy to have mental clarity and intense focus. If an employee goes through some physical or mental health condition, it will be hard to remain focused.
With non-sleep deep rest, you can find your course back to what needs to be done by the end. At the same time, you can remain vigorous throughout your days, weeks, and months.
6. Enables to endure pain in a better way
Chronic pain is complex, and it can take some time to find the best pain relief methods that work for them. There are many options, such as hot and cold therapy, yoga, or non-sleep deep rest. Several others include breathwork, tai chi, drug therapy, etc.
But the best is always creating the habit of offloading stress or pain by practicing non-sleep deep rest. Try offloading your pain with this practice regularly in the office or home.
7. Enriches resilience
Building resilience is not just agility to the ability to become flexible in all ways. It is about realizing your inner worth and cultivating flexibility; in your thoughts, actions, and conduct.
NSDR elevates your mind, body, and spirit resilience by aligning them. Besides, it creates a sense of wholesomeness, peace, and connectedness in any situation at work.
After all, you must build resilience to cope with crises at work and with your team.
Read: Relevance Of Loving-kindness Meditation At The Workplace
NSDR might sound complicated, but it will surely uplift your overall health and well-being once you start practicing. It will supplement not only your wellness but your entire office's.
Happiness at work highly depends on a healthy work environment and healthy employees. And, in today's time, having both of them is crucial.
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