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  • Team Lucid

Non-sleep deep rest: a beginner's guide

Non-sleep deep rest, or NSDR, is more or less what it sounds like: a way to give your brain a meaningful break, without fully falling asleep. By inducing deep relaxation, NSDR can help you rest, refocus, and recharge midday. Championed by neuroscientist Andrew Huberman, it’s particularly useful for people who struggle with other relaxation techniques, such as naps or meditation.

How do I do it?

If you’re new to NSDR, we recommend this 4-step approach:

  1. Sit or recline in a comfy position.

  2. Put on your headphones and play relaxing music.

  3. Set a timer for 10 minutes.

  4. Close your eyes until the timer goes off.

That’s it! Don’t try to fall asleep or enter some zen state. Simply allow yourself to do nothing, without any particular goal. Once you’re used to the practice, you can incorporate some of the more structured techniques mentioned below. Over time, you may also want to adjust the length of your sessions (we recommend anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes).

Structured NSDR

If you’reready for a more structured approach to NSDR (or need something to do while you’re lying there!), add one or or both of the following to your practice:

  • Body scan: Bring your attention to different parts of your body, starting from your toes and working up to the top of your head. Notice any tension (e.g, a clenched jaw or fists) and try to release that tension.

  • Breath work: Start by focusing on your breath’s natural rhythm, without altering it. After a few minutes of natural breathing, introduce the 4-7-8 technique: inhale for 4 counts, hold your breath for 7 counts, and exhale for 8 counts. Maintain this pattern as long as desired.

What if I fall asleep?

Like NSDR, naps are a great way to rest and recharge, so if your session turns into a nap, that’s fine! We recommend setting


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