How to sleep without sleeping? | Canary7

How to sleep without sleeping?  |  Canary7

There is a condition that is beginning to be common in men and women at this time of the 21st century and it is constant fatigue. Dragging during the day a kind of perpetual sleep that makes a pillow the greatest object of desire and that the weekends are dedicated to endless nap marathons to try to recover the hours not slept the rest of the days. This characteristic of the new society has even merited the reflection of the philosopher of modernity, the Korean Byung-Chul Han, who has diagnosed this situation in his book titled ‘The Society of Tiredness’. It is in this context that the so-called Non Sleep Deep Recovery (NSDR) arises as a way of trying to survive daily exhaustion. This technique, an evolution of yoga Nidra, has become the trend of the moment when trying to spend the day with quality of life.

Yoga Nidra or yoga of sleep emerged in the 1960s from the works of two yogis, Swami Satyananda Saraswati and Swami Sivananda. His reflection is based on a vision of sleep that has nothing to do with the image that exists in the West about the act of sleeping as a simple act of rest. The two experts came to the conclusion that there is something more, a moment in which very deep relaxation can be achieved through which the same restorative effects of sleep are achieved, but in a conscious way. That is, achieving the benefits of a nap in a few minutes, but without having to snooze, simply through a type of controlled meditation.

Yoga Nidra spread, initially throughout the United States, where it was considered a complement to other Eastern techniques for relaxation or physical well-being. Its expansion was linked to the appearance of a whole series of studies in which it is considered that sleeping and resting is as important for a healthy – and long-lived – life as diet or exercise.

Cognitive burnout

Yoga Nidra evolved through a series of more academic protocols that sought to achieve the advantages of this sleep work in a faster way. Its great introducer was Andrew Huberman, associate professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine. A large part of the work of this popularizer, whose podcast is one of the most listened to in the United States within the area of ​​health, is focused on improving the quality of life and, as a neuroscientist, on avoiding cognitive wear and tear as much as possible. that occurs with age.

For example, Huberman has dedicated hours of his podcasts and writings to detailing the damage that screens cause if they are used hours before going to sleep, since they alter the circadian rhythm, the natural cycle that the human body follows throughout life. day.

In those investigations, Huberman began to defend NSDR techniques. From his practice of yoga Nidra, the neuroscientist developed a series of guidelines and protocols to achieve that state of relaxation that with twenty minutes of daily practice – or less – can improve the quality of sleep and achieve a kind of extra energy throughout the day. throughout the day.

This expert was lucky that his technique was pushed by two factors. The first, the triumph in his country of a practice that consisted of practicing extreme early mornings – getting up at four-thirty in the morning – as a way to increase productivity and dedicate those ‘extra hours’ to sports, answering emails or organizing work. working day. But the CEOs of new technology companies also began to publicly praise the advantages that the NSDR supposedly brought them. The tiredness society turned this practice into one of the new fashions.

Don’t fall asleep

What exactly is the NSDR? In principle, it would be an extremely simple practice that begins by relaxing in a quiet place, preferably lying down, and performing a series of breathing and awareness techniques until reaching that moment in which the body, with the mind blank, reaches a sleep-like state. Twenty minutes of daily practice would be enough to get into that state in which the metabolism begins to recover as if the sleep phases had begun. Practicing the NSDR is also not difficult, since there are many recordings on various platforms to access guided meditations. In principle, the effects are similar to the practice of self-hypnosis and yoga. What is the problem for newbies? That the most normal thing is to fall asleep.

However, if you dig deeper into the NSDR (keeping us awake), the list of benefits Huberman advocates is incalculable. From reducing stress to increasing productivity and creativity, including the disappearance of insomnia. That is, nothing more nor less than being tired without noticing it.

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