Sleep Recovery practice benefits
In extensive research studies from Harvard Medical School, the DOD with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Stanford, practices incorporated in the First Responder Sleep Recovery Program have been proven to:
- Improved ability to fall asleep and maintain sound sleep quality
- Mental clarity, improved mood and stress relief
- Improved cognition and rapid memory recall
- Activation of the parasympathetic nervous system
- Decrease in cortisol production and other stress hormones
- Calming of the nervous system
- Decreased respiratory and cardiac rates
- Increased perfusion and oxygen exchange
- Deeper and more regular respiration patterns
- Progressive muscular relaxation
WHAT IS A Sleep Recovery Practice?
SRP is a guided relaxation rooted in the yoga lineage called nidra. Nidra translates to "sleep". It is an ancient meditative practice dating back to 2500 B.C.E. Yoga Nidra has been endorsed by the Department of Defense (DOD) since 2006.
The founder of this program has tailored this guided relaxation practice specific for the fire service.
The DOD conducted research at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) on the efficacy of Nidra. The study at WRAMC was conducted with veterans returning from Iraq & Afghanistan experiencing health issues such as sleep disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Us Surgeon General Endorsed
The outcome of the DOD study yielded such positive results that by June of 2010, Nidra was endorsed by the United States Army Surgeon General and has been implemented as a permanent program utilized for its effective treatment of diminishing PTSD, chronic pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression and insomnia at VAs across the country.
FAQS - SLEEP RECOVERY PRACTICE
Why should I practice?
This unique form of meditation helps restore the body and mind. It has been shown that a 45 minute practice is the equivalent to 4 hours of restorative sleep. It is an effective way to train the mind to enter sleep more efficiently. This practice is powerful to “reset” the subconscious mind and has been shown highly effective in cutting bad habits, and overcoming addictions.
How is it different from other forms of meditation?
This practice is an easy way to meditate. It is easy in that the practitioner does not have the struggle of “clearing the mind” and fight busy thoughts. Instead, the practitioner is given guidance to focus on, and this intentional sequence of breath work and visualizations guide the mind from thinking to feeling. During the process, your brain waves slow down as you consciously experience the state between sleep and awake. Research shows profound changes in brain function after a daily practice for 8 weeks, as well as positive physiological effects.
How do I practice?
No experience meditating necessary. For optimal results stretch or do some gentle physical movements for a few minutes before the beginning the SRP. But if you are limited on time, you can begin the practice at any time. Practice by lying down on a flat surface, either on the bed or on a yoga mat on the floor. You may use a thin pillow under the neck and a blanket over the body.
What should I expect?
Everybody has different experiences during their first practice. Some find difficulty lying still for extended lengths of time, but as you continue to practice you’ll find ease and full relaxation comes easier. Some typical experiences may include a physical release feeling, clear mindedness and lucid dream like states of consciousness. Feeling stress relief and a renewed sense of peace is what is often experienced post - practice.
When should I practice?
Anytime! People tend to practice in the early am or late pm to start or end the day, but the practice can be beneficial at any hour.