Yoga Nidra vs. Sleep


I wanted to know if it is possible to use Yoga Nidra as a sleep substitute? If it can be as effective as deep sleep to the point that you can live solely on Yoga Nidra without the need for traditional sleep?



It is a powerful yoga technique, which helps one to achieve deep relaxation and awareness of ones own body, mind and emotions through yogic sleep.
Yoga-nidra is an efficient method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation while maintaining consciousness. In fact Yoga Nidra not only brings physical and mental relaxation but also prepares the mind for spiritual evolution. It is mainly associates with pratyahara (withdrawing senses form sense-objects) and dharana (concentration).
In normal sleep consciousness is absent and the unconscious is in charge. In Yoga Nidra the consciousness directs the unconscious to relax. Yoga Nidra is a ‘sleep’ where all the burdens, stress, strain, anxiety are thrown off to attain more blissful state of awareness, a relaxation much more intense than ordinary sleep. Yoga Nidra is said to be the doorway to samadhi!’

Yoga Nidra may have untold benefits that go beyond the therapeutic.

Yoga Nidra helps harmonizing two hemispheres of the brain and the two aspects of autonomous nervous system viz. sympathetic and parasympathetic. The rotation of body awareness stimulates different parts of the brain that control each and every body nerve. When you are aware of each part of your body, you are actually massaging the corresponding part in the brain as well. You establish the connection between the body and the mind. The impressions in the subconscious are brought to surface, experienced and removed. Thus, the fixation of awareness to the body is replaced with the awareness linked to subtler aspects of prana and spiritual dimensions.

from yogic sleep

Yoga Nidra will not work as a sleep substitute in my opinion until you are very advanced in the practice. It is an effective method of rejuvinating your body and reducing stress and eliminating samskaras(archetypal mental impressions stored in the subconscious / unconscious). Unless you are able to visualize your personal symbol clearly you will be unable when you are truely tired to use yoga as a means of not sleeping. When mastery is attained though, yes I have read that yoga nidra can be substituted for sleep and is by many yogis around the world.

Hope this helps,


[QUOTE=Jerry;3491]I wanted to know if it is possible to use Yoga Nidra as a sleep substitute? If it can be as effective as deep sleep to the point that you can live solely on Yoga Nidra without the need for traditional sleep?[/QUOTE]
I think it is very powerful method to achieve the control of our dreams. If we want to keep our consciousness after death, we must train ourself to keep consciousness in dreams during all life. The adepts of Yoga-Nidra can to save consciousness even in deep narcosis. In the dream the practice of yoga is more effictive and much more easier to wake up the kundaliny. First of all, if you have catched consciousness in dream, set in position “lotus”. This action will consolidate your energy and begin to stimulate kundaliny. But to achieve control of dreams is very difficult. We must train ourself not only during the night, but during the day also. I think the practice during the day is more important. Such actions as control for thinking and emotions, healthy style of life and vegetarian diet.

Practised daily Yoga Nidra migth be able to substitute a bit of the sleep.
But still theres a limit of some hours sleep the body will need.


Hello Jerry,

You may be well aware the term Yoga Nidra has been severely diluted in our culture. As such it has been used to reference just about any guided imagery or relaxation exercise even though they are not Yoga Nidra at all.

Yoga Nidra is not a dream state. Therefore if the student is dreaming they are not in deep sleep. This is fairly obvious to anyone who has either a) studied classical yoga texts like the Gita, Vedas, Upanishads or b)read some simple articles on brain waves (beta, alpha, theta, delta).

Yoga Nidra was passed down as a tool for exploring the etchings of our consciousness known as samskaras, It is not a process for serving our “needs” or “desires”.

Therefore Yoga Nidra is not the sleep you refer to and is not a substitute for sleep at all. It may (yoga nidra) have some effects on the physical body but that is not its purpose.

But still if there is a mission in this world to br done and there is not enough time for it, Yoga Nidra can substitute a part of the sleep.
I wouldn`t call it wrong.
As I remember the question was if Yoga Nidra can substitute sleep or not.
To discuss the pourpose of Yoga Nidra migth as well be an intresting thread.

the best

In the sleeping state the body is required to be more Tamasic & the state of Yoga Nidra requires more Sattva, so how can one serve the purpose of the other ? If the nature wants our body to relax by sleeping, that is by being Tamasic, how can we go against the laws of nature ? I may be wrong.

Yoga Nidra is an ancient practice of guided relaxation that has been proven to have similar benefits to sleep. The purpose of Yoga Nidra is to induce a state of consciousness called "pure awareness," in which one experiences the same benefits as with sleep, but without the need for sleep.

"Studies show that the practice of Yoga Nidra helps facilitate brain wave coherence and balanced functioning of the autonomic nervous system." A study conducted by a team at the University of Pennsylvania found that Yogis Nidra strengthened "the heart's electrical reliability and overall function after a heart attack, reduced depression and anxiety in people with cancer, improved pain tolerance during childbirth, and decreased insomnia."

Yogis Nidra can be practiced while laying down or sitting up, depending on your flexibility level. It involves deep breathing and an exercise in which you imagine your body parts relaxing as you exhale, followed by imagining something pleasant as you inhale.