Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, reveals the influence on his life of the NSDR method.
In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, reveals the influence of the NSDR meditation method on his life. Editor’s note? If you haven’t yet heard of this technique, which helps keep in shape without going through the nap box, we’ll tell you more.
When asked if he practices meditation, Sundar Pichai (who, by the way, has very good taste in watches) admitted that it was not easy for him, and that he preferred a form of meditation “more active”, like walking.
“Walking helps me a lot. It’s much easier to think when I’m walking. During the pandemic, I got into the habit of walking my dog while listening to podcasts.” And this is where another form of meditation comes in.
According to the CEO, the podcasts in question were about relaxation and the famous NSDR technique, or “Non-Sleep Deep Relaxation“, Where “Deep Rest Without Sleep” in French. This technique consists of lying down without moving, focusing on the sensations felt in different parts of the body.
In short, these podcasts are a kind of guided meditation, and there are both for beginners and for those accustomed to meditation. Besides, there are not only podcasts, but also videos. “Sometimes when I want to meditate, I go to YouTube and look for an NSDR video,” the man clarified in the interview.
NSDR and its advantages
The term NSDR was coined by neurologist Andrew D. Huberman, head of the Huberman Lab, who studies how the brain works and how to repair neural circuits damaged by injury or disease. He thought the term would appeal to people unfamiliar with meditation or wellness, who might be intimidated or alienated by these concepts (it is common to see people turn away from traditional meditation because they are unable to adapt to it, or that they do not believe in its benefits). NSDR seeks to lead to a deep level of rest and recovery, without falling asleep.
Dr. Huberman follows this method himself. He wrote on Twitter that he’s been using it for over a decade and sees it as “one of the most effective tools for regaining sleep, focus, and neuroplasticity,” the latter being the ability of the brain to change in response to stimuli. He also noted that this method reduced stress, helped with falling asleep more easily and having deeper sleep (if that’s what one is looking for), and could even improve learning abilities.
Various podcasts or videos related to the NSDR method are easily found online, but the ideal is to opt for those made by experts. Huberman recommends Kamini Desai and Liam Gillen (both are in English).
Sundar Pichai also talked about his sleep routine: he sleeps about 7 hours a night, gets up between 6:45 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., and his breakfast is very simple. For 15 years, he has been eating eggs on toast and drinking chai tea when he wakes up. The CEO of Google explains that breakfast is the only time he can “take the time to think quietly”, and that he therefore likes to enjoy it in peace. “Reading the news in the morning has always been very important to me.”