New research has shown that just 20 minutes of Yoga Nidra can lead to better sleep and memory.

Scientists have said that practising Yoga Nidra might improve cognition, sleep, memory and ability to learn – even amongst beginners.

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is a kind of mindfulness training that aims to guide people into conscious relaxation.

Oxford Mail: There are some key differences between yoga nidra and meditation. ( Getty Images)There are some key differences between yoga nidra and meditation. ( Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)

While other more active forms of yoga focus on muscle control, breathing and often complex physical poses, Yoga Nidra is done lying down.

Although similar to meditation, Yoga Nidra is about being in a deep state of conscious awareness sleep,” according to yoga therapist and yoga program manager, Judi Bar in an interview with the Cleveland Clinic.

She added: “There are overlaps, but there also are key differences.

“With yoga nidra, you are lying down and the goal is to move into a deep state of conscious awareness sleep, which is a deeper state of relaxation with awareness

What did the study find?

Researchers from the Armed Forces Medical observed that the study’s participants demonstrated a significantly increased sleep efficiency and percentage of delta-waves in deep sleep after two weeks.

The scientists also witnessed faster responses in all cognitive tests with no loss in accuracy and faster and more accurate responses in tasks including tests of working memory, abstraction, fear and anger recognition, and spatial learning and memory tasks.

The team took measurements group of novice practitioners before and after two weeks of Yoga Nidra practice, before publishing their findings in PLOS ONE.

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The Yoga Nidra sessions were carried out during the day using a 20-minute audio recording.

The study follows previous research which also supports this link in delta-wave sleep to improved sleep quality as well as better attention and memory.

Professor Karuna Datta said: “Yoga Nidra is a low-cost and highly accessible activity from which many people might therefore benefit.

“Yoga Nidra practice improves sleep and makes brain processing faster. Accuracy also increased, especially with learning and memory related tasks.”