Interview with The Sleep Guru
- 15 August 2017 15 August 2017
Anandi, The Sleep Guru
Anandi is an Ayurvedic Sleep Coach and author of Breathe Better, Sleep Better. She works with female entrepreneurs and executives to help them overcome their insomnia, sleep deprivation and stress, without drugs. She runs retreats, workshops and private coaching. Her message to the world is ‘you need balance, not drugs’.
What inspired you to become a Sleep Guru?
I suffered from terrible insomnia for about 15 years. I know how tempting it is to turn to drugs, but I absolutely know, sleep is a matter of balance, not drugs. I'm passionate about sharing that message.
Why is sleep so important for our health and performance?
During sleep, your mind and body refreshes and renews. Without sufficient sleep, you'll have no energy, it will be difficult to concentrate and it could seriously damage your health long term.
Why is it becoming harder for people to get a good night’s sleep?
People are connected to the internet 24/7 and even take their devices to bed with them. There's no space for the mind to quieten and wind down which is causing a huge problem in our society.
What is Ayurveda and how can it benefit sleep?
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system that focuses on bringing the body back into balance through calming the mind, connecting with the soul and balancing the five elements in the body using food as medicine.
What is your top tip on how to improve sleep quality?
My top tip would be to turn off technology by 8.30pm and have an evening wind down ritual that includes breathing and meditation. There are some examples in my book Breathe Better, Sleep Better.
What are sleep cycles and why are they significant?
Your sleep is governed by your circadian rhythm which is the natural rhythm of nature. When the sun goes down, your melatonin levels rise, and when the sun rises in the morning your serotonin levels rise. If you are in balance, your natural sleep cycle will come into alignment with the cycles of the sun. It's vitally important to turn the lights down in the evening, and absolutely no blue light from your devices. It's equally important to get out into the natural light in the morning. If you do that, you'll have more of a chance of bringing your natural sleep cycles into balance.
How much sleep do we really need each night?
Most people need minimum 6 hours, optimally 8 hours. People often say they can survive on 5, but they get used to feeling tired all the time and think that's normal. If they were getting more sleep, they would realise that they can't function to their full potential with as little as 5 hours.
How can you prepare your body for optimal sleep?
Top and tail the day with practices like breathing, meditation and yoga, and eat light in the evening. Avoid alcohol, coffee and tea.
Tell us about your own night time routine?
I switch my phone onto aircraft mode at about 8pm so I'm not tempted to check emails or respond to notifications for any of the apps. I have a 10 minute breath ritual before I turn the lights out.
What happens on a ‘sleep retreat’ and what are the benefits of attending one?
My sleep retreats are a full immersion of the practices I'm discussing here. People will learn about their constitution and take home tools that will truly transform their lives.