The art of sleep: A sleep whisperer’s guide

The art of sleep: A sleep whisperer’s guide
Photo: Collected

Good sleep is a blessing — and who would appreciate this more than someone who has known good sleep before but is now gradually losing the penchant for it? Nuthan Manohar is a sleep whisperer, perfumer and a wellbeing consultant who used to pride herself on being able to sleep through anything. However, as life took over, sleep began to elude her. She woke up groggy the next day, was not operating on optimum productivity and knew she needed to do something about this. Here are 4 habits Nuthan adopted to fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up refreshed.


A known culprit for stealing good slumber is screen time. Nuthan began to turn off her laptop at 7:30PM every evening, without fail. All content that would tease the mind awake such as debates and drama would be avoided and all other screens would eventually be turned off within the next hour. She would then start her nightly rituals, which signalled to her body that it needed to go into rest mode. She put on some soft music, dimmed the lights and plugged in some scented diffuser. Within a few days, her mind grew accustomed to these cues and began associating them to sleep.

Mindful Yogic Stretches

Many of those who are unable to go to sleep experience tightness in their muscles. A combination of gentle stretches and forward bends, coupled with slow breathing helped Nuthan relax her muscles before turning in for the night. Low intensity stretches are known stress relievers and they clear the mind, encouraging better REM sleep.

Moon Milk

Moon milk is a famous Ayurvedic remedy for inducing calming sleep. A pinch of nutmeg, a tablespoon of almond flakes, few strands of saffron, and half-a-teaspoon Ashwagandha in a cup of full fat milk is all it is. Boiled and simmered for five minutes, it is delicious on its own, or with an added sweetener. Vegans and vegetarians can easily substitute cow milk with oat or almond milk. Another magic remedy to induce sleep is the juice of ash gourd (jail kumro). If this can be sourced, it comes with additional benefits such as alkalising the body, promoting gut health, helping with weight loss, etc.

Sleep Whisperer

With more than ten years of research and training-exposure, Nuthan knew the benefits of specific slow rhythmic breathing techniques and a calming voice. She chose between diaphragmatic breathing, box breathing, 4-7-8 breathing techniques or Ujjayi breathing to help her. She also invited her friend to talk her to sleep. If no one is available to do that for you, slow breathing, coupled with soft music also helps in much the same way, making sure you fall asleep faster and do not wake up in the middle of the night.

Happy sleeping!