The First Step to Enhancing Sleep

If I had a dollar for how many times I have said this, I would be counting pennies for days (and probably living with a beachfront view in Lagos, Portugal). But in all seriousness, the first thing to do to improve your sleep?

Have a relaxing evening routine!

The Routine:

  1. Switch off shower - 60 minutes prior to your ideal sleep time, have a lukewarm shower, and switch off from stimulation such as work, noise, and social media.

  2. Take a Sleep Supplement. I recommend this one by Swisse.

  3. Do something relaxing for 30 minutes (!!!). Meditation, listening to zen music while deep breathing, reading a book, chatting to your partner / housemates / family / cat, listening to a podcast with a phone which has Night Mode switched on (it’s in settings for any Apple user), or my favourite, to visualise my goals. Want to watch TV? Go for it - just use these glasses if you do otherwise you’re still stimulated via the blue light!

  4. For the last 10 minutes, go to bed, start deep breathing, turn on a meditation track (Headspace is my preferred app especially for beginners) and put an eye-mask over your eyes. For those who struggle to meditate, just do deep breathing and listen to a preferred relaxation soundtrack. Personally, I love Indian Flute Music I find on YouTube.

The Why:

It sounds so basic, yet so many of us are engaged in highly stimulatory activities just before we jump into bed - working on our laptops; watching TV (without blue light blocking sunglasses, probably); out for dinner and drinks. Then we jump into bed and expect our brains to just switch off, as if you were flicking a switch? Nuh-uh. It doesn’t work like that.

See, in order to progress to quality, deep restorative sleep, as well as stay there (aka no waking up at 3am) we need to prepare ourselves - that means, Unwind Your Mind.

Biologically, this is moving from brainwaves of alpha and beta; experienced when we are alert, onto a slower brain wave pattern characterised by theta; witnessed during meditation and overall drowsiness. By doing so, we allow ourselves to easily progress into the quality sleep - because just after theta, comes delta (waves), and if our brains exhibits this during the night, we wake with that ‘best sleep of my life’ feeling.

So; how do we ensure it? Have a routine which physiologically and physiologically relaxes the body, and do it - each night. Each of these steps is a gentle signal to the body that you’re ready for sleep, which doesn’t just help you initially; it also helps you sleep through the night, aka not wake up several times with 10,000 thoughts in your mind.

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and nutritional changes you can make to improve your sleep tonight, and energy levels tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

Why Should You Improve Sleep?

Considering doing something about your sleeping habits but not sure if it’s really necessary?
This article is for you.

  • Is it reasonable to assume in the future; there will be times you are stressed, busier than normal and / or jet lagged and ideally; you won’t experience symptoms of low quality sleep, such as anxiety, forgetfulness, and burnout?

  • Do you currently experience high levels of stress, and would like to be able to manage this more effectively?

  • Do you often feel flat and exhausted throughout the day and not know how to improve your energy levels without excessive caffeine or sugar; solutions which are not maintainable long term? 

  • Do you have a role which relies upon you performing at 100% each day, and significantly suffers if you are excessively tired or unable to concentrate?

  • Do you ever forget important details, misplace items, and then spend countless hours fixing your errors? 

  • Do you want to be able to more effortlessly maintain or lose weight particularly in your abdominal region, preserve muscle tone and training results, reduce cravings for sugary snacks? 

  • Would you like to avoid pointless arguments which come from snapping at your partner, friends or family?

  • Do you want to avoid the a 90% risk increase for obesity; 23% increase in motor vehicle accidents, 9.8 fold increase risk for depression, 17.35 fold increase risk for anxiety disorders, and 29% fewer mistakes at work?

If you answered yes to any of the above; then improving sleep is for you. 

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and nutritional changes you can make to improve your sleep tonight, and energy levels tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

Key Signals You Could be Sleep Deprived

Awareness is key, right? Here are some clinically proven symptoms your sleep is out of whack. Note that you don’t need all of these signs to verify your sleep is problematic - even just one is enough to qualify you. So then, what should you be looking out for?

Evening

  • rumination (your thoughts on an endless loop) 

  • taking longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep

  • not feeling the need or ability to fall asleep until midnight or later

  • waking up in the middle of the night more than once

  • Being unable to return to sleep once you are awake 

Morning

  • feeling completely exhausted or unrefreshed upon waking 

  • relying on caffeine to get you started 

  • wanting to stay in bed for longer than 30 minutes in the morning 

  • feeling irritable, moody and grumpy 

  • Inability to focus on morning tasks 

  • anti-sociability 

Daytime 

  • forgetting where you put things, parts of conversations, or doing complete activities 

  • zoning out regularly

  • rumination (your thoughts on an endless loop) 

  • Impaired concentration or attention span

  • relying on caffeine to stay pepped up

  • feeling unusually hungry and unable to satiate your appetite 

  • cravings for sugary snacks, breads, pastries, sweets and chocolates 

  • feeling flat, depressed or burnt out 

  • feeling wired, anxious or overwhelmed

  • exacerbating / overreacting to minor problems 

  • falling in to a heap once you get home from work / your day 

  • tightness in your chest, headaches, muscles aches and knots in your stomach 


General 

  • recurrent cold or flu symptoms, with poor improvement despite efforts to recover

  • gut impairments digestion problems, including constipation, bloating, gas and toxicity to previously accepted compounds such as gluten or dairy 

  • lack of weight loss or difficulty maintaining your weight despite healthy eating and exercise

  • lack of muscle tone

  • muscle atrophy 

  • Lacklustre hair, uneven skin or nails 

  • Feeling burnt out, even with sufficient rest periods 

  • infertility 

  • low libido 

  • chronic anxiety

  • an ongoing depressed mood - over 2 weeks

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and nutritional changes you can make to improve your sleep tonight, and energy levels tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

Benefits of Sleep

Why improve sleep? I get this question all the time, so I thought it would be helpful to share what I know about the benefits of quality sleep. This means that you are sleeping 7-9 hours, not more, not less; and that when you do, your brainwaves are characterized by Delta waves, demonstrating you are in Slow Wave Sleep (SWS), or Deep Sleep. As the night progresses, you will have less SWS and more REM sleep, before waking up, fresh as a daisy. Here’s some fun facts for you, and yes, I hope that by reading this, you begin to take sleep a little more seriously. Enjoy!

 

Physiological benefits:

-       Optimal synthesis of Growth Hormone, facilitating metabolism, the preservation of lean muscle mass, recovery from physiological or psychological stress, collagen production, energy levels, sexual function and fertility

-       Fat loss: 55% more fat is lost when we sleep 8.5 hours rather than 5.5 hours; as supported by a repeated measured RCT. Using the same participants, controlling for diet and exercise using the extremely specific measurement tools such as an actigraph, researchers demonstrated how significantly EASIER fat loss is simply when you sleep sufficiently.

-       Reduced hunger, especially reduced hunger for fat and sugars: compared to sleep restriction, which leads to an 18% reduction in leptin (hormone to make you feel full), a 28% increase in ghrelin (hormone to make you hungry), 24% increase in appetite and 33-45% increase in cravings for carbohydrates); having sufficient sleep makes it NATURALLY easier to lose and maintain your weight. Further, researchers have also found that there is an increased intake of 385 calories PER DAY, simply due to poor sleep… probably because of all that sugar you’re more craving!!

 

Psychological benefits:

-       37% reduced cortisol; helping relieve symptoms of anxiety, restlessness, irritability and moodiness.

-       Greater self control – under conditions of inadequate sleep, the region responsible for self regulation is inhibited – so.. when paired with biological cravings for sugar and fat, It’s no wonder we are likely to gain weight and fat! Avoid this problem by sleeping properly.

- Peak productivity, due to time management skills functioning at their best

-       Improved declarative (knowing WHAT) and procedural (knowing HOW) memory processes, meaning if you're having a conversation with a client / boss / partner or studying for an important exam, you're more like to remember it - accurately.

-       Increased learning capacity from improved attention, focus, concentration

-       Improvements in decision making, critical thinking and judgement

-       Reduced risk of depression (9.8 times less likely) and anxiety disorders (17.35 times less likely); compared to those who are suffering poor sleep from insomnia

 

What’s your favourite thing about sleeping properly? Tell me in the comments!

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and environmental changes you can make to improve your sleep  tonight, and energy levels tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my bespoke online program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

 

 

21 Ways To Reduce Sugar

AVOID

General

  • adding sugar to your beverages - opt for stevia

  • honey, maple syrup, brown, raw or white sugar - all are still sugar! 


Lunch / Dinner

  • salad dressings

  • teriyaki, sweet chilli or cream based sauces

  • Balsamic glaze 


Breakfast 

  • Turkish bread

  • pastries such as crossaints, donuts 

  • dried fruit 

  • flavoured yoghurt


Snacks 

  • Muesli bars

  • bliss balls 

  • vegan or gluten free cakes, brownies or biscuits 


Desserts 

  • ice cream

  • Sorbet

  • cakes, chocolates, anything outside fresh fruit 


Drinks 

  • pre-mixed juices

  • pre-mixed alcohol in cans

- alcohol, especially beer and cider 

  • tonic water

  • - soft drinks - diet or regular

    Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and nutritional changes you can make to improve your sleep tonight, and energy levels tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

How DAILY Exercise contributes to NIGHTLY Quality Sleep

Diet, stress management, blue light – we all know these are factors impacting our quality shut eye. But what about exercise? In terms of stress relief, weight management and endorphin release, your daily exercise – or lack of – can evidently inhibit your sleep quality.

Note - Daily exercise though? YES. Why? Because you want NIGHTLY quality sleep. Just don't SLAM yourself every day. Smashed the gym yesterday? Go for a light walk the next. Be sensible and listen to your body!

And before you ask - yes, I do have exercises / routines that I, as a qualified Personal Trainer, recommend! Body weight only (mostly), modifiable and therefore suited to any fitness level, they can be done anywhere, anytime. Want them? Sure! They are part of my 21 Day Sleep Tip Series. Sign up HERE. Note they are part 8 - which means you'll get it quite late in the series, but there's so much goodness inside you probably won't notice. But if you're DYING for them right now, let me know via email - enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au and i'll send them straight to your inbox asap. 

THE FACTS

-       Exercise aids weight management, helping avoid excess – a meta-analysis of 17 studies involving 204,507 individuals showed a bi-directional link between obesity and sleep problems.

-       Morning exercise stimulates the production of cortisol; inhibiting melatonin, the hormone which makes you sleepy. Further, it facilitates the ideal cycle of the circadian rhythm so by the evening, your cortisol levels are falling, helping you fall asleep faster too

-       On the topic of morning exercise, those who do not exercise in the morning are more likely to gain an energy boost from caffeine and sugar; which firstly creates havoc for the adrenal system; and secondly, can contribute to weight gain and excessive stimulation; both of which can contribute to exhaustion

-       Exercise helps stabilise blood sugar levels; a meta-analysis of six studies found that insulin sensitivity improves after 40 minutes of high intensity exercise; or 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. As a result, you’re less likely to reach for that 3pm chocolate bar or post dinner Messina.

-       Exercise helps regulate how reactive you are to stress: the HPA axis, which sends out a large or small ‘alarm’ upon the encounter of stress; is modulated by exercise; in that those who are more engaged and consistent with fitness, particularly calming styles such as yoga, are less likely to react strongly when under stress.

-       Stress relief and exercise are synonymous: exercise provides a healthy method of releasing stress. Subsequently, you’re less likely to depend on other measures, such as alcohol and drugs

-       Endorphins serotonin and dopamine released via the process of exercise improve your mood, which also encourage you to behave in healthier, rather than harmful ways. Consider over the weekend, if you start your morning with a killer workout or amazing run, how likely are you to head straight for a bottle of wine during lunch; verses if you begin the day with lunch itself? Right.

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and environmental changes you can make to improve your sleep  tonight, and energy levels tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my bespoke online program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

Scientific Facts of Sleep Deprivation: What it does to your Brain

I like to facts. You like facts. Here are some FACTS, as in, scientifically proven evidence, around sleep. The studies below class sleep deprivation as anything below 7 hours. SEVEN. 

Note - If you would like me to share the scientific studies with you, please email me. I'll happily show you - it proves the research is based upon humans who are extremely similar to you - working too much, sleeping not enough and evidently, suffering immensely.

-       A 2017 meta-analysis published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioural reviews reported that scientific studies consistently demonstrated sleep produced reduced attention span, long term memory and executive functioning (decision making, logistical organization, time management and self awareness) (9)

-       Chronic sleep deprivation of 6h or less for 14+ nights results in performance of that of individuals suffering 48 hours’ total sleep deprivation (6)

-       performance time after 17 hours of sleep deprivation is similar to that of an individual with a BAC of 0.05 (3)

-       29% of adults’ report work errors are a result of sleep problems, costing time and money to remedy (5)

-       Simple reaction tasks take 10% longer, such as an individual decision, when deprived to either 4 or 6 hours of sleep.  Given the thousands of individual simple reactions we make daily; this can lead to extreme lack of productivity and exacerbate time on tasks significantly (6)

-       The brain detoxifies in deep sleep: as a result of cognitive processing, the neurotoxin beta-amyloid builds up during waking time. When we rest, the cerebral cortex expands in a manner that allows the removal of this toxin, thus allowing processing speed to be returned to normal. Without proper deep sleep, this neurotoxin builds up and causes memory loss and memory lapses (7)

-       Learning is solidified in deep sleep: memory traces (links between different concepts) are consolidated in deep sleep; thus allowing us to cement our understanding between novel concepts. Without deep sleep, we cannot solidify these memory connections. (8)

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and environmental changes you can make tonight to improve your energy levels, mood and concentration tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my bespoke online program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

Scientific Facts of Sleep Deprivation: What it does to your Mood

I like to facts. You like facts. Here are some FACTS, as in, scientifically proven evidence, around sleep deprivation. The studies below class sleep deprivation as anything below 7 hours. SEVEN. 

Note - If you would like me to share the scientific studies with you, please email me. I'll happily show you - it proves the research is based upon humans who are extremely similar to you - working too much, sleeping not enough and evidently, suffering immensely.

-       After one-night sleep deprivation, individuals subjected to sleep deprivation reported a 35.5% decrease in energy, happiness, alertness and sociability (7)

-       37% more cortisol in the blood after ONE night of partial sleep deprivation (2) -  heightened cortisol predicts acute illness and chronic conditions such as depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease and cancer

-       45% more cortisol in the blood after ONE night of total sleep deprivation (2) - heightened cortisol predicts acute illness and chronic conditions such as depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease and cancer

-       Serotonin receptors are desensitized, which causes a lack of positive emotions and feelings of being ‘flat’. Dysfunction of this system is evident after 8 days of sleep restriction (4 hours). Recovery was only granted after 7 days’ normal sleep. Dysfunction of this system is seen in the pathology of depression and similar mood disorders (10)

-       Those with an insomnia diagnosis are 9.82 times more likely to have depression, and 17.35 times more likely to have clinically significant anxiety, compared to those without (12)

-       Chronic sleep deprivation causes the HPA axis to malfunction, which is responsible for the sequence of events within your fight or flight (stress) response. Because of this, you are more likely to react stronger to stressful experiences and perceive neutral stimuli as stressful. (11)

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and environmental changes you can make tonight to improve your energy levels, mood and concentration tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my bespoke online program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

Scientific Facts of Sleep Deprivation: What it does to your Body

I like to facts. You like facts. Here are some FACTS, as in, scientifically proven evidence, around sleep deprivation. The studies below class sleep deprivation as anything below 7 hours. SEVEN. 

Note - If you would like me to share the scientific studies with you, please email me. I'll happily show you - it proves the research is based upon humans who are extremely similar to you - working too much, sleeping not enough and evidently, suffering immensely.

-       Weight gain: those sleeping 5.5 hours instead of 8.5 hours had a 15.5 decreased level of Leptin, the hormone which makes us feel satisfied; and a 14.9 increase in ghrelin, the hormone which promotes hunger (4)

-       Poor sleep contributes to an inability to lose fat: subjects experienced 55% greater fat loss when they slept 8.5 hours compared to when they slept 5.5 hours; over the course of 2 weeks. These were the same individuals simply tested twice, and all diet and lifestyle factors were clinically controlled. This study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (21)

-       A meta-analysis of 496 of healthy adults showed that those sleep deprivation increased calorie intake by 385 calories, particularly calories from fat, vs non sleep deprived (20)

-       After 2 days of sleep deprivation there is an increase in appetite by 33-45% for high caloric carbohydrates (16)

-       Only after 1 week of sleep deprivation to 5 hours, as reported by a study published in peer reviewed medical journal JAMA, there is a 10-15% depression of testosterone levels, reducing libido, fertility and muscle development (22)

-       Inadequate sleep causes the lowered production of growth hormone (GH), inhibiting muscle development, including muscle repair following exercise. 70% of GH is produced during the first half of the sleep period, so missing quality rest during this time significantly impacts the capacity of this hormone to be produced (17)

-       After only 6 days of partial sleep deprivation, there is Impairments in glucose metabolism, contributing to unstable blood sugar levels, weight gain and diabetes (15)

-       A study of 225 adults found that those who were subjected to sleeping 4 hours per night vs normal sleep ate an additional 265 calories between 10pm and their bedtime of 4am (19)

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and environmental changes you can make tonight to improve your energy levels, mood and concentration tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my bespoke online program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

Scientific Facts of Sleep Deprivation: What it does to your Overall Health

I like to facts. You like facts. Here are some FACTS, as in, scientifically proven evidence, around sleep deprivation. The studies below class sleep deprivation as anything below 7 hours. SEVEN. 

Note - If you would like me to share the scientific studies with you, please email me. I'll happily show you - it proves the research is based upon humans who are extremely similar to you - working too much, sleeping not enough and evidently, suffering immensely.

-       A 2017 meta-analysis published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioural reviews reported that scientific studies consistently demonstrated sleep produced reduced attention span, long term memory and executive functioning (decision making, logistical organization, time management and self awareness) (9)

-       The brain detoxifies in deep sleep: as a result of cognitive processing, the neurotoxin beta-amyloid builds up during waking time. When we rest, the cerebral cortex expands in a manner that allows the removal of this toxin, thus allowing processing speed to be returned to normal. Without proper deep sleep, this neurotoxin builds up and causes memory loss and memory lapses (7)

-       A study of over 5,500 men and women found that those sleeping less than 6 hours per night were 66% more likely to have hypertension (18)

-       A Meta-analysis of 204,507 individuals found there was a bi-directional relationship between obesity and sleep problems (14)

-       An analysis of 13,322 individuals undergoing health behaviour change programs found that poor sleep predicts lack of other healthy behaviours being maintained, such as healthy alcohol use, physical activity; largely due to physical and mental fatigue (13)

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and environmental changes you can make tonight to improve your energy levels, mood and concentration tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my bespoke online program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

Improving your Sleep through Diet - Vegan and Vegetarian Substitutes

We all want better quality sleep right? Yes. And what if you could eat your way there? You can. Even as a vegan or vego. Here is your guide to the plant powered alternates to fish and eggs, designed with YOU in mind.

Want to download it an keep it on your phone? Sure. Just click the link - Download my guide now

For a sleep optimised diet, it means it's rich in:

-       Tryptophan, an amino acid.

-       Omega 3+6’s

-       Overall protein

 

 Add to your every meals freely:

-       Spirulina

-       Leafy greens

-       Mushrooms

-       Pumpkin

-       Tomatoes

 

Add, but not more than 30g per day (cumulative, not each)

-       Pumpkin seeds

-       Walnuts

-       Hemp seeds

-       Flax seeds

-       Flax and water

-       Chia with water 

 

Supplements to consider

-       DHEA

-       Omega 3+6 (non fish oil)

-       Omega 3 enriched food, such as olive oil 

 

Olivia Arezzolo The Sleep Solution Diet Vegan Vegeatiran

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and environmental changes you can make tonight to improve your energy levels, mood and concentration tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my bespoke online program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

The Sleep Solution Diet - Your Complete Guide

Studying nutrition has really illuminated how much we can optimise our diet for sleep. Follow this guide and you will rapidly see your sleep be deeper, more restorative and. unbroken. Yes, yes, yes.

INCLUDE

-       Unlimited Fresh, non starchy vegetables – salad or brassica vegetables

-       1-2 pieces of fresh fruit per day

-       lean meat with the fat trimmed off + no skin (100-150g = one serve), with a preference for fish

-       3L of water DAILY

-       Herbal teas – unlimited

-       Herbs and spices as seasonings of choice

-       Baked, grilled, poached or raw styles of cooking

 

EXCLUDE

-       Gluten – bread, pasta, cous cous (1 piece of sourdough bread is ok in morning and lunch, not dinner)

-       Dairy – milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream

-       Processed foods such as bottled fruit juices, muesli bars, chips, chocolate, lollies

-       Caffeine after 2pm from all sources, including cacao, black tea, coffee, cola and non cola drinks

-       Refined sugar, as found in cereal, muesli bars, cakes, sweets

-       Pre-workout formulas

-       Fast food

-       Dressings EXCEPT olive or coconut oil, herbs and spices as advised

-       Excessive dressing on meals

-       Frying as a method of cooking

 

WATER

-       Start the morning with 500ml water with lemon inside

-       Drink 500ml of water with each meal

-       More water is required for sport – drink up!

Olivia Arezzolo The Sleep Solution Diet

 

MEAL HABITS

-       Eat with intention – only eat when you are sitting

-       Be mindful when eating and do not rush: when we eat under stress you do not absorb nutrients properly so we are likely to remain hungry after eating, leading you to overeat

-       Eat when you are hungry, don’t eat when you are not

-       Start each meal with a glass of water

-       As a rule of thumb, have a fresh green salad with lunch and dinner

-       Add thermogenics such as chilli, peppers and capsicum to daytime foods –  they heighten circulation, metabolism and fat burning. Do not add at night

-       Eggs + fish are priority. High in omega 3’s, they relax the nervous system which will help you sleep properly. Also rich sources of magnesium which decreases cortisol levels.

 

DINING OUT

-       Own your eating: stick to foods, outlined above, which you know make you feel energetic; regardless of others. They do not have to live inside your body – you do

-       Be selective of alcohol consumption, and if you do drink, drink slowly, have a glass of water between drinks, choose clear spirits such as vodka soda and always avoid beer

-       If not drinking alcohol, try soda water with fresh mint and a touch of juice. It’s my go-to!

-       Avoid juices, colas, mocktails and any other sugar filled beverage

-       Eat as you would normally – do not feel you have to finish everything. Take some home if you’ve over-ordered

-       Ask for dressing on the side

 

HUNGRY, BUT NO TIME TO COOK?

-       Breakfast: protein smoothie

-       Lunch / Dinner: Any salad which mirrors the guidelines above from a café; rice paper rolls; salmon sashimi with seaweed and green salad

-       Snacks: piece of fruit, boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, herbal tea / water (yes, often we are simply dehydrated, not actually needing food!)

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and environmental changes you can make tonight to improve your energy levels, mood and concentration tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my bespoke online program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

Substitutes for Gluten, Dairy, Sugar and Meat

Removing gut irritating substances such as dairy, gluten, sugar and meat will improve your sleep - fact. Firstly because it reduces the stress level on your body; including your cortisol production; second because it improves gut function and therefore allows your serotonin production, helping in sleep regulation; to be at it's optimum; and thirdly because it improves your absorption of key micronutrients needed for sleep hormone synthesis; such as tryptophan and magnesium. 

Here is a simple guide for you to cut back on the toxins and load up on the good stuff.

Substitutes for Gluten

Pasta - Quinoa, zucchini, squash, carrot or cabbage pasta made from spiralised veggies; mung bean or black bean spaghetti, buckwheat noodles, soba noodles, rice noodles, kognac noodles, rice (use brown, red or black please!) 

Bread - Sourdough, GF, nut and seed loaf, bakery alternatives that are gluten free like pumpkin and quinoa bread, tomato bread

Pizza - Cauliflower rice pizza base; GF pizza base, gluten free homemade flatbread, eggplant rounds, sweet potato rounds

Sandwich - Using the above bread alternatives for bread, or a lettuce leaf, coconut wraps, homemade gluten free flatbread

Oats / Porridge - Quinoa flakes, buckwheat

White Flour - Cornflour (organic is essential!), quinoa, buckwheat, teff, coconut flour, chickpea flour, rice flour, millet, tapioca flour

Thickener in baking - chia seeds, flax seeds, psyllium husk 

Substitutes for Dairy

Cheese - Nutritional yeast (tastes like parmesan and is my go to because I love a cheese flavour!), store bought or homemade nut cheese

Milk - Coconut, almond, cashew, rice, oat, quinoa or hemp milk. NOT soy!

Ice cream - Banana ice cream, coconut based ice cream, frozen fruit blended with nut milk to make a sorbet

Yoghurt - coconut yoghurt 

Substitutes for Soy

Milk - Nut milks such as coconut, almond, cashew; 

Any other product - Enter in the comments what you'd like a sub for and i'll find it! 

Substitutes for Sugar

Stevia, my preferred alternative

Substitutes for Meat

Kale, spirulina, spinach, lentils, beans, quinoa, brown rice, vegan protein powder such as hemp or hemp protein, pea protein, sundried tomatoes (yes!), amaranth, tempeh, edemame, eggs

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and environmental changes you can make tonight to improve your energy levels, mood and concentration tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my bespoke online program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

Olivia Arezzolo The Sleep Solution Diet Gluten Dairy Sugar

How to Detox Your Home & Workspace for EPIC Sleep

Exposing yourself to fewer stimulants, such as blue light, is naturally going to improve your sleep - and you didn't even try. Adopt these changes as soon as you can and enjoy sleeping sweetly once more. 

Download my guide now

PLEASE PURCHASE THE FOLLOWING!

-       Evening, non blue light emitting, lighting for home and work

-       Comfortable bedding – 200-400 thread count

-       Comfortable mattress if yours is sub-par

-       An alternative place to do working activities at home which is not your bed

-       Blue light blocking (orange) sunglasses

-       Notepad for writing for Mind Dump (explained in action plan)

-       Eye mask and earplugs

-       Supplements as advised (see guide for specifics, however as a summary they are magnesium rub, valerian root + lemon balm, spirulina, probiotics)

-       Caffeine free alternatives to coffee such as Tulsi tea, as advised on shopping list

-       Sleep optimizing foods for this week from Shopping List

-       A preferred meditation soundtrack or app downloaded on your phone

 

TO INSTALL

-       Night shift (iPhone) or similar on android / Samsung

-       Headspace

-       Flux (on your laptop / computer)

 

TO REMOVE

-       Foods in your kitchen / workspace which are not on the shopping list which contain the following:

o   Gluten

o   Dairy

o   Refined sugar and Heavily processed foods, such as chocolate, chips, lollies

o   Pre-workout stimulants

o   Toxins such as aspartame as found in ‘diet’ products

Stress Management Fundamentals

Stress - probably the most widely spread, under treated condition globally. Studies show it's largely our perception of the problem, rather than the problem itself; which causes us to stress out. For this reason; I have developed a guide for you as it helps you adjust your perception, which if done effectively; will lessen your stress. Know that these are practices - as in, methods which you use daily. I use this for my sleep clients; however it is helpful for anyone - regardless of sleeping problems or not.

DO

-       Meditate daily in a structured manner – this means eyes closed, listening to a meditation track or your own breathing for a set period of time

-       Repeat your daily affirmations morning and night

-       Aim to be present in each situation: it allows you to respond to the environment with awareness, not by default.

-       Plan each day and week to minimize stress, only committing to valuable activities

-       Do a monthly evaluation of your time and pinpoint any activities which are causing you substantial stress; and look at how you can modify them, using the template below

-       Realise that you are not a machine which will function at 100% regardless or not if you take care of your emotional health

-       Reach out if you are not coping – doing so is a sign of strength, not weakness, and can -only serve to benefit you

-       Voice your concerns in an honest, open manner if you are being placed under overwhelming pressure on a regular basis from your work, partner, family or friends.

-       Find what works for you – you may prefer a yoga class, boxing or a swim in the ocean

-       Do a 'Mind Dump' each night – any thoughts or ideas that cause you stress, write them down and assess their truth, imagining you were telling this to another person.

DO NOT

-       Ignore signs of burn out or chronic stress, such as recurrent illness, constant fatigue, sleeping problems, emotional exhaustion, depression, anxiety, unproductivity and weight change

-       Feel guilty for saying no to additional requests or excessive demands

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and environmental changes you can make tonight to improve your energy levels, mood and concentration tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my bespoke online program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

Key Mindset Beliefs of Successful Bosses

After studying psychology, overcoming my own depression and creating a life I truly wanted (not the one that was given to me), I had to learn to be one thing: successful. How did I do this? I studied, research and investigated successful people around the world - business leaders to religious gurus; here are some of. the key beliefs that they held. All delivered to you in a nice neat package. Enjoy.... and more importantly; adopt them for yourself. I use this for my sleep clients, but if you are trying to attain a different goal; for example; weight loss; simply sub out 'sleep' and sub in 'weight loss'.

THE GUIDE

-       Being solutions focused is key. Ruminating on your inability to sleep properly does not lead you to sleeping properly. Being ‘solutions focused’ does – it means you concentrating your thought, mental activity and behaviour on exactly that: the solution; and further, what the solution will bring you – optimised emotional, physical, financial and social health.

-       Consistency between your written and spoken language is vital – alongside thinking about the solution and associated benefits in your own space; discuss it with significant others; in place of when you would discuss the problem.

-       Appreciating your capacity to change in the moment of ‘now’ is fundamental – the actions will be required to be executed on a daily basis, and the sooner you do them, the sooner you will enjoy the rewards of better sleep

-       Respecting there is no ‘better time’ to change – if you are currently struggling, the best thing you can do improve NOW. Any delay simply delays your progression

-       You know you need to change if your current sleep related behaviours are not permitting you to sleep optimally, alongside function at your best inside and out

-       Taking ownership over your behaviour, including their consequences, is essential. Negating responsibility for what you have or have not done is disempowering – and it removes your ability to create change. Rather, by admitting you have ownership over your actions; you have a greater capacity to enable positive change.

-       Adopting a ‘how’ mentality is crucial – for example; after identifying the key benefits to optimizing your sleep, you need to approach these results as 100% possible, simply a matter of learning ‘how’ to get there. The strategies in this program are the how – supported by science.

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and environmental changes you can make tonight to improve your energy levels, mood and concentration tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my bespoke online program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

How to say NO to others: the Essential Guide to Overcoming Social Pressure

Ended up spending another Friday night boozing and regretting it the entire weekend? We've all been there - self included. Fortunately for you, I learnt how to overcome it - and so can you. Here are the fundamentals of saying no to others, focusing on your own path and essentially; seeing epic results. I use this for my sleep clients; so note that the examples are relative to sleep. However, if you are trying to attain a different goal; for example; weight loss; then everytime you read the word 'sleep' simply substitute it for 'weight loss'. Carve your own path and create the life you truly want! 

THE GUIDE TO SAYING NO.

-       First, realize you are responsible for your choices – including saying yes or no to social commitments presented, no one else. How much you will stay on track is relative to how focused you are upon the benefits of improving your sleep.

-       If you find you are consistently distracted from executing your behaviour as planned, you need to assess the benefits (if any) of the obstacles - e.g. the benefits of late night Netflix opposed to your sleep.. You need to be honest with yourself when you ask: is this compromise really worth it?

-       Despite common belief, most people do not expect you to be online until early hours of the morning, attend every social gathering or stay at each party until the last person has left. The most important aspect of any socialization is it’s quality: and this typically is not associated with the above; nor is it likely under conditions of extreme intoxication from alcohol or drugs

-       When considering your social group, the ones who encourage these new changes – therefore allowing you to sleep properly and become your best – are the ones who you want to keep. This is not necessarily reflective of how long they have been in your circle. It is important to appreciate the friendship for it’s potential to grow with you, rather than hold you back. If you feel held back, unconsciously you may sabotage the relationship simply because you feel it is restrictive.

- For this purpose, if you feel there are certain people in your life who limit your growth, ideally you are able to communicate your need to change and they will be alongside the journey. If not, t is best to gradually, and gently, distance yourself from them. This actually does them a favour; if they are with you; you both win simultaneously. If they are not; they will see you improve and be inspired, and when they are ready for similar growth, they will have a trusted individual they can look to you for advice. It does both of you a disservice to hold on to friendships which are constrictive.

1470058622.jpg

My Fundamentals to EASILY stay lean, toned and feeling fit.

After modelling 9 years, as a personal trainer, and soon to be nutritionist; you could say I know a thing or two about how to. achieve a healthy weight. Here's my hit list of do's and do not's when it comes to achieving your best body - easily.

DO

-       Track your movement using a fitbit or pedometer, aiming for 10,000 steps per day

-       Monitor your steps with an accountability partner

-       Do at least 10 minutes of walking or running outside within the first 30 minutes of being awake.

- Think of ways to integrate movement into your existing activities – walk and talk meetings, walking around a park instead of / following a social coffee, parking far away (purposefully) from your destination to increase movement

-       Seek methods to increase exercise in your spare time, such as choosing active weekend activities instead of sedentary ones

-       Get a standing desk for home, and encourage your employer to supply these at work

-       Stay hydrated with water – for each 1 hour of exercise = +1L of water

-       Encourage similar habits in your family, friends, children and partner

-       Eat wholesome, nutrient rich foods to energise your movements

-       Take a gentle walk at the end of the working day to signal the change your progression into your evening relaxation routine

-       Ensure you have approximately 20-45 minutes of sweaty exercise scheduled 5-6 times per week; as to aid stress relief and also improve your weight balance

-       Weigh yourself on a weekly basis to ensure you are within the healthy weight range; and if not; engage the support of a professional such as a nutritionist

DO NOT

-       Overcompensate this exercise eating additional refined sugars or high calorie snacks such as nuts in excess. The recommendation of 10,000 steps, set by experts, is based upon a healthy, balanced diet – unless you are underweight, it does not require additional energy consumption

-       Exhaust yourself to reach these targets – they aim to improve, not impair, your health

-       Become obsessed with the numerical value on the scale

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and environmental changes you can make tonight to improve your energy levels, mood and concentration tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my bespoke online program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

Olivia Arezzolo The Sleep Solution Fitness Fundamentals

Downloadable Shopping List to improve Your Sleep

Foods in the house = what you eat. Research links your diet to your sleep; so the items on this list are the ones statistically shown to improve your sleep. Support yourself by only having food that improves, rather than impairs, your chances for success. 

Downloadable Guide

HERBS AND SPICES

-       Basil

-       Parsley

-       Chives

-       Rosemary

-       Coriander

-       Oregano

-       Stevia*

-       Mint

-       Cumin

-       Turmeric

-       Ginger

-       Paprika – ground

-       Dried chilli flakes

-       Cinnamon

-       Garlic

-       Pepper - black and cayenne

-       Himalayan salt (pink salt)

DRESSINGS

-       Apple cider vinegar

-       Tamari

-       Nutritional yeast*

-       Balsamic vinegar (NOT glaze)

-       Tahini

-       Extra Virgin coconut oil

-       Extra Virgin olive oil

RICES, CRACKERS, BREAD

-       Brown rice in quick sachets

-       Quinoa flakes (for porridge or muesli)

-       Quinoa

-       Brown rice crackers

-       Sourdough rye bread

NUTS + SEEDS

-       Almonds

-       Walnuts

-       Pumpkin seeds

SUPERFOODS

-       Spirulina

-       Lucuma

-       Maca

TEA

-       Peppermint

-       Tulsi

-       Green

-       Chamomile

-       Relax

-       Matcha

 

 

OTHER

-       Free range organic chicken eggs

-       Vegan protein powder – buy vanilla as it tastes best! I like Sunwarrior, Nuzest or

-       Amazonia

-       Bone Broth cubes

FREEZER

-       Overripe banana, in cubes

-       Blueberries

-       Mixed berries

-       Acai

-       Frozen peas
 

ORGANIC VEGETABLES, IDEALLY FROM THE LOCAL MARKET

-       Fresh greens – either or all of baby spinach, kale, mixed greens or rocket

-       Carrots

-       Tomatoes

-       Sweet potato

-       Pumpkin

-       Capsicum

-       Cucumber

-       Broccoli / Broccolini

-       Beans

-       Snow peas

-       Asparagus

 

ORGANIC FRUIT, IDEALLY FROM THE LOCAL MARKET

-       Bananas

-       Cherries

-       Kiwifruit

-       Fresh berries

-       Lemon

-       Pineapple

Please note - anything with a *; find at your health food store or online

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and environmental changes you can make tonight to improve your energy levels, mood and concentration tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my bespoke online program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

Olivia Arezzolo The Sleep Solution Shopping List

Snacks to Improve Sleep AND Lose Weight

Snacks - we all love them. Make sure your choices are nutrient dense yet calorie sparse, helping you achieve weight management and weight loss as you like, but leaving you satiated. Regardless of your goals; these snacks are rich in micronutrients which helps you feel, and look, great. They will help your sleep because weight management = improved sleep; they are all gut healing, which is super important in your absorption of nutrients such as tryptophan and magnesium which help sleep.

My favourites? Cucumber with peanut butter, boiled eggs, apples and walnuts. All travel well - perfect for those who are on the go.

Notes

-       Before you snack, drink 500ml of water and do 1 minute of deep breathing, wait 20 minutes, then assess if you are still hungry. Often we are thirsty, stressed, or both; not actually hungry

-       If you prefer, split your meals into two portions which allows you to have a ‘main’ and a ‘snack’. This saves you time and energy finding snacks.

-       Ideally, have no longer than 4 hours between meals to prevent unstable blood sugar levels

 

ANYTIME

-       Any tea from the shopping list

-       Cucumber sticks

-       Cherry tomatoes

-       Raw carrot sticks

-       Any other raw vegetables

-       Vegetable soup

-       Chicken or vegetarian pho or similar clear broth soup with vegetables

-       Sauerkraut

-       Bone broth

-       Boiled eggs (x 2-3)

-       Omelet with veggies (2 whole eggs and 1 egg white)

-       2 x Rice paper rolls, minimal mayonnaise

-       Garden salad

-       Raw vegetables

-       2 x pieces of whole fruit per day

-       vegan protein smoothie made with nut milk or water, with or without vegetables

-       vegan protein pancake (1 scoop protein powder and one mashed banana, cooked without oil in a fry pan)

 

MAXIMUM 1 PER DAY (EACH)

-       50g edamame beans

-       50g seaweed salad

-       1 can tuna or salmon in brine – I like to pair mine with sundried tomatoes or olives

-       50-100g sashimi

-       handful of (or 4 large) rice crackers and 1 tbsp. nut butter

 

HUNGRY AFTER DINNER?

-       ensure you have had the 3L of water (plus any additional requirements from exercise)

-       have 2 large cups of herbal tea, with or without nut milk

-       do deep breathing for 2 minutes to ensure you are not eating out of stress

 

STILL HUNGRY? HAVE THIS.

-       bone broth

-       clear vegetable soup

-       1 piece of whole fruit

-       2 eggs, in whatever form you like

-       protein smoothie with maximum 1 piece of fruit and nut milk or water

Need help sleeping? Sign up for my FREE 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and environmental changes you can make tonight to improve your energy levels, mood and concentration tomorrow. Or, email me at enquiries@oliviaarezzolo.com.au to find out more about my bespoke online program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self - inside and out.

 

Olivia Arezzolo Sleep Solution Snacks

Image by Fiona Peters for Lurv, shot on location in Bali