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 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.

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

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

How Sleeping = Fat Loss, Weight Loss and Muscular Definition.

If I told you I knew a secret method that would increase your fat loss, muscular tone and accelerate weight loss…. Without any extra effort at all… would you believe me? What about if you could spend less time at the gym but still have the same, if not better, results from training? And what if this secret method was completely safe, is free, and able to be implemented by you right now?

Sounds too good to be true right?

Wrong.

What’s the secret you ask?

Sleep.

And here’s the science to prove it:

-       Researchers found that when on a weight loss plan, individuals lost 55% more fat when they slept 8.5 hours compared if they slept 5.5. FIFTY-FIVE. They controlled for all other variables and used the same participants in both sleeping conditions (4)

-       Partial sleep deprivation, that is, anything below 7 hours, predicts 385kcal energy intake daily. Tangibly, this is a piece of chocolate cake or 3 glasses of wine. Researchers noted that the calorie demand was predominantly for additional fat calories (1).

-       It increases hunger yet decreases satiety: researchers investigated 1,024 individuals in the Wisconstin Sleep Cohort Study and found those habitually experiencing 5 hours of sleep had 14.9% higher levels of Grehlin, the hunger promoting hormone, and 15.5% lower levels of Leptin, the hormone to suppress hunger (2).

-       Finally, a meta analysis of 204,507 individuals found that sleep and obesity had a bi-directional link: poor sleep predicted obesity; and obesity predicted poor sleep (3).

And if that wasn’t enough…

-       After 1 night of 4 hours sleep, cortisol levels increase by 37%. Cortisol increases protein breakdown within muscles which reduces your metabolism and decreases muscle tone. (5)

-       70% of Growth Hormone, the key neurotransmitter for muscle repair post training, is secreted in deep sleep. Without this hormone, your muscles simply do not restore or recover from training. This inhibits future training efforts as well reduces results from previous sessions. (6)

So… do you believe me a little more now? Sure, we are not all trying to lose weight, but if you had the opportunity to be leaner, more defined, maintain your weight easier, and be more relaxed on your diet with fewer consequences for your summer body…. Would you take it?

You have this opportunity every single night. By sleeping 7-9 hours, this is the cold hard truth – this is what happens, according to science. And by NOT sleeping this much, the reverse happens: you reduce your results. And given how time poor I’m sure you are, I’m almost certain that the idea that you are wasting your time is leaving you less than thrilled.

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.

Pure-Days-Crop-blue-&-mod-squad-leggings4-SFW_preview.jpg

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

Stimulant Detox Guide

Can’t sleep? Mind won’t switch off? Unable to focus properly or string a sentence together come 4pm? I’ve heard this countless times from sleep deprived individuals like you. One of the first, and effective, methods you can use to remedy your symptoms and feel like a human being again is to reduce stimulants. Here is a guide, alongside substitutes, to stimulant reduction, including a few you probably didn’t realize. Here is a Downloadable Version for you to keep on your phone too, helping you make change in the moment it matters.

Swap post 2pm Coffee for… Tulsi (Holy Basil) Tea;

An ancient remedy for stress, memory loss and blood sugar balance, the anti-oxidant rich drop will boost circulation to naturally heighten your energy and improve absorption of magnesium – the key nutrient for relaxation. If it’s the coffee flavor you love; I’ve got you covered. Opt for Dandelion Tea – it’s rich and robust like your coffee; but won’t keep you awake at 11pm.

Swap Smoking for.. Nicotine Patches + Tea.

Nicotine patches will replace the chemical impact of smoking, whereas the act of having a tea will replace the act of having a smoke. Understand it’s not just the physiological boost you are craving – it’s a psychological relief too. Having a tea instead will provide you mental space and a much needed break from stress inducing activities, such as work.

Swap pre-workout blends for.. coffee in the morning; or tea after 2pm.

Loading up on pre-workouts, at any time of the day, is a surefire way to exhaust yourself later and be unable to sleep. Quite simply, our bodies are not designed for the amount of stimulation provided by these products -  not in addition to your other sources, such as stress, blue light and sugar. They are legal because in themselves; they are fine. However, when combined with the other elements mentioned; plus a weakened adrenal system from chronic stress, they are toxic.

Swap sugar for… Stevia

Stevia is a herb – like salt. It’s a naturally sweet compound extracted from plant leaves. It’s calorie free, does not raise blood sugar levels, does not cause the production of cortisol or have addictive qualities like sugar. It’s completely different from aspartame, the chemically manufactured product found in diet products which is scientifically proven to damage the brain, cause headaches and predict cancer. Find natural stevia health food stores (it’s green) or products such as SweetLeaf.

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.

Stressed? This is for YOU.

Stress... the omnipresent feeling that leaves you exhausted, drained and moody. What to do if you're under ongoing stress? First, have a read of this article I wrote on adjusting your psychology towards particular stressors. In addition, these techniques will help you manage when you're under the pump. Tried and tested by yours truly, this is how I manage to stay cool calm and collected amidst a world of pressure and unrealistic expectations. 

DO

-       Release stress through various exercise – walking, yoga, high intensity training

-       If you do release your stress through intense workouts, ensure you have 1-2 days weekly of less intense activity, and are more regimented about the quality of your sleep to ensure your body is recovering from your sessions properly

-       Team up with a professional or partner who can hold you accountable

-       Find what method works for you. i.e. yoga, running, walking, a boxing class, swim

-       Give this activity time each day, depending on your day. 5, 10 and 20 minutes – whatever you can afford. As you move through the weeks, you will have more time for this because through improving your sleep you will be more productive overall

-       Schedule it in like you would any other commitments

-       Realise the interconnectedness between your physical and emotional stress systems – in releasing stress from one, it improves the health of the other too

-       Give yourself additional time and energy to engage in these stress relief exercises when stress is exacerbated, such as on weekends or on holiday. If so, ensure your activity choice is not excessively demanding, such as a walk in nature

-       Encourage your family, friends and partner to have their own time which helps them release stress. This will aid their emotional health as well as help them understand your needs for your own time in these activities

-       Have sex regularly – it’s the ultimate stress relieving activity!

-       Release mental stress with your nightly Mind Dump – 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

-       Think of it as an elective – given that you experience stress each day, you need to have stress relief each day

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.