The First Step to Enhancing Sleep

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, 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? It doesn’t work like that.

In order to progress to quality, deep restorative sleep, as well as stay there (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 patterns 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, and not wake up several times with 10,000 thoughts in your mind.

Your Evening Relaxation Routine:


Note - all of the steps are better than none, and similarly, ANY of these steps are better than none. Do what is possible.

  1. Set a bedtime alarm for 60 minutes before you want to be asleep, labelling it with your key motivation for improving sleep - e.g. ‘greater productivity’ or ‘improve stress’

  2. Switch off shower - have a lukewarm shower, and switch off from work and social media

  3. Take a Sleep Supplement such as magnesium or melatonin, and drink a Chamomile tea

  4. Engage in a relaxing activity for 30 minutes - meditation, chatting with your partner, listen to a podcast, read a book

  5. For the final 10 minutes prior to bed, put on a meditation using the Headspace app (there is a free trial) and put an eye mask over your eyes

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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.

 

 

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.

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

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.

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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

Downloadable Sleep Benefits Mindmap

I love Mindmaps. It's probably the science nerd in me. To help demonstrate the the links between how sleep impacts your body, health, business and ultimately the quality of your life, I created this for you. 

Print it out two copies - one for home, like the inside of your toilet door; and the other for your work; on your desk. The more reminders you have about the importance of prioritising your sleep, the better. 

Enjoy!

 

Olivia Arezzolo Sleep Benefits

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 Sleep Quality Index

Here is a helpful tool I've created for sleep deprived individuals like yourself so you can see tangible change aeach week in your sleep and related functionality.

Feel free to share this with anyone who needs to improve their sleep - statistics show tracking our goals correlates with a greater likelihood of us achieving them. Click the link so you have a downloadable, modifiable version which you can use each week.

Olivia x 

Downloadable Sleep Quality Index 

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 Break Old Habits - Your Mindset Guide

Included in my 21 Day Sleep Tip Series, this is super helpful in the process of change and helping you break old, unhelpful habits. Enjoy! 

-       Mentally detach from what you ‘do’ and ‘do not do’ and being open to new patterns – letting go of old habits allows you to have space for new ones – which evidently is what you need!

-       Although you feel you may have ‘always’ done something, unless innate, there was a ‘day one’ for it. Equally, there can a ‘day one’ for these behaviours – today even!

-       The key to maintaining these new habits is to stay focused of what sleep provides you - aka the benefits – remember the visualization of rejuvenating sleep? Keep that close. It will keep you motivated.

-       Be sure to mentally map out how these new activities logistically work. Where will you do them? What time? Are you alone? Psychologically preparing is critical – it allows you to have an understanding about what to do, if you’re doing it for the first time.

-       Disregard any objections or resistance – statements like ‘I’ve tried that before’ or ‘this doesn’t work for me’ only impede your success. Although this is true, you haven’t tried them NOW with MY program and MY support. Hence, it’s similar, but not the same. 

-       Be solutions focused – if difficulties arise, concentrate your energy on solving the problem, rather than ruminating on the problem itself. This takes practice, my friend!  
 

-       Results from the new habits, that is, improved sleep, comes through consistent action over time. The only way to change is for YOU to change. Further, the opposite, inaction, results in no change.

-       You have been able to adopt new patterns throughout your life – for example, learning a new job or skill at school. This provides you evidence of your ability to change.

-       The habits suggested are supported by academic research into sleep optimisation.

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.

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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.