Meet Olivia Arezzolo, Australia’s Leading Sleep Expert. With 14 years experience and the go-to guru for the Today Show and Sunrise (to name a few), she is living her mission to help others feel their best inside and out, via the vehicle of sleep. We asked Olivia how she got into the field of Sleep and Rest and what her Ultimate Bedtime Routine is.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Sure! I’m Olivia, 33, proud (dog) mum of the worlds cutest jack russell dog, Jackie. I’m living with my mum on the south coast of Sydney after breaking my knee skiing earlier this year, and coming up, I’m spending about a month in Melbourne, Bali and Byron. Can’t wait!In three words: I am ambitious, idealistic and hard working. I believe: everyone can create the life of their dreams – and it starts with taking responsibility for your life,and being 100% honest with what that is… and then believing, wholeheartedly, that you can make it happen. Because you can! I have always had unwavering self belief and a fierce determination to actualise my dreams, which has allowed me to live the life I do now – running my own business, helping people as a sole focus of my job, working at the time and location of my choice (within reason), travelling 6 months a year out of Aus (still working some of the time though!), and still having a lot of time in my day to day life for simple pleasures – a long workout, a walk with my dog, cups of tea with my mum. It’s great!
How did you become Australia’s Leading Sleep Expert?
I truly believe I wouldn’t have become so successful without my tenacious self belief and unstoppable drive to achieve my mission – to help others feel their best, inside and out. And, how I became the ‘go-to’ girl for the Australian media – all are relevant. Before I specialised in sleep, I had 9 years of academic qualifications – Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology), Certificate of Sleep Psychology, Diploma of Health Science (Nutrition) and Certificate in Fitness (3+4) – meaning I was highly qualified and educated on a number of topics that significantly impact sleep – psychology, nutrition and fitness alike. This also means that my recommendations leverage all four facets of sleep health – rather than just one – and are backed by science. I have always been determined to help others overcome their own health challenges; and know that my skill set and personality is best based in the media – TV, on stage, radio, magazines etc.
To know information is one thing – to be able to communicate it in a market friendly manner, in
digestible, bite sized chunks, in a way that engages and entices the listener – this is an entirely
different skill. Fortunately, I have a natural capacity for this, which helps this vision of mine come to life! Given all of the above, brands quickly recognised my talent and approached me to be their
media spokesperson – the first two being global giants Sealy Posturepedic and IKEA! With those
two under my belt, I was then approached by more brands, more platforms and eventually my
book publisher to write a book! The journey has been organic and free flowing since – and
continues to grow with each week that passes. I never know what’s around the corner, but I do
know that bigger and better opportunities are arising each week – which is super exciting to say
What has your sleep journey been like, have you always practiced a good routine?
In transparency, before I knew the importance of sleep, I did whatever I wanted at bedtime – watch TV, eat late, scroll social….. So if this is you… we are cut from the same cloth! This only changed when I started understanding how important it was for mental health, as I have struggled with both depression and anxiety through my adult life. Now, I practice my signature bedtime routine. That said, even before my career in sleep, I have always had an absolute affinity for sunrise, and mornings in general – so have always gone to bed relatively early to ensure I feel fresh and vibrant for the next morning.
You have a community of over 39,000 people that you can speak to. Why is this mission
to empower others to the best night’s rest so important to you?
My mission is actually to help people feel their best, inside and out – and I use sleep to achieve it. In complete honesty, this drive stems from NOT feeling my best – major depression, severe anorexia, chronic anxiety – from my mid teens through to recent years. I recall feeling hopeless and helpless, and as I started moving from the darkness into the light, I knew it was my purpose to help others do the same. I chose to focus on sleep after completing my degrees (Bachelor of Social Science – Psychology; Certificate of Sleep Psychology, Diploma of Health Science – Nutritional Medicine, Certificate 3+4 in Fitness) – and coaching a few sleep clients – they got incredible results, super fast. More and more people started coming to me, and I realised that no one else in the Australian media was being the guiding light for those with sleep problems.
That, and recognising the interplay between sleep and wellness – physically, mentally, cognitively – when we sleep well, we have the greatest capacity to be at our best and perform at our peak. This is exactly how I want us to feel, and it’s scientific fact that sleep enables this to happen – arguably more so than any other area of health.
What is the biggest misconception about sleep that you hear?
That we are ‘born’ good or bad sleepers – it’s completely untrue. While yes, genetics does play a part, it’s only about 10% of the result – the rest is your behaviours. It’s so important to know this because if we are inherently bad sleepers, we have little capacity to change, and we may feel we are forever going to struggle with sleep and fatigue. It’s just not true.
What do you do to unwind, outside of work?
As above! Nothing as good as a long walk with my dog Jackie along the beach for a bit of stress relief – she gets zoomies on the sand and it leaves me in stitches. Best stress relief ever!
Lastly, what is your one non-negotiable when it comes to a good night’s rest?
Wearing my blue light blocking glasses – if I don’t wear them, I feel wired, alert, awake, and struggle to switch off. With them on, I naturally feel tired and fall asleep much easier.