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I'm Melissa!

A Food Network chef + mama obsessed with Aperol spritzes, travel, and mouth watering food. I also own a gorgeous cooking school in Italy. My mission? To share the secrets of La Dolce Vita so you can create a healthy, beautiful, delicious life filled with joy!

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The Italians get it. Sleep is the magic elixir that restores and renews us. And it is one of the most overlooked secrets to wellness. Humans today are so used to pushing themselves to the max to do more and more.

There is no off switch in this plugged in world!

In fact I arrived from Los Angeles totally wiped out and spent from grueling 16 hour days at my PC. But after a few days back in Italy doing simple chores like weeding flower beds, sweeping floors, watering the land, picking vegetables, walking to the market, cooking meals, building and cleaning I was tired in a different way.

So an afternoon siesta or power nap (20 minutes) became the norm in the midday heat. My time on my phone was replaced with manual labor. And as nighttime rolled round, I found myself dozing off to sleep without the same insomnia issues I struggled with in LA. Even if I had just enjoyed an espresso after dinner. My body was ready for sleep.

Human needs at least 8 hours a night.

More if you are a growing child or teen. A lack of sleep is actually a cause of weight gain. Not enough sleep causes insulin resistance which triggers the release of a stress hormone that causes us to overeat.

There are a couple of tricks I use around bedtime to help out.

  1. I make sure that I have no screen time 2 hours before bed and my phone is in another room.
  2. Most nights I limit myself to one glass of wine at dinner. The sugars from alcohol play havoc with sleep. But hey there are always exceptions if we are celebrating something.
  3. I set an alarm telling me I have 30 minutes to prep for bed. I use this time to take a bath or shower, wash my face and brush my teeth
  4. I drink 2 to 3 glasses of water before sleeping. Dehydration is one of the main reasons the body doesn’t rest properly
  5. I usually read a book for 30 minutes. I find the words on the page make me sleepy and when I start yawning I know it is time to hit the sack. If you miss this window when your body signals you are sleepy you might find yourself wired for a few more hours.
  6. I make sure all lights in my bedroom are off and the room is dark
  7. I keep the room cool at around 68 degrees
  8. I keep a note pad by my bed in case I need to scribble down an idea or to do list that is stressing me out.
  9. I follow the gratitude routine I outline in my new book “Miracles Manifested” where I count my blessings every night.
  10. I spend the last 10 minutes of my day doing the “I Am That I Am” Meditations…. Another nighttime routine I use to bring the Miracles I am manifesting into my life.

To learn more about these routines, practices and evening meditations make sure to grab a copy of my book Miracles Manifested! You can find it on:

And in case you are wondering Italians have a word they only use for the last greeting of the day. Up till this time buonasera is used to say good evening. But when you are finally ready to head off to sleep you say buonanotte (goodnight).

I hope these tips help you get some rest so you can awake renewed and refreshed. And then you can jump into the day using my morning routine and mediations I outline in my book. And before you know it, miracles should be on their way to you.

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I'm Melissa, your host & tour guide.

A Food Network chef, author, mamma, eternal optimist, wannabe-mermaid, spice mixologist, and “dough therapist” (yep, it’s a thing)—

I'm also the founder of Susina Cucina, the gorgeous, Italian cooking school I manifested into my reality. I’m obsessed with Aperol spritzes, travel, and mouthwatering food… especially pizza and pasta.

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