Michelle Gillespie - Keller Williams Realty

Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 9/29/2019

If youíre in college and studying for exams, or if you have a new baby, you might be experiencing sleep deprivation at a level youíve never felt before. In general, though, many people operate in a state of sleep deprivation on a regular basis. The challenge with that is it reduces your ability to fight off anything else life throws at you.

In addition to lack of sleep, if youíre also not eating well, working too hard, under stress, and not getting exercise, that lack of sleep can compound the damage from all these other things.

Chronic sleep-deprivation causes your stress hormones to elevate and over time may lead to anxiety, depression, weight gain, hypertension, digestive problems, headaches, dizziness, irritability, immune dysfunction, and even stroke.

You donít want any of these, so what do you need to do? Get more sleep.

Hereís how:

  • Create a bedtime routine. Since you've been pushing your body to stay awake beyond its tired point, you now need to teach it when it's time to wind down. To do that you need to establish a routine. Some people change into night clothes and then have a warm drink (non-caffeinated), and others perform nightly hygiene such as brushing their teeth and washing their face.
  • Adjust the lights. If youíre using screens, turn them off or have them adjusting to a nighttime level using f.lux or another program. Use fewer lights and particularly lamps with softer light bulbs in them.
  • Reduce the noise level. If you're playing loud music or watching an action flick, switch to something softer and more soothing.
  • Turn down the temperature. Most people sleep more deeply when it is a little cooler, so opt for about 64 degrees in your room. If you find it's a bit chilly, add another blanket instead of increasing the temperature.
  • Use the restroom before you head to bed. This may go without saying but waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom disrupts your rest.
  • In the same vein, donít eat or drink too much before bedtime. Sometimes, if your body is busy digesting foods, it can get revved up and might disturb your sleep. If your blood sugar goes up and then drops quickly your heart can feel like itís racing too, making falling asleep harder.
  • Make your room as dark as possible. Use blackout curtains, and cover all of those pesky glowing lights from the various electronics in your room (except for the one on your fire alarm and smoke detector).

It the noises outside your home are keeping you awake, talk to your home professional about finding you a house in a quieter neighborhood.

Tags: family   sleeping   better sleep  
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Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 7/14/2019

You know your child(ren) more than anyone when it comes to how they learn and the environment that works best for them. So, when it comes to your choosing a new school in a specific district, knowing what will and will not work for your student is essential.

Your studentís needs

Some questions to ask are:;

  • What kind of learning style does the classroom cater to?
  • Does the school have specialists available to give that extra support to students?
  • How do those specialists work? (For example, do they pull students out of the classroom to work individually or in groups?)
  • Are they able to come alongside the student during the classroom learning time?
  • What is the facility/student ratio?
  • How many students are in each classroom?
  • What is the graduation rate? How many graduates pursue a post-secondary? 

A scheduled school tour can answer all of these and any other questions you have to assess if your studentís learning style and that school environment could work well together. 

Priority on curriculum

Another thing to look into is curriculum focus. Many school districts implement various types of educational foci to ensure students attain a specific set of skills. Some examples of focused curricula are STEM, Fine Arts, Music, Honors, and AP courses. STEMóScience, Technology, Engineering, and Mathóhas been a buzzword in school districts recently. Some programs now focus on the STEM curriculum from elementary through high school. Because of the advancement of technology, the job market in these areas is an ever-changing horizon. 

Additionally, fine arts and music can expand a studentís learning. Including a fine arts program can help students with fine-motor skills and develop creativity, among other things. Music education may develop parts of the brain that can help in other areas of study. The global landscape is becoming more competitive than ever. It is imperative that today's students are well prepared as they enter adulthood. Schools offering Honors and AP (Advanced Placement) classes can place your student in the position to take significant advantage of opportunities post-graduation.


Schools, along with the items as mentioned above can enhance the educational experience by offering a variety of before and after-school activities. These can range from widely known sports such as football, basketball, and soccer to less-common sports like lacrosse, golf, and bowling. Clubs can give a great sense of belonging and develop leadership and team-building skill sets. Plus, service projects that improve the surrounding community provide students with the chance to network. Those networking relationships can parlay into opportunities later in life. Finally, with post-secondary schools becoming more competitive than ever, being able to submit an application with a superior balance of academic accomplishment and extracurricular activities can be an advantage.

For more insight on local schools in a potential new neighborhood, talk to the neighbors at the next open house you attend.

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Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 5/12/2019

When a mother delivers a baby, itís a joyous time for family and friends. The joy that overtakes everyone knowing that a new life has just entered the world. Everyone can become consumed with just the baby and not realize that the parents are need of a little TLC as well. There are some practical things to take the load off the new parents. 


If there is someone very close to you that has recently given birth, offer to clean the house while they are away at the hospital or home with the baby. You could also offer to help relieve some of the household chores during the pregnancy. As women approach the end of the pregnancy, household chores can become very challenging. 

Cook A Meal

In some cultures, the family prepares food weekly for the parents, after a child is born allowing for more bonding time with the parents. Make a yummy casserole or stop by their favorite take-out spot and pick up something they would like. Organizing a meal train is also a way to get other friends and families involved during the early weeks of birth. If you want to keep organized online, tools like Make Me A Meal and Meal Train can do just that. The websites create calendars for everyone to see who is next in line to prepare a meal. This may also be an excellent time to grocery shop for the household if needed. Make it a one-stop shop.

Pet Care

With a new baby at home, the fur babies are not the focus anymore. Giving them a little care will relieve some of the stress for the parents. Take the pets out for a walk, bring them some food or just offer to spend time playing with them. If both parties are comfortable, offer to pet sit for a couple of days or weeks so that the parents are not overwhelmed with having to worry about something else.


If the new parents already have children, take the older children out for ice cream or to the movies. Depending on their age, they may feel a little neglected with the new baby being around. This will be a relief for the new parents as they figure out their new normal.

Positive Affirmations

Doing all the things listed above may seem already very generous but making the parents look like they are unique or valued is priceless. A new mother may just need someone to tell them that they are doing a great job. That they are the being the best parents to their baby. 

The most significant gift that you can give to a new parent, is support. Whether it is physical or emotional, Always remember to be positive and uplifting during this time.

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