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Natalie Dautovich

Sleep Explorer

Natalie Dautovich, Ph.D., is the National Sleep Foundation's Environmental Scholar. She is also appointed at Virginia Commonwealth University as an Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology in the Department of Psychology. She received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of South Florida. Dr. Dautovich’s research focuses on behavioral sleep medicine and geropsychology. Specifically, she studies sleep and behavioral rhythms such as daily routines across the adult lifespan. She has published articles, book chapters, and a handbook on sleep and health and presented her research at national conferences.

Articles written by Natalie Dautovich

4 Tips to Maximize Your Circadian Sleep-Wake Rhythm

Our bodies function on many different time cycles (seasonal, monthly, weekly, daily). The daily cycle is referred to as a circadian rhythm (cira “about” diem “day). There are many types of circadian rhythms, including daily fluctuations in body temperature, blood pressure, alertness, and melatonin. Our sleep-wake cycle is an essential circadian rhythm that serves as the foundation for our daily well-being. The sleep-wake cycle is approximately 24 hours. However, for most people, their natural cycle is shorter or longer…

Transitioning from Wake to Sleep

Having a good night’s sleep is not always easy especially after having a busy day. The constant need to feel connected to the world 24/7 gives people increasing levels of stress and “busyness” which makes getting a good night’s sleep difficult. Thankfully, nature has many cues for us to follow to help us settle down from our busy, stressful lives to a peaceful sleep. At night there is an increase of darkness, decreased activity, and cooler temperatures that all contribute…

Maximizing Sleep During Summer Travel

During a recent trip, my return flight was repeatedly delayed and ultimately cancelled. Automatically, the airline rebooked me for three flights that night so I would arrive at my destination mid-morning the next day. Instead, I chose to stay in a hotel overnight and travel during the day. It was an easy choice – I had no major obligations the following day, and, most importantly, I needed to sleep. Talking with fellow passengers in the long line as we waited to rebook…

Healthy Sleep in a Broader Context

My sleep was cut short more than once this week when I awoke at 4:40 am to the chorus of birds outside my window. After awakening to the joyful early morning chirps, I started thinking about the workday ahead. Before I knew it, I had to get up and start the day. My disrupted sleep is a reminder that our sleep occurs in a broader context, some of which is outside our control. Regardless of all of my healthy…