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30-Day Slim Down Challenge Day 18: Sleep Your Way to Success

by
author image Deborah Day
Deborah Day is a lifestyle and entertainment writer and editor. Former editor in chief of Maxim.com and executive editor of Premiere.com, she has been published on EW.com, TheWrap.com, Yahoo.com, LAmag.com and other media sites, as well as in Maxim, Interview and Time Out NY magazines.
30-Day Slim Down Challenge Day 18: Sleep Your Way to Success
Everything that runs on energy needs to recharge somehow -- including you! Photo Credit Gracie Wilson/LIVESTRONG.COM; Adobe Stock

It's easy to sacrifice some shut-eye when you're juggling work, life and your fitness journey, but let's get one thing straight: You need your sleep. A solid block of slumber every night is more important than you think; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consider insufficient sleep a public health epidemic.

We live in a world with a hectic pace in which, thanks to multiple high-tech gadgets, you're constantly plugged in and accessible and multitasking is the norm. Are you one of the millions of people who combat fatigue every day by throwing back some seriously high-octane caffeinated beverage to keep powering through? There's a much simpler solution: SLEEP.

Your sleep habits affect your daily routine. Sleep deprivation causes you to have trouble focusing and affects your moods during the day. Next time you experience a co-worker's mood swing, it's a safe bet that sleep — or lack thereof — is the culprit.

Then there's the negative impact it has on your health.

What Lack of Sleep Does to Your Health:

  • Increases fat storage
  • Raises stress hormone levels
  • Causes spikes in hunger and unhealthy cravings

Plus, lack of sleep actually causes a decrease in the production of human growth hormone, which fights aging, builds muscles, aids fat loss and boosts immunity. In short, sleep is vital.

5 Ways to Wind Down and Get Some Shut Eye:

  1. Chill out — a cooler room temperature aids sleep, so figure out your ideal temp.
  2. Go dark — light can interfere and impair sleep, so make your room as dark as you can.
  3. Quiet down — you'll fall asleep much easier when your room is as quiet as possible.
  4. Get on schedule — create a sleep schedule to allow your body to establish a pattern.
  5. Unplug before bed — don't bring your cell phone or tablet to bed; let your mind unwind.
The MyPlate Calorie Tracker app helps keep you reach your goal.
The MyPlate Calorie Tracker app helps keep you reach your goal. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

Why the MyPlate Calorie Tracker Helps You Lose Weight

Documenting your food and activity might seem like overkill, but it’s not. People who track their calories and physical activities enjoy greater success losing weight and keeping it off for good!

Tracking everything honestly is essential to making the 30-Day Slim Down Challenge work for you. Sometimes you’re not even aware of everything you consume, but once you start tracking it you’ll think twice before you make poor choices. And that’s a good thing.

With LIVESTRONG.COM’s free MyPlate Calorie Tracker — available on desktop and for iOS and Android devices — you can track it all:

-Daily meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and snacks
-Exercise and activity
-Weight
-Water/hydration
-BMI (Body Mass Index)

Get Daily Motivation in Our Facebook Group

For daily support, motivation and camaraderie with LIVESTRONG.COM team members, join our 30-Day Slim Down Facebook Group. We'll share daily recipes, tips, motivations, pictures and more! Plus, we'll answer all your questions.

Sign up for our newsletter if you want periodic reminders to get linked up with helpful LIVESTRONG.COM articles and tips.

Read Up On How to Catch Some ZZZs:

10 Proven Tips for a Good Night's Sleep
How to Stimulate REM Sleep
11 Habits That Are Ruining Your Sleep (and How to Fix Them)

Readers — Are you joining us in the 30-Day Slim Down Challenge? If so, what is your weight-loss goal? Have you ever done a weight loss fitness challenge group before? How did it go for you? Have you joined our LIVESTRONG.COM 30-Day Slim Down Group on Facebook? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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