It used to be fun to pull an all-nighter in middle school with your friends at a sleepover. You’d stay awake all night telling scary stories, watching movies, and cracking jokes. In college, however, all-nighters are not quite as exciting. They often involve writing, studying, and panic. While it’s always best to avoid these situations if you can help it, we do have some great tips for making it a total success if you absolutely have to stay awake all night! Keep reading and discover Textbooksmart’s expert guide on how to pull an all-nighter and live to tell the tale the next day.
Preparing to Pull an All-Nighter
Get Lots of Sleep the Day Before: If you need to pull an all-nighter, you better be well rested. That’s why it’s crucial to get a good night’s sleep beforehand. While it’s true that you don’t always plan to pull an all-nighter, you should know whether or not it is a possibility the day before. Go to sleep a little earlier or set your alarm clock an hour or two later than you usually would so that it will be easier for you to stay awake all night the next day.
Stock Up on Protein: To pull an all-nighter, you need to feed your body and your brain the right foods. Although you may think that lots of sugar will be able to help you stay awake all night, it will inevitably lead to a crash that will push you towards sleep. Instead to munching on candy bars or chowing down on your favourite fast food treats, load up on foods high in protein like cheese, chicken, and veggies. They will give you the energy you need to effectively pull an all-nighter.
The Best Tips to Pull an All-Nighter with Success
Keep the Lights On: It’s no surprise that a dark room is the perfect environment for sleeping, so when the sun goes down, be sure to keep your room bright. Have as many lamps and lights on as you can when you pull an all-nighter and it will be much more difficult for you to accidentally fall asleep. You should also turn up your laptop’s brightness so that the blue light will shine in your face as you work. This will allow you to stay awake all night so that you can continue to study and write.
Don’t Get too Comfortable: Part of the reason why keeping your room well-lit is so successful when you pull an all-nighter is because it makes you too uncomfortable to drift into sleep. If you want to make sure that you stay awake all night and are focused, keep yourself in that discomforting state. Try sitting upright in a chair at your desk, constantly tapping your foot, and playing loud music (and don’t forget to use earphones if you have roommates or close neighbours). As long as you can still focus on your homework, don’t be afraid to distract yourself enough to stay awake all night.
Don’t Over-Caffeinate: We’ve all seen the movies and TV shows that depict caffeine as the ultimate tool for students that need to pull an all-nighter, but the reality is that it will lift you up momentarily only to send you crashing down later. While a cup or two of coffee or tea won’t hurt throughout the night, forget about energy drinks and turn to ice-cold water instead so that you can stay awake all night. Good old H2O is sure to keep you hydrated and awake; after all, it’s hard to fall asleep with a full bladder.
Take a Break (and Maybe a Nap): If you have to pull an all-nighter, chances are that breaks and naps aren’t really on your agenda, but it is important that you still take the time for them when necessary. Try to schedule regular breaks where you can have a cold shower, go for a quick run, or even prepare yourself a protein-filled snack so that you have the motivation to keep going for the rest of the night. If you find that you are just too tired to remember anything or work effectively, however, a nap is in order. Aim for an hour or two, but even twenty minutes may be enough for your mind to rest and prepare to stay awake all night once more.
Steps for Getting through the Day After You Pull an All-Nighter
Continue to Eat Healthy and Drink Water: After you pull an all-nighter, you may want to go right to bed, but you likely still have to get through your normal day of school and work before that can happen. Keep on eating high-protein foods and stay hydrated with water and you’ll find that your day is a little easier to manage.
Don’t Drive: When you’re suffering from sleep deprivation, you may be awake, but you are definitely not alert enough to drive safely. Don’t put yourself or others at risk! Choose not to drive after you pull an all-nighter until you’re fully recovered. If you need to get to class or work once you stay awake all night, get a friend to drive you or take the bus instead.
Catch Up on Sleep: You don’t want to throw off your entire sleep schedule by going to bed in the middle of the day after you stay awake all night, but once the sun goes down, don’t be afraid to hit the hay a little earlier than normal. Alternatively, you can intentionally forget to set your alarm for the next day if you have nothing scheduled for the morning (or early afternoon) so that your body wakes up on its own. Whichever the case, it is crucial that you give yourself time to heal after you pull an all-nighter so that you can get back to your normal self.
There you have it, good luck!