Lifestyles Center Blog

SURVIVOR SERIES: PULLING AN ALL-NIGHTER (IF YOU REALLY NEED TO)

The end of the semester is closer than ever. Research papers, projects, homework, studying for finals- all of them seem to come together at once. No one likes to be deprived of sleep, but sometimes (regardless of the reason) we seem to be forced to pull an all-nighter. Your body works so hard during the day and the only time we get to compensate is when we go to sleep. Therefore, if you are not going to give your body a rest, it must be really dire. Let me walk you through some helpful tips on how to make your all-nighter experience valuable and productive if you really have to go through with it.

  1. Getting ready for a sleepless night. If you know you are going to stay up all night working on assignments/studying and:
    1. You are already a sleep-deprived person; there will be some negative effects that might not let you concentrate. You must make sure to get some rest during the day (approx 3-4 hrs).
    2. This will be your first all-nighter (and hopefully your last one), it is recommended to take a short nap of less than 20 minutes or, between 60 and 90 minutes. Since you haven’t done this in the past, your body will be foreign to it. This nap will trick your body to think you have gotten your regular sleep hours.
  2. Getting through the night.
    1. Let all kind of light shine brighter and brighter. The light coming from your laptop or any other light device will send your brain signals of alertness, allowing you to be awake.
    2. Keep your room or study place at room temperature. Don’t give your body another thing to worry about. Let the temperature be around 75 degree Fahrenheit or bring something to cover you with that will not make you feel too hot or too cold.
    3. Avoid sugars and welcome protein & carbs. Refined sugar seems to bring your energy level up. However, it only last so long before you suddenly crush. It is just like a rollercoaster- the down fall is more intense than going up. It is important to avoid heavy meals that are really high in fat. Eat some small portion of protein such as Greek yogurt or peanut butter; apples are a good option as well. Just remember to keep making healthy choices.
    4. Chew Gum. This will increase your alertness and force you to be awake since you will be tricking your brain and digestive system.
    5. Coffee? Just make sure you don’t drink more than one cup and a half. Having too much caffeine in your- body believe it or not, decreases your concentration level; which is totally the opposite of what you are aiming for.
    6. Hydrate yourself constantly. Drinking a lot of water will not only allow you to concentrate better and refresh your body, but it will also force to have bathroom breaks.

Note: Pulling an all-nighter is not good for your physical or mental health. This blog’s aim is to provide students who have decided to pull an all-nighter with tips to make their sleep-deprivation approachable.

Written by Stacy Palacios, Peer-Educator.

Photo Cred: Aaron Z. Lee, Graphic Artist