There you are, sitting at your desk and regretting every last social event or party you attended leading up to this moment –– the all-nighter. Whether it’s a paper, project or studying for an exam, you are dreading the wee hours of the night you are about to see. Though anticipating this sleepless evening can cause a lot of anxiety and stress, don’t panic –– you can pull the all-nighter, and you can do it effectively with just a few simple steps.
1) Make a to-do list. Just like an outline for a research paper, a to-do list of what needs to get done during your all-nighter will help. Make the list realistic and be sure to leave room for short breaks.
2) Eat, eat and then eat some more. Studies show that the chewing motion keeps your brain more alert, and nutrients will fuel all of the flashcard making, typing and reading you will be doing throughout the night. That doesn’t mean it’s wise to keep your local pizza joint on speed dial and order meat lovers pizza and wings. You should have a well-balanced dinner and snack on light, crunchy foods –– think pretzels, rice cakes, nuts, granola, carrots and some occasional candy that will help keep you awake (and your arteries unclogged).
3) Don’t be afraid of coffee. The notorious “crash” that may occur after drinking coffee has left some skeptical of whether or not it should be used when pulling an all-nighter. One of the main reasons for the “crash” is dehydration. To avoid this awful feeling, just drink a glass of water after each cup of coffee you consume. Yes, this means frequent trips to the bathroom –– but getting up and moving around for a minute or two is also beneficial.
4) Find a support system. Chances are, at least one friend is probably enduring an all-nighter just like you. If you have a friend that is also sacrificing sleep for good grades, use him or her as a support system. Occasionally check in on each other via text message to send words of encouragement and to keep alert.
5) If you have self-control, social networking websites are OK in small doses. However, it’s not uncommon to promise yourself five minutes of Facebook time, only to find yourself 45 minutes later looking at a friend’s vacation pictures. If you are someone that frequently falls into the trap of Facebook “creeping” or having instant message conversations, it may be best to have your roommate change your account password for the night. But if you are a disciplined Internet user, five-minute Facebook breaks won’t hurt.
6) Note: This final step is to be taken with extreme caution. Sometimes all-nighters proceed better than expected. In this case, you may find yourself done with work around 4 a.m. Say you have an exam at 8 a.m. –– what on Earth do you do with those four extra hours? If you are a light sleeper, take advantage of those few hours and sleep. But if you’re notorious for hitting the snooze button 50 times every morning and have trouble waking up in general, your body (and brain) could rebel against you during this very important time. So it might be best to find an activity to stay awake. Review your material, edit that paper or go and grab some coffee. Do whatever you need to do, and give yourself a pat on the back for successfully staying up all night.
Powered by Facebook Comments