Pulling an all-nighter? Tips, tricks to stay awake at night

Student's desk covered with papers and study materials late at night
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We at the Clog are staunch advocates of getting sufficient sleep each night, however, there are some nights where you just have to stay up. Approaching deadlines, overdue assignments or your past procrastination may have caught up to you, forcing you to sacrifice your much-needed nighttime sleep. Whether you’re completing an essay or catching up on lectures, pulling an all-nighter is difficult. Here are some ways to stay awake at night when you really have to.

Coffee, our best friend

A simple biochemical way of staying up is ingesting caffeine. Black tea or coffee is a great choice of drink, and the bitterness of black coffee can also help shock you awake. Make sure you avoid sugary caffeinated drinks, which make you feel full and tired, making you drowsy instead. Moreover, go easy on the caffeine too — just a little is enough to give you a boost, and going overboard can have detrimental effects.

Don’t have a clock around you

With this hack, you can trick yourself into thinking it’s earlier than it actually is. By pretending it’s earlier, you won’t get weighed down by the thought of not being able to get enough sleep. To pull this off, take off your watch and hide any clocks around you. Cover the time on your computer screen, or even better, turn it off if you can. Just remember not to trick yourself into thinking it’s later than it actually is, which can have the opposite effect. If that does happen, take a look at the clock. Seeing that it’s actually earlier than you anticipated can give you a burst of energy.

Have bright lights

It comes as no surprise that a majority of us are incapable of falling asleep when the lights are turned on. The darkness is a signal for your body to get some shut-eye and rest. Therefore, one way to signal to your mind not to fall asleep is to be in a well-lit room. Keep the lights on, and, if you can, turn up the brightness on your device. You may just trick your brain into thinking the sun’s out and it’s daytime.

Listen to some music that gets your blood pumping

If you find yourself dozing off, immediately stop and take a little music break. Blast some music on your headphones, and have a mini dance party to get yourself moving and your blood pumping. Doesn’t matter if it’s punk rock or electronic — as long as it makes you feel excited and driven, it’s all that matters. Now that you’re hyped, you’re more likely to power through whatever it is you’re doing without feeling too tired.

Avoid multiple late nights in a row

This might be the most important tip. If you know you’re going to have a late night, try to feel as refreshed as you can beforehand. That means not causing yourself to be sleep deprived. Multiple nights with very little sleep will leave you exhausted and more likely to pass out on your desk. So, if you can, try to space out any late nights you have to do so that you don’t end up behind on sleep on that critical all-nighter.

Hopefully, these tips will help you push through your drowsiness and stay up as late as you need to. We hope you never end up needing any of these tips, but if you do, try to get things done quickly so you can go to sleep.

Contact Zachariah Nash at [email protected].