How To Survive An All Nighter Studying For Exams

Pulling an all nighter should be treated like any other physical endeavor with much preparation and the right supplies. If you haven’t pulled an all-nighter in your college career, you will at some point before graduation. Especially around midterms and final exams, you’ll find there really aren’t enough hours in the day to study all the potential material that may or may not be covered on an exam. So we’ve listed some helpful tips to follow when having to embark on your very first all nighter session. Fear not, there is some sleep involved! 

Have Plenty Of Protein Snacks

Your body needs something to burn to get through the night, so it’s a good idea to get some good snacks and have a good meal prior. What you eat does affect you, trade the carbs like potato chips or pizza for a protein drink or some beef jerky. Other great snacks are apples, peaches, and bananas. Fresh fruit is packed full of complex carbs and natural sugars. 

Anything high in fats like pasta or fried chicken will not aid with staying awake. Another tidbit is instead of eating one big meal while studying opt to snack a little throughout the night so you’re less likely to crash. 


Drink Coffee 

Caffeine is an obvious staple to pull an all-nighter through the night. Avoid coffee until you really need it so you are not crashing mid-study session. Energy drinks are also a great alternative if you are not a coffee drinker but use the same precaution and only drink it when you feel sleep calling for you. 

Avoid coffee overloaded by balancing with cups of water. Too much coffee and you might get jittery and your focus will decrease. When you’re hydrated you can concrete so make sure to get in some water too. 

How To Survive An All Nighter Studying For Exams


Take Some Cat Naps

At different intervals throughout the night, it might be beneficial to take a cat-nap for 20 mins or less. A short nap can help improve mood, alertness, and performance. I wouldn’t recommend taking more than 2 naps during one all-nighter it might do more harm than good. 

Have A Study Playlist

A good playlist is helpful, especially in the wee hours in the morning, to not only keep you awake but to keep your mind sharp and in the zone. You can’t just play any old type of music, some great instrumental music like Classical is a great choice to have on your study playlist. Explosions in the sky is a popular instrumental rock band that can be another great alternative if one finds classical music to dull. 

Study With A Friend

Having a study buddy is a good way to have someone to keep you accountable while studying for exams. Sharing your goals of what you like to accomplish within a certain time will help you stay on track. Keep it to a minimum of one or two friends, anything more will be a party, and that’s not the point of an all nighter. If you know you have a friend who is on the chatty side or goofs off all the time maybe think twice before inviting them to study with you. 


Find A Good Place To Work

Studying in your bedroom is a big no-no when trying to pull an all nighter. Unless you have the super- human ability to study in a place for hours when a warm and cozy bed is nearby; not likely. So don’t set yourself for failure by studying in a place where the majority of your sleeping takes place. On-campus, the library is the perfect designated study place for an all nighter. Usually, during midterms and finals, the library will stay open late to accommodate students who will be up working and studying through the night. 

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How To Survive An All Nighter Studying For Exams


Know What To Study

Set a goal for yourself of what you want to accomplish during an all nighter. If you are working on a project have all materials with you before sitting down to complete it. If studying a bunch of chapters, creating flashcards and going through the set a certain amount of time is wise. Whatever the plan, make sure you have one. Set a timer to periodically check in with yourself and see if you are accomplishing the task at hand. You may find you have to spend more time on certain sections than others. So having a timer is a good way to stay on track and adjust if needed. 

Eliminate Social Media Use

Don’t allow for distractions! Easier said than done, of course, but to pull off a successful all-nighter you can’t allow your self to be easily distracted by your phone. Turn off your phone unless you absolutely need it, then just turn off the wifi connection. Taking a small break to surf the web or scroll on Instagram and Facebook will easily pull you away from the task at hand. Do yourself a favor and eliminate as many distractions as you can. You’ll be grateful you did in the morning. 

Get Some Good Rest Before The Exam

Finals, due dates, exams, and other deadlines in college may convince us to sacrifice some sleep. Begin your study session by being well-rested before pulling an all-nighter. The more sleep you get before the less likely you are to cause serious disruption to your sleep cycle. It’s equally important to rest up before your exam. Don’t be that person who nods off in the middle of the exam and wakes up to see the class has been dismissed and you’ve only written your name. More common in movies, but you get the pictures. You want to be rested and alert when it comes to taking that test. 


How To Survive An All Nighter Studying For Exams

Tackling all nighters might seem like a daunting task but setting yourself up prior will make all the difference. Whether to study for an exam or finishing up a project pulling an all nighter will happen at some point in your collegiate career. If you have any other tips or suggestions for what helped you pull to get through an all-nighter please leave us your thoughts below in the comment section.