If you’re a uni student, you’ll know that pulling an all-nighter is sometimes necessary. Whether it’s cramming for an exam or finishing that 5000-word essay due in tomorrow, an all-nighter may be your only, albeit least appealing option. Although they can prove challenging, all-nighters are easily done if you know how. Here are 5 tips for making it through that long night of work!
1. Take a caffeine-infused nap right before your all-nighter
Although it may seem like a good idea, drinking caffeine right the way through your all-nighter won’t actually benefit you at all. An overload of caffeine will make you crash, which is definitely not what you want during a long night of cramming.
Instead, drink a little caffeine before you begin, and take a short nap. This will give you a boost, leaving you sufficiently refreshed and ready to take on your work. Make sure to nap for no longer than 30 minutes, otherwise, you may wake up feeling more tired than you were before. While you work, stay hydrated with a glass of cold milk or water every half an hour. Stay away from the coffee.
2. Get yourself into an uncomfortable position
Okay, I know this sounds like the worst advice ever, but it’s really going to help you out. If you’re pulling an all-nighter, what you don’t want to do is make yourself super comfortable while you work. This is going to send signals to your sleep-deprived brain that your body is inactive and ready to rest. Ideally, keep yourself in an upright position with your back straight, looking forward. Avoid working on your bed or on a beanbag chair at all costs.
It’s also a good idea to keep the windows open during an all-nighter, as long as it’s safe to do so. Although it may feel uncomfortable, the cold air could prevent you from falling asleep.
3. Stay active
When you’re pulling an all-nighter, it’s important to get up and move every once in a while in order to stay alert and focussed. Make sure to walk around every half an hour or so, and try to get some fresh air if possible.
Taking little breaks is essential for preventing you from falling asleep, especially when you can’t afford to. When you’re sitting down to work, stay active by engaging in little movements such as tapping your feet or circling your wrists. Anything like this will let your body know that it needs to stay awake. You could also set alarms to go off every half an hour, just to keep you extra alert.
4. Snack through the night
It’s important to keep your energy levels up when you’re pulling an all-nighter. But it’s also important to choose the right snacks to keep you going. While it may be tempting to chomp on sweets and chocolate during the night, this won’t actually help you at all.
Like caffeine, foods which are super sugary will elevate your energy levels briefly, but ultimately you’ll crash. Instead, opt for snacks which are high in protein, such as yoghurt or peanut butter, that will provide you with long-lasting energy to get you through the night.
5. Team up with a friend
Working through an all-nighter with a friend may make the situation a whole lot easier. Instead of being left to deal with the long night alone, having someone by your side to motivate you and keep you in check will make it less painful. So, if you have a friend working on the same deadline as you, it might be a good idea to join forces and tackle the all-nighter together.