The best way to pull an all-nighter


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We all know all-nighters aren't ideal. We also all know the stress of trying to complete that all-important essay the night before the deadline. If you know an all-nighter is looming, there are tips and tricks for avoiding sleep debt, energy crashes and generally feeling terrible afterwards.

Light your room up

Dim lighting will make you feel tired because it signals to your brain that it's time to sleep, which it certainly isn't.

Keep the temperature down

Don't freeze, of course, but staying a little chilly will keep you awake and make you feel less cosy.

Plan your time

Naturally, our concentration will decrease as the night progresses. Cognitive tasks like close readings and calculations should come first. Style comes later.

Protein is a must

It keeps our energy up and helps us focus. Though it may be tempting to reach for carby snacks, these will make you sleepy and won't do anything for your concentration. Instead, make sure you have a packet of nuts or seeds (or cereal bars) at the ready.

Avoid coffee shakes

As students, we have learned that coffee is our friend. This is because it helps tackle the effects of adenosine: the tired chemical. But don't go all out with the coffee in the late hours, or even the day before an all-nighter. It's best to spread out the caffeine throughout the night, with one cup of coffee each hour.

Water is vital

Keep a glass of cold water close-by, to help with alertness. Remember to drink twice as much water as coffee. Coffee is great, yes, but it is also dehydrating.

Take breaks to boost energy

Just 10 minutes of exercise can help your brain to learn and think creatively. It will also be a welcome break from sitting for hours at your desk. Just go for a little walk or do a few star jumps to get the blood flowing.

If you finish before your alarm goes off, get some rest

Even if it's just for 20 minutes, it will work wonders, physically and mentally.

Sleep it off

The next day, it is important to take crucial steps to make you feel alive again. To state the obvious: sleep!

You need to get back to your normal sleep schedule and make sure you are fully rested. In addition to this, stay away from sugary food that will give you a quick energy fix, and try to stick to a healthy diet to help your body recover from its all-nighter struggle.

Make sure that your all-nighter seshes are rare

All-nighters sabotage your brain's system of processing what you've learnt during the day, decrease your attention span and information retention and don't give your brain time to detox. Sleep is so important to our physical and mental health, as it gives our bodies time to replenish and repair cells. All-nighters also have negative effects on our social lives, because, as I'm sure we've all experienced, sleep deprivation can make us moody as hell. We become emotionally unstable and drained of energy, meaning we may not want to partake in nights out or catch-ups.

All-nighters are in no way a healthy habit, but when you're faced with no choice, follow the above steps to ensure you tackle the night in the healthiest way possible.

How often do you pull an all-nighter for your studies?