The Do's and Dont's of an All-Nighter

How to Survive the All-Nighter: Do’s and Don’ts

We all know that staying up during all hours of the night is not good for us, as sleep is crucial to our mental and physical health. However, there comes a few instances every semester where the dreaded all-nighter can be deemed as necessary. Here is a list of the things you should, and shouldn’t, do to get through it!

  1. Do: Plan what you need to get done beforehand.

If you are going to sacrifice those golden hours of pillow time, you need to make sure that you use your work time efficiently. Know exactly what you need to get done and write it all down, be it reading, writing, or note taking. Gather everything you will need so you don’t waste time looking for anything. Take small breaks in between and pace yourself!      

   2.  Don’t: Skip out on eating.

Make sure to get a good, hearty dinner in before your all night study sesh. The last thing you want to do is try to study late at night on a rumbling stomach, and then start snacking your way through the twilight hours. Keep some fruit, water, and trail mix nearby for an energy boost just in case.

   3. Do: Have a playlist ready.

There’s nothing like some motivational tunes to get you through, so plug in your headphones and update your study playlist for the long hours ahead. Try to avoid mellow songs that will put you to sleep! For a few song suggestions, check out our article “5 Songs To Add To Your Study Playlist”   

   4. Don’t: Give in to distraction.

It’s okay to go on your phone for a few minutes to scroll through your Instagram feed, but don’t waste your time staying up all night online shopping or creeping on your ex-boyfriend’s cousin’s trip to Europe on Facebook. Try putting all your other electronics away, or on airplane mode, and if you are on a laptop, close all unnecessary tabs. This will allow you to focus solely on the task at hand.

   5. Do: Be careful with the caffeine.

While we all need a fresh brew to keep us awake and alert, overdoing it may just cause you to be jittery and disoriented while trying to get work done, thus making your all-nighter unproductive and not worth it. If you need a hot beverage, try a cup of tea (lemongrass, chamomile, and green teas are known to aid in preventing mental grogginess), or even a hot chocolate to treat yourself. Laying off of the extra caffeine will also allow you to get back on your regular sleep cycle more easily the next day.

   6. Don’t: Forget to nap after!

The most important thing about pulling an all-nighter is your ability to bounce back from the (short-term) sleep deprivation. Definitely don’t skimp on slumber in the nights that follow your all-nighter, and maybe squeeze in a few short naps here and there to get you by until you can have a full night of rest again. Always remember to be careful about what activities you have planned for the next day, as sleep deprivation will have negative side effects on your mental clarity and ability to physically function. Plus, you don’t want to be completely exhausted and wiped out before the weekend!

   7. Do: Remember to reward yourself!

Congrats - you did it!! Giving yourself a small reward for all of your hard work will make you proud that you got through it all, and it will also work as an incentive for you to keep up the academic efforts. Whether this means another episode on Netflix, a small *controlled* binge on your junk food weakness, or the new pair of shoes that you’ve been eyeing, take advantage of this accomplishment and give yourself a well deserved pat on the back…and then go get some sleep!