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5 Tips for Pulling an All-Nighter

By Edited Dec 19, 2013 1 1

tips for pulling an all-nighter
Credit: phaewilk, Morguefile.com


There is no getting around it. Final exams have arrived and you have run out of time and excuses. Your chickens have come home to roost and it’s time for you to prove you deserve another semester of beer pong and Ramen noodles. No one likes pulling all-nighters but sometimes there is no other option. Here are 5 tips for pulling an all-nighter to help you get through your time of tribulation. Don’t worry, we’ll get through this together.

1. Proper Preparation

If you are pulling an all-nighter, prior preparation is likely not your strong suit. However, this can be a great learning opportunity. If you know an all-nighter is coming, do a little planning. Take a nap earlier in the day, arrange your materials, and be sure you have all the chargers, devices, and assorted gadgets you will need to get you through till morning. Remember, the last thing you want to do at 3 am is search for that one crucial page of class notes buried under your laundry pile.

2. Lay Off the Carbs

Your body needs fuel for the ordeal you are putting it through but it will not run efficiently on just anything. While late night pizza almost always seems appetizing, it is best that you hold off. High carb foods will lead to a massive crash and unless you plan on spending next semester bagging groceries at your high school job, you need to avoid this. Instead, try things like jerky, fresh fruit, nuts, or other protein-rich foods. Sunflower seeds are great for studying because in addition to being a great snack, the shelled variety gives you something extra to do that will help keep you awake.

3. Get the Blood Flowing

The only sure way to avoid falling asleep during your all-nighter is to get some exercise. Get up and move around. Do pushups. Study while standing. Take a (pre) victory lap around the library. Go buy another coffee. In addition to keeping you awake, short exercise breaks will help you concentrate better when you return. Try moving around at least once an hour.

4.Control Your Environment

As that sense of hopelessness and despair slowly sets in, remember that you still have control over your study space. Make the room as cold as you can tolerate, turn all your lights on, and blast your favorite music. All these will help you stay alert longer by overloading your senses and keeping your mind off of your warm and cozy bed.

5. Use Caffeine Strategically

Drinking caffeinated drinks can be a great way to power through the final hours of the night. It takes around 10-30 minutes from the time you ingest caffeine until the time you feel the effects. Use this time to take a strategic nap. You will be better rested after a short nap and won’t oversleep since caffeine, a diuretic, will get you up one way or another. However, if you already have a high tolerance for caffeine, it will be far less effective. Also, having too much will of course lead to you feeling jittery and possibly crashing before morning.

Despite its adverse health effects, tobacco can also help you to pull an all-nighter. Now is not the time to start experimenting but if you are already a user, don’t hesitate to make it work to your advantage. It may be unhealthy but so is pulling an all-nighter.

It Will All Be Over Soon

Pulling an all-nighter can be a great motivator for learning better planning and time management skills. Use these tips to get through the night and be sure to learn from the experience. If all goes well, pulling an all-nighter should be a one time deal. Good luck and try to stay positive.You will be back to flip cup and Netflix marathons soon enough.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
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This is a great book to help you manage your time better and (hopefully) avoid future all-nighters.


Jan 19, 2014 1:23am
Good tips! I'd prefer to sleep though...
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  1. "How to Pull and All Nighter." Wiki How. 15/12/2013 <Web >
  2. Anne Marie Helmenstine "How To Pull an All Nighter." About.com. 15/12/2013 <Web >
  3. "How to Pull an All-Nighter: Tips from the Special Forces." The Art of Manliness. 15/12/2013 <Web >

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