When it comes to college, let’s face it: you’re probably going to mismanage your time at some point. With demands from family, friends, jobs and school, your schedule is already packed. This leaves you with just one option: working on your projects or assignments late at night, which often causes you to pull an all-nighter.

It’s understandable that people would discourage you from performing such a feat, but it’s not impossible. What if I told you there are ways you can stay awake all through the night without getting too drowsy? Below are a few ways you can pull an all-nighter without being dead the day after.

1. Choose Your Day Carefully

Okay, so you’re considering pulling an all-nighter, but you’re not sure what day in the week would be a good time. For maximum benefits, Lifehacker recommends you make sure your workload is light the next day, that you have time to take naps and that you have not pulled an all-nighter recently. Staying up all night is not effective when you’ve skipped a substantial amount of sleep within the last few days, so don’t do it again until you’re well rested.

So first, you will need to have a plan on what you are going to do. Instructables recommends setting goals for yourself, such as copying important points from notes into a study guide/cram guide. You can also re-read the chapters in your textbook and take notes as needed. Finally, you can create flashcards and study the set a certain number of times.

It is important to gather everything you need, especially if you’re working on a major project. You are sacrificing sleep in order to complete your work, so it is imperative that you do not procrastinate.The sooner you get started on your work, the easier it will get.

2. Fuel Up

Now that we got all the crucial stuff out of the way, next you will want to consider what sort of snacks you’ll need/want to eat. You are already putting substantial stress on your body for not getting sleep.

As far as snacks go, they can help and hurt you in your challenge to stay awake. It can be tempting to eat sugary foods or drink coffee, but use that as a last resort. Sugar can only take you so far before you crash on a sugar rush. Of course, you do not want to fill up on carbs and artificial ingredients. You will want to eat proteins such as beef jerky and protein drinks. Cheese, sandwiches and fruit will also keep you going. Try not to eat too much or you will become distracted and sleepy. Coolcollegehelpers recommends that you avoid granola, lemons, turkey, milk, bananas and toast.

You will also want to hydrate yourself constantly. Drink non-caffeinated herbal tea and avoid caffeinated beverages as much as you can. If you need some energy bean, drink twice as much water as caffeine.

3. Be Alarmed

You will also need to set your alarm, not just when you need to keep yourself on track. Sometimes you’ll lose focus as the night goes on, especially if you get caught up in a day dream of what you’d rather be doing than studying. Because of this, you will need to time your breaks carefully. Instructables recommends setting an alarm 30 minutes before you need to wake up.

Not only will this give you a little extra time to get moving, but it will allow get you to a stopping point before your day has started, even if you managed to make it through the night.

4. Avoid Distractions

To reduce distractions, turn off your phone. (Vibration or silent do not count unless you absolutely need or are using your alarm for it.) Collegemagazine even suggests blaring your loudest alarm every 15 minutes once you’ve hit the wall of exhaustion.

While any place can be a study room (providing that the room has limited distractions), there is no way to focus if you are too hot or too cold. Be sure you wear comfortable sweatpants or a sweatshirt that will keep you warm. Layering is your best bet when you need to remove clothes as needed. The more comfortable you are, the better you will be able to focus on your tasks.

Be sure to study in a learning friendly environment. (Image via Youthline)
Be sure to study in a learning friendly environment. (Image via Youthline)

5. Jump Around

As the night goes on, you will be finishing much of your work. You will probably want to be finished and find yourself getting distracted easily. The best solution is to move around. A full workout will burn you out quickly, so aim for 20 minutes of activity to keep you refreshed and awake. A Google search — without checking your notifications — will show you plenty of simple and quick exercises you can do. You can go for a walk, do push-ups or some squats. Whatever keeps you moving and awake in the night.

These are just a few techniques to keep in mind whenever you need to pull an all-nighter. While these techniques will keep you moving, I advise that you reserve these all-nighters only for when you need them. Staying awake during the wee hours isn’t beneficial to anyone, not even night owls.

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