Surviving an All Nighter

All nighters — they’re somewhat of a rite of passage in college. While the proper thing to do is to manage your time and start studying two weeks in advance, sometimes work and extracurricular activities can get in the way, leaving you only one night to catch up. Whether you’re cramming for a test or finishing up a chapter reading or essay, it’s important that you know how to survive your first all nighter. Here are some healthy ways to help you pull through the weaning hours of the night.

Tape a nap. In fact, even a 30 minute snooze will do. When students have real all nighters, they are up until 4 and 5 a.m. finishing up assignments. If you need to stay up until dawn to complete everything, you need to give your body some kind of rest beforehand. You also need to prepare yourself of the fact that you’re going to have a difficult time waking up the next morning. To ensure that you do not miss your test, set multiple alarms.

The next thing you need to do is find a place where you’ll be able to concentrate and focus. Avoid comfortable places like a couch or your bed or any other place where you can easily fall asleep. Ideal locations are places that force you to sit upright in a chair, like brightly-lit 24-hour diners, cafes or libraries.

It’s important for you to establish what assignments are harder or more important and do those assignments first. As the hours pass by, chances are the ability to concentrate will get harder and you may just end up falling asleep. For this reason, it is wise to complete all the difficult and important work first so that you can get it out of the way. Remember that it is okay to take breaks. This prevents your brain from getting too tired.

Finally, your first reaction might be to grab an energy drink and make a big pot of coffee. While caffeine can help you stay alert for a bit, it causes your body to crash early on. That’s because caffeinated beverages dehydrate you, which gives you a tired feeling. If you want to be able to stay awake for longer periods of time, eat foods that naturally boost energy, such as apples. It’s also a good idea to drink lots of water. Water replenishes your body with the substance it needs to keep it functioning properly and makes you feel as though you need to go to the restroom more — another feeling that will prevent you from falling asleep.

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