Sometimes, when it’s crunch time, you just have to go out of your way and pull an all-nighter. Whether it’s a project that’s overdue, an exam that you have tomorrow, or you’re just bad at organizing your time and you end up doing everything at the last minute. Either way, that dreaded night has passed and after three cups of coffee, you’ve made it. But then you realize that the worst is yet to come – you have to survive the following day. Here are 9 tips to stay wide awake even after an all-nighter.
Dehydration can make things worse for you and lead to more fatigue. That’s why it’s important to drink a lot of water during the day. Keep yourself hydrated to keep your brain and body functioning. You can even chew ice, it will have the same effect on your body as the water, but chewing will keep you active in a way. You should also wash your face with cold water as often as you feel necessary.
2. Make a break
The day after an all-nighter is likely to be stressful and hectic, but allow yourself a break from work, studying, homework and stress. Breaks are an essential, because your brain can’t work with same focus and attention the whole day. Even a short break of 5 or 10 minutes will do you good to recharge your batteries and get ready for the next task. If you think that a break will make you sleepy, do something active during it, like play a game on your computer or your phone.
3.Take a nap
It’s obvious, if you’re sleepy and have some time, by all means, take a nap. Even a short nap of 10 – 20 minutes will benefit you, as your brain will switch to the slow-wave mode and you will wake up rested and ready to take on more work. A longer nap, of 45 minutes and longer may cause you to feel groggy afterwards and you will find it much more difficult to wake up, but after you shake it off, you’ll be ready to continue your day.
4. Eat healthy
Resist the urge to eat junk food when you’re tired, and opt for a healthy breakfast instead. You should reward your body with a high-protein breakfast that will act like a fuel and give you much more energy than unhealthy snacks would. A healthy breakfast should be an essential part of your every day, but it’s especially beneficial in this situation. During the day, you shouldn’t forget to refuel your body, and take healthy snacks full of protein and vitamins such as fruit and nuts.
5. Stay active
If you keep sitting in one place, you are bound to become sleepy very soon. But try to find some time during your day for a quick work-out. At least get out of your apartment or office, and take a short walk. Being outside in the fresh air and under the sun will also do you good and wake up your brain making it more alert and your body more energetic.
6. Do the most complex task in the morning
As the day progresses, your sleep deprivation will get worse and worse. This means that your brain will slowly lose focus, you won’t be able to stay alert, your body will start to shut down in need of the only thing that can actually cure the situation – sleep. But in the morning, you’re still likely to have plenty of energy. That’s why you should do the most difficult and complex tasks in the morning and leave the rest for later. Your brain will compensate for sleep deprivation, but even your brain doesn’t have superpowers to keep going without sleep forever.
7. Take an Aspirin
Don’t be surprised if you start feeling pain in your body, especially a headache after a sleepless night. You can alleviate the pain by taking an aspirin or some other pain-killer. You shouldn’t take meds just like that, but if you start feeling pain, you will hardly be able to go on with your day and your obligations when you’re distracted by the pain.
8. Drink coffee or tea
You definitely know about the effects of coffee in this state, and we have all used coffee to make our sleepiness go away. But did you know that caffeine actually just masks the sleepiness which only builds up and makes us crash after the effect of coffee wears out? That’s why you should know how to use caffeine. When you drink a cup of coffee or tea, it takes 15 – 30 minutes for the effect to kick in. After that time, the effect will last for about 3 to 4 hours. If you keep taking caffeine every 3 or 4 hours, you’re good to go. But as soon as you stop, expect your body to crash.
9. Tips to Stay Awake after an All-nighter
Use music as a way to keep your mind awake. Make sure to listen to something upbeat and energetic, because if you choose something slow and soothing, it will only make you even sleepier. But be careful not to distract yourself by music you choose because your brain is much more prone to distraction in that state. Some tunes you don’t usually listen to, preferably instrumentals will do the best job.