“What is sleep?” Many students often utter these words followed by a half hearted laugh, when sleep evades their grasp. Students staying up until the break of dawn accomplishing requirements announced weeks before or studying for important exams is nothing new to us. Cramming is a common lifestyle among students in modern society. We’ve all been there, and heck, for all you know this article was done last minute (I assure you that it wasn’t).
The all nighter is the premiere way of handling those pesky papers and projects you were too lax to do earlier. Who needs sleep right? Well, Mr. all talk, this is easier said than done. Often times, people fall asleep earlier than usual without finishing their work. Presented below (on a silver platter) are just some tips in order for you to stay up all night.
1. Turn away from social media sites before it is too late
Much like the Bermuda triangle, a similar triumvirate in cyberspace which composes of Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr mysteriously sucks out all the productivity in anyone without warning and without a trace. Only after you’ve been sucked into this triangle will you realize how much irretrievable time you’ve squandered and by then, it would have been too late. Before time is squandered and tears are shed, log out your accounts in these and gracefully open your Microsoft Word, your book or anything you have to deal with and focus on it. If it helps and if internet is unnecessary, turn off your wifi. This is a sure way to guarantee focus.
2. Do not study on your bed. EVER.
The bed to the student is like a flame to a moth. It is highly attractive but what happens to the moth when it gets too close? It gets burned. The same goes with the bed. It is true that studying in bed is much better than studying on one’s desk. The advantage of being able to lie down while reading or being able to sit on something as comfortable as the mattress is just heaven. However, the metaphorical burn will, without fail, get to us especially during an all nighter. We fall asleep, which really doesn’t achieve the purpose.
3. Room temperature is just….. riiiiight
If one can easily fall asleep in the comforts of a classroom while the professor is rambling in front, you may virtually doze off anywhere comfortable and cold or temperate enough to make you drowsy. Before an all nighter, aside from making sure that you are at a good mental state, make sure the room temperature is just right and not cold enough to make you grab a blanket and curl by yourself. This is surely one way to make you fall asleep. A right temperature will not guarantee a night without drowsiness, but having a cold room is surely going to drain the living daylight out of you. So stay safe, set the thermostat right and you’ll be able to work right.
Coffee acts as a double-edged sword in some circumstances because its efficacy is conditional on how a person reacts towards coffee. Coffee can either perk you up or make you crash. However, one thing you do need to successfully pull off an all nighter is a good drink or a good meal. This, of course, is dependent on your personal taste and preference. Surely, you would eventually need a boost and this boost would most likely come from anything you ingest. If you feel like it, eat a hearty meal with vegetables to perk you up. Afterwards, while reading or typing, you may take sips of English tea or any coffee. In any case, the desired outcome is a revitalized, lively and energetic you after a meal or a drink. This is dependent on your personal tastes and you should know which food turns you up or down. If you are to get a meal however, avoid getting too full because this will surely make you fall asleep. We are all aware of how hard it is to stay up during 1 PM classes right after having lunch and how we inappropriately use this as our siesta period.
5. Have a break!
Let’s face it, people are not machines; they cannot do things continuously without respite. Even machines have to rest before they overheat that can reduce their capacity to work or worse, destroy itself completely. Here’s some advice brought to you by a popular chocolate wafer brand: take a break! A break as short as five minutes will do to keep yourself sane. We all know it’s going to be a gruelling night, so it’s best to keep yourself from burning out before accomplishing the task at hand. A helpful reminder: be wary of games and practices you know are addictive to avoid losing focus. Play some Minesweeper or Pinball for a couple of rounds, finish one chapter on that book you’re reading, just something light and easy to give yourself that quick rest.
6. Shower, shower, shower!
Water believed to be the most basic substance of the universe is known as a purifier and a cleansing agent. After a long study session, showering can make you feel like all your worries and exhaustion are being washed away by the good ol’ H2O. Take your shower, preferably in cold water, to freshen and perk up the body before going back to studying. Also, if you start to drift off from what you are supposed to be doing, spray yourself with cold water like what you’d do when you are training a cat. Like a cat, train yourself to refrain from distractions.
7. Mellow music = No-No
When you search through your playlist, forego your mellow tunes. Listening to it is like singing a lullaby to an infant so that it could rest easy. Perhaps its calming notes can help one relax a bit while working but it could also down the pace of doing your work. Like at parties, upbeat music can pump up the atmosphere and possibly get you hyped to study. However, when it comes to doing something very complexing or requires a large amount of concentration, then maybe silence is the way to go. Maybe some music without lyrics or play some of your favorite songs in instrumental or some classical tunes from Bach. Lyrics tend to distract the mind especially when the words are repetitive and catchy.
These are just some of the many tips a student could use on a night when sleep really isn’t an option. There are millions more out there; they may be conventional to downright unusual. Friends and family who are self-proclaimed experts on the craft of not sleeping may even share tricks of the trade. One thing’s for sure though, the feeling after a night of sleep deprivation and productivity sure can feel good during the day as it can give an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment, as if a badge has been bestowed upon you.
There is one last piece of important advice that needs to be shared. The optimal way to survive an all nighter is not to have to do it! Those requirements should have been finished much earlier because they were given early. It is time to end this culture of laziness.