Being Comfortable All Night
3:59:16 2023-09-30 167

1- Bank sleep. You may know in advance of an upcoming assignment or test that may require you to stay up all night. Anticipating this by slightly changing your sleep patterns may make it easier to stay awake all night when the time arrives. Remember to not bank sleep too often because it can backfire and hurt your stamina and ability to effectively study.

  • Go to bed earlier or wake up later in the days before you know you’re going to have to study all night. Just an extra hour or two can help you stay up all night.
  • This extra time can cue your body to the all-nighter as well as give you some extra hours of sleep reserve on which to draw when the night comes.


2- Take a nap. If you didn’t anticipate having to study all night, you can take a “prophylactic nap” to help get yourself through the evening. This can not only help you push through the night, but may also boost your memory, creativity, mood, alertness, and cognitive performance.

  • Sleep for 90 minutes between 1 and 3 pm for optimal performance. If you decide to nap at night, do so between 1 and 3 am.
  • A 90-minute nap can be as effective as napping for 3 hours.
  • Be aware that the effects of napping last only 8-10 hours. You might want to consider taking a brief nap just before you begin studying to get you through the night.


3- Eat light and stay away from heavy meals or sugary snacks. Heavy foods divert blood away from your brain to aid in digestion. Instead, consider lighter choices such as soup and a salad with a protein like chicken. Also, take care to avoid foods with too much sugar, which may decrease your alertness and negatively affect your mood.

  • Light, protein-rich foods can increase your energy to get through the night without weighing you down.
  • If you're feeling low on energy, skip the candy and go for a 10-minute walk instead. This can give you more energy, relax you and improve alertness.


4- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, and dizziness, all of which can decrease alertness. Keep this at bay by drinking least 8 ounces of water every hour throughout the day and night. Feel free to drink coffee or tea, but be aware that it may not help you stay awake longer or be more alert.

  • In fact, if you’ve been drinking a lot of caffeine or even energy drinks, they may make you jittery and unable to effectively study.
  • Avoid alcohol in the days and hours before an all night study session. This can make you drowsy and unable to concentrate.


5- Wear comfortable clothing. Not being comfortable can make an all night study session drag on and feel like torture. Choose comfortable articles of clothing that allow you to move and won’t get tighter over the course of the night.

  • Choose pants and tops that are not form fitting. For example, a pair of skinny jeans instead of sweats or yoga pants could make your legs fall asleep.
  • Wear layers if you're studying in a cool area. This way, you can remove extra layers if you get too warm without having to go and change completely.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. If you’re sitting for a long period of time, your feet might swell. Try wearing slippers, running shoes, or flat shoes.


6- Sit with proper posture. Sitting up straight can keep you alert and help you avoid tension in your neck and shoulders. Maintaining proper posture throughout the night may help you study more effectively and get through the night more easily.

  • Choose a chair with a back as opposed to a stool. This will help you sit properly and stay alert. Keeping your feet on the floor will help you sit in a proper position.
  • Keep your head and neck in a neutral, straight position. Pull in your abs, straighten your back, and push back your shoulders. This will help you get enough oxygen to keep you awake and alert. Don't slouch, as this may make you drowsy.


7- Stretch your legs. Every hour, get up or do small stretching movements with your legs. This can not only give you a much needed mini-break, but also help you stay alert by circulating blood throughout your body.

  • Try different movements and stretches such as pushing your legs forward, pushing and pulling your toes towards and away from you, and doing ankle and wrist circles.
  • Consider getting up to stretch if it doesn’t interrupt or bother anyone in your general vicinity.


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