10 Tips to Successfully Pull an All-Nighter


Stress_MAIN All-nighters are one of the things that pretty much anyone who has spent at least a month in college can identify with. If you haven’t already, you will definitely earn your fair share of tales involving a complete disregard for sleep and sanity in the name of academics during your collegiate years.

With the amount of papers, projects and exams on the calendar as the school year wraps up, there's bound to be a rough morning or two in the near future for us all. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen during finals week, though it probably will. Here are some tips to help your all-nighter run smoothly.

1. Get a good location. No matter where you choose to study, the key to a perfect all-nighter location is lighting. Save the dim lights for Netflix with bae, and find the brightest, most obnoxious fluorescents possible. You are not trying to fall asleep, so put yourself in a relatively lively atmosphere.

2. Choose your food wisely. If you need a meal at the witching hour, know that local favorites Calio’s, Insomnia Cookies, Oishi Sushi, and Sliders are open for business into the wee hours of the morning. Additionally, you can’t go wrong with the usual college fare of cookies, candy and chips. But, healthy snacks such as granola, veggies and hummus, fruit, or trail mix will ensure that you feel pretty good in the morning for someone who hasn’t had their six to eight hours.

3. Caffeinate yourself . While drinking water during your all-nighter is a must to remain headache-free and hydrated, pick your poison based on comfort. Unless you’re an energy drink veteran, you shouldn’t necessarily stock up on Red Bull or Monster. Having your first cans when you’re trying to explain the finer points of your assigned reading might not go well. Soda and tea work well in the pursuit of caffeine, although they pale in comparison to the gift from the Universe that is coffee.

4. Blast some tunes. If you listen to music, particularly when you are studying, a playlist will help fuel your all-nighter. Sites such as Spotify and 8tracks provide study playlists complied by their users. If none of the playlists catch your fancy, then spend a few minutes whipping up one of your own. Whether you get turnt to Meek Mill, Little Mix or Slipknot, having music in the background should prevent you from slumping over your keyboard.

5. Find a partner-in-crime. Even if they don’t stay up with you for the entire night, a friend is good company on the lonely, wild ride that is an all-nighter. Chances are, there’s some homework that they could be doing. Perhaps they are even working on the same project. Having a friend meet you during your all-nighter makes the situation more fun. Sure, it’s not quite a party, but it’s not completely miserable either. Just make sure that they serve as motivation, not as a distraction — otherwise, kiss your precious hard work goodbye.

6. Take breaks — but be sure not to waste time. That’s not to say that you can’t peep at your timeline or your dashboard, but you are better off taking a stretch or walking around for a bit.

7. If you do end up taking a power nap, pack your bag ahead of time. You are going to be in a rush when you wake up, so there’s a good chance you might forget something.

8. If you're about to PTFO, take a shower to wake up. That’s also where a rad playlist can come in handy.

9. Dress nicely. You might be in the mood to bum it to class, but putting on a fly outfit will make you feel put-together, if only on the outside.

10. Try to eat a wholesome breakfast — even after all the pizza and soda. Bagel sandwiches, breakfast burritos and yogurt with fruit are all excellent choices.

I get it, being swamped with work is frustrating. Why should you spend the best years of your life crying over work instead of chilling? However, you’ll pull an all-nighter, go hand in your paper or give your presentation, and before you know it, you’ll be able to go back to your room and sleep.

Just don’t make all-nighters habitual. Skipping out on sleep takes a toll on your body, and you don't want to risk looking like a cast member of 0t Mayfest.

Photo by Adham Elsharkawi

Caroline ColvinComment