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The Right Way to Pull an All-nighter

Posted on December 16th, 2013 under College Hacks

As we’re approaching the end of the semester, it’s time to get back on the topic of all-nighters. Since college students are always hard pressed for time, and more so towards the end of a semester. Most college students approach all-nighters as the last resort, to get the most out of their limited time. This could be a result of studying for the approaching final exam or the impending deadline for a college assignment that you have to complete. Although there are benefits of pulling all-nighters once in a while, it’s mostly detrimental to your body and mind, and more so when not done right.

the efficient and effective all nighter

So here are our tips to pull an all-nighter, the right way!

1. Avoid falling into the trap

The first step is to not be pulled into the trap, where it’s unavoidable to pull an nighter. Many students let things get by, without taking necessary action, and at one point they are forced to stay awake during the nights to get the work done. So it’s important that you’re organized and prepared. Pulling all-nighter could have a variety of ill effects on your body and mind, such as:

- Aching muscles
- Confusion, memory lapses or loss
- Depression
- Hallucinations
- Hand tremors
- Headaches
- Malaise (general feeling of discomfort)
- Dark bags under eyes
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased stress hormone levels

So it’s important that you realize the risks of pulling an all-nighter, and try to avoid doing it unless it’s absolutely necessary.

2. Setting up the study environment

Now that you’ve decided on doing the all-nighter, the first step is setting up the study environment. The study place could make all the difference, between a successful and unsuccessful all-nighter.

Since, you would predominantly be sitting while doing the all-nighter, it’s very important to adopt the right posture and chair, to ensure that you stay focused. Too much comfort would make you sleepy and too little would make you tire faster. So choose the right balance

And finally ensure that you’re studying in a well lit room, since studying in the dark is very tiring both on your eyes and body.

3. Stay active, always!

The words you should remember while doing an all-nighter is, “Never Relax!” Since you’re working against your biological cycle, the body tends to shut itself down to sleep, if you’re too relaxed. So try to stay active, by moving your body about.

Hence breaks between study sessions are very important during all-nighters. However, during the breaks you should not relax or even lie down. Try to do high energy things that will keep your body and mind active. Doing jumping jacks, or listening to high energy rock music, would be nice activities to do during your breaks.

4. Stock up on nutrients

Sleep deprivation, even if it’s for a single day can have nasty effects on your body. So it’s important that your body is well equipped to handle it. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water. Don’t try to study when you’re hungry, it’s not a good idea to study when you’re too full either. So keep some quick food items at hand, to ensure that you never go hungry in the middle of the night. It’s also a good idea to take multi-vitamin supplements, since they may counteract the ill effects of an all-nighter, to some extent.

5. Keep emergency energy at hand

Sometimes during all-nighters, your body just would not have enough steam to complete the assignment you’re out to do. This is when you use Energy drinks. They could be extremely bad when used regularly, but they are perhaps the best way to get you back to your top game, fast!

So keep a cup of coffee or Red Bull close at hand, in case you need a quick dose of energy to complete the study session.

6. Stay strong, mentally!

Pulling off an all-nighter is a thing of mind over matter. Since you’re pushing yourself beyond your regular routine, it’s important that you have the will to complete. This is the reason why I suggested that you try to do an all-nighter only when you don’t have an alternative. Since you would have a definite goal and deadline, which would in turn motivate you to complete the all-nighter.

This is perhaps the most important thing; you can manage without any of the above mentioned tips, if you have the mental discipline and will to pull the all-nighter.

7. Celebration and looking back

Now the finishing step in pulling off the all-nighter is of two parts. The first is about celebrating the completion. You should pat yourself, for pulling of a successful all-nighter despite all the odds.

Now the second part of the final step of pulling a successful all-nighter is the retrospection. You should realize the cost you’re incurring, the effect on your body and mind, and all the unnecessary stress that you’ve put yourself through. This should make you more focused, & organized to help you avoid getting into the trap of pulling an all-nighter.

Now that you’ve learned all the vital steps in pulling an all-nighter, do you have any personal tips that you use, to make pulling an all-nighter, a little easier.

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