When you’ve put off schoolwork for too long, and it starts to pile up, you’re forced to cram and pull off an all-nighter to meet your deadlines (or study for an exam that you should’ve studied days before). However, all-nighters aren’t just exclusive to crammers and procrastinators.
There are times that even students with impeccable time management need to sacrifice a full night’s sleep to finish a project or prepare for an exam that’s been announced at the last minute. Whichever your case may be, there’s one absolute fact about all-nighters that everyone agrees on: it’s very taxing to pull off.
Luckily, there are tips and tricks you can utilize to make the long night more bearable and also prepare you for the day that follows.
#1 Sleep or Nap Ahead of Time
When you’ve finally confirmed that you really do need to do an overnight cramming session, it’s best to take a nap or even sleep beforehand. Whether you can only do it for 2 hours or 20 minutes, the important thing is that you give your mind a short break and prevent it from staying awake for 24 hours.
Staying up for 24 hours can result in cognitive decline (i.e., difficulties in focus and comprehension), anxiety and irritability, all of which can crank up the difficulty of your all-nighter. If you’re worried about oversleeping, set some alarms or ask someone to wake you up.
#2 Schedule Your Tasks, Breaks and Power Naps
If you’re pulling off an all-nighter, it means that you have a lot of things to finish, and it can be quite intimidating or even demotivating to look at the pile of work that you need to do. As such, you should divide your work into separate tasks and assign a realistic time limit to each.
It’s also just as important that you squeeze in a few minutes’ worth of breaks to give yourself some respite and even schedule some 10- to 20-minute power naps in between to give your brain a focus boost.
#3 Caffeinate and Rehydrate
Caffeine is arguably one of your best tools to stay awake but never overdo it. Drink just enough coffee to help you stay up, but not too much that you get anxious and jittery, which can affect your productivity and your performance.
However, caffeine is also known to dehydrate, which can adversely impact your concentration, attention, and comprehension, so make sure that you also drink enough water throughout the night.
Caffeine alternatives: But for those who can’t drink coffee, consider taking a cold bath to help wake up your mind and body or workout to improve blood circulation and provide you with the hormones you need to be more alert.
#5 Stock Up on Snacks
Hunger won’t only distract or hinder you from doing your schoolwork, but not having the ‘fuel’ needed to stay up means that you’re likely to crash. You’ll want to stock up or order food that’s high in protein, carbs, and also fat.
If you forgot to buy food for your cramming session and you’re too short on time to go out and buy some, it may be the best time to call your favorite pizzeria in Main Street, Vancouver that offers pizza delivery service.
#6 Set Multiple Alarms
Lastly, to prevent yourself from accidentally dozing off, it would be best for you to set multiple alarms throughout your cramming schedule.
The Bottom Line
Cramming and pulling off an all-nighter is an inevitable (albeit grueling) part of student life, and you may even end up having to do the same when you’re a working professional. And while it’s entirely possible to survive and thrive your overnight cramming session with these helpful tips.
It’s simply best to minimize the need to do so by cutting back on the procrastinating and managing your time a lot better.