It’s nearing finals week for me here at university and with finals comes a lot of late nights and trying to finish too many assignments in not enough time. And thus: the all-nighter rears its ugly head.
I have never been a fan of the all-nighter, but when I found myself trying to write six essays within two weeks, I realized that I was most likely going to kiss sleep goodbye for a while. So here are my favorite tips for making through an all-nighter.
1. Coffee? Coffee.
Coffee is everything. Make yourself a nice brew, add in your favorite creamer if that’s your jam (mine is the Spiced Creamer in the Chewbacca limited edition container), pop it into your favorite mug, and sip on it for a burst of energy. If you’re not a coffee fan, grab some caffeinated black tea (I like Chai tea with almond milk and honey) and keep brewing it throughout the evening as well. Personally, I prefer coffee to energy drinks because I’m a lot less likely to get jittery with coffee than, say, a red bull. But you do you.
Caffeine can be dehydrating. Bummer, right? So fix that by also having a nice bottle of water you can refill throughout the night. Don’t worry, it won’t affect your caffeine buzz, but it will help you from having a dreaded crash halfway through a marathon study session. Nobody wants that now, do we?
If caffeine is life, then snacks are the cherry on top. I personally like to have carrots and fruit nearby to munch on as I work, but I have seen friends eat Muddy Buddies, brownies, cheese and crackers, chips and salsa…pretty much everything under the sun. While I prefer the more nutritious route, a little junk food doesn’t hurt if it’ll make the struggle of trying to form sentences at 3 am a little less painful.
I have recently discovered that in order to keep me awake and focused during an all-nighters I have to switch up my usual music preferences. In the library during the day I’m usually listening to movie scores and video game scores to have a mellow beat in my head, but at night that puts me straight to sleep. Instead, I listen to classic rock, for two reasons. First, it’s upbeat and motivating. How else will you finish an essay if you don’t have Highway to Hell blaring in your headphones? And second, the guitar solos not only give you an instrumental break, but also last forever, giving you no excuse to get distracted.
5. Take Breaks
Get up every 45 minutes to an hour and just stretch your legs. This will prevent you from not only dozing off with your laptop on your stomach (guilty), but also get the blood flowing and help you come up with more ideas and refresh your brain. I’ve also taken a little stroll outside just to get out of the same room or even done a quick sun salutation to re-center myself.
As always, if you have any other tips that work for you please leave them in the comments!