All-nighters. They are probably the most dreaded and most frequent activities that college students participate in. With the amount of homework teachers give us and the little time we have, it is nearly impossible to avoid pulling an all-nighter at least once during your college career. Having pulled countless all-nighters in my life, I have figured out exactly how to handle these situations. Here is a list of the top 10 things you need to pull a successful all-nighter.
1. A Good Study Spot. If you aren’t in an optimum environment you can get distracted or feel uncomfortable very quickly. Your study spot should be well lit, not too noisy, have enough room for all your materials, have a comfortable temperature, and shouldn’t be too far your room incase you need or forget something.
2. Caffeine. The later it gets the harder it will be to focus. Crystal Light Energy or Mountain Dew work the best to provide you energy and keep you alert. However, coffee and energy drinks can do the trick too. My preference in energy drink is Red Bull; I just love the taste!
3. A Study Buddy. I have noticed that I have more energy when there are other people around. I guess the presence of other humans just gives my body and brain the boost I need to keep working. But make sure your study buddy will actually study and not just distract you by telling you stories about last weekend.
4. Snacks. There is nothing worse than doing homework and realizing you are extremely hungry all of a sudden. But your room or the nearest vending machine is so far away! Either pack some snacks before hand or locate yourself around the nearest snack machine.
5. Good Study Music. I like to listen to really upbeat dance music when I pull an all-nighter. The fast beat keeps me awake and in a good focused mood. But be careful when picking your study music. If your music has a lot of lyrics in it, it can be hard to focus if you are reading or writing. Also, if your music is slow-paced it might make you sleepier instead of waking you up. Baroque music is also really good study music because it has no lyrics and it contains alpha waves, which help you concentrate.
6. Good Attire. This one is more of a personal preference. Some people like to wear sweats; others like to be dressed up. But what is important is that you dress so you are not too hot and not too cold. If you get that wrong it will be annoying you the whole time and you constantly struggle to focus. But be careful, sometimes if you feel too comfortable you might get sleepy faster, so watch it with the sweats.
7. Limited Breaks. When you pull an all-nighter it is easy to lose track of time. You may think you have the whole night to finish your work and so you can afford to be on Facebook or Twitter for an hour. But those hours add up and you might end up running out of time to finish your work.
8. Be Well Rested. If you are going to pull an all-nighter try to get at lest 8 hours of sleep the night before. This way your brain will feel fresh and it will be much easier to pull through all night and get your work done quickly.
9. Avoid In Between Naps. Sometimes when you start to get tired during an all-nighter you might think it’s useful to take a quick 20-minute nap to give your brain a rest. But these naps are dangerous! Countless times I have seen other students attempt to take a 20-minute nap during their all-nighter only to wake up a couple hours later (even I am guilty of this).
10. Wake Yourself Up. Sometimes when you’re pulling an all-nighter you get very sleepy. At this point you must take immediate action so you don’t actually fall asleep. Get up and do some pushups, jumping jacks, blast some music in your headphones, get some fresh air, splash cold water on your face, or crack open another energy drink. By doing these things you get your blood pumping faster and you will be right back on track.