If you’re studying at varsity, then at one point or another you’ve probably pulled an all-nighter so that you can study for an exam or get through that essay. This is not the best way to study, and we definitely don’t recommend it as a proper way to get things done. But sometimes what’s done is done and all you have is that one night to get through everything. So here are some tips on how you can survive an all-night study session.
Start with a nap
If you know that you’ll only be sleeping for three hours that night, the first thing you need to do is take a nap. The more sleep that you have that evening/late afternoon, the better it will be for your future self. If you try and take a nap halfway through your late night study session chances are that you may not wake up again for hours, thereby losing important study time.
Eat the right foods
If you’re going to study all night, then you need to give your body the right food to tackle those brain-intensive tasks. This is why it’s a good idea to prepare snacks and an extra meal ahead of time. But instead of focusing on carbs (such as potato chips and pizza), rather go for protein filled foods. This is because carbs store energy in your body for later and prepare your body to exert energy, rather than giving you energy. So go for a protein shake, milk, cheese, white-meat or an energy bar to get your brain functions going.
Cut back on the coffee
Coffee is a staple for any late night. However, if you want it to work effectively then you need to stay away from it throughout the day. This is because your body and mind build up a tolerance to caffeine. So if you’ve been pounding back coffee throughout the day and week, it won’t have as strong an effect during your study session. So stay away from it as much as possible leading up to your study session if you want it to keep you sharp through the night.
Do some push-ups
Did you know that exercise can help to boost your brain’s ability to learn and retain information? So instead of sitting in front of your laptop to watch an episode of your favourite series as a break from studying, why not do some exercise instead? This doesn’t mean that you have to do a full body workout, just by going for a walk, doing some jumping jacks or pushups can help keep your blood pumping and your brain focused.
You’re done, but don’t go to sleep right away
So it’s the next day and you’ve managed to hand in your assignment or finish writing your exam. It can be tempting to go home and pass out for the rest of the day. This is actually a bad idea because if you take a nap right afterward it will mess up your normal sleeping schedule. If you want to get back into the swing of things, rather wait a couple of hours before bed and make sure to get a full night’s sleep.
Getting things done after pulling an all-nighter can seem rewarding at first, but as a long-term form of studying it has more negative than positive effects. So rather plan your week properly so that you can designate certain nights for studying. But always make sure to schedule in seven-eight hours of sleep every night so that you are refreshed and ready to take on the next day.