10 Things That Keep Me Awake At Night – As a college student, I pulled my fair share of all-nighters. Whether I had to study for an upcoming exam or meet a deadline the next day, these situations unintentionally (but not surprisingly) always resulted in me staying up all night. I can’t lie and say the results weren’t worth the sleep loss – because getting an A on that research paper definitely validated my decision.
Good grades aside, the few days it would take my fried brain and exhausted body to recover had me wondering if I would ever stay up all night. (The answer, by the way, was yes, I would.)
10 Things That Keep Me Awake At Night
I’ve written about why you shouldn’t pull an all-nighter , but even when all the facts point to the same conclusion — that it can be bad for your health — staying up all night is sometimes unavoidable.
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So, we’ve put together this guide on how to survive a sleepless night without sacrificing your health too much. Below, learn more about how to prepare your body to stay awake, how to effectively pull an all-nighter and recover the next day.
An essential step to pulling an all-nighter is preparation. How you start your day and what you do during it will affect how your body responds to staying awake all night.
Waking up feeling energized starts by getting enough sleep the night before you pull an all-nighter. But if you’re like me and think five or six hours is enough, our colleagues seem to have it all wrong.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults between the ages of 18 and 60 need about seven to eight hours of sleep for good health and well-being; anything less can cause sleep deprivation and a greater chance of crashing during that midnight work session.
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If you still wake up tired after a full night’s sleep, consider taking an afternoon nap. Sleep helps reduce sleepiness, improve learning and memory, and regulate emotions. The National Sleep Foundation recommends taking a 10- to 20-minute nap to feel refreshed and prevent dizziness or drowsiness from oversleeping.
Check out our sleep tips for students to help you establish a sleep routine that works for you.
It’s a no-brainer that you’re physically exhausted after working out—and all you want is a nice shower and your comfy bed. For this reason, avoid vigorous physical activity when planning to pull an all-nighter to conserve energy.
This way, your energy is allocated to mental effort as you learn, review, memorize, and apply information throughout the night.
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Now that we’ve shared some tips on how to prepare for a sleepless night, it’s time for the real deal. Here are five tips to help you stay awake and work efficiently when you’re pulling an all-nighter:
Like me, many of you will be working from your bedroom when you stay up all night. Success rate? Not that great, but what can you expect when you study in the space you use to sleep?
Once I realized my student apartment wasn’t cutting it, during finals season, you’d camp me out in the school library all night. And no, I wasn’t the only one.
Leave your room and go to work in the kitchen, living room or even the toilet if you have to. Almost any environment will make a better place to study or work than your bed.
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It is a proven fact that light, whether it comes from a natural or artificial source, keeps you awake. Here’s why: We all have a circadian rhythm, an internal clock that controls our natural sleep. In the dark, your body produces melatonin to help prepare you for sleep, while in the light, your body shuts down melatonin production to keep you awake.
If you want to stay up all night, turn on all the lights and increase the screen brightness to trick your body into thinking it’s not sleep time.
A cool room and a soft blanket are my sleeping heaven – my weakness, I must say. But like darkness, cooler temperatures also encourage sleepiness and fatigue.
Raising the temperature so it’s warmer will help you stay awake. So if you’re still snoozing, then go ahead and warm up the room. This should prevent you from falling asleep at your desk.
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A “diabetes” is not the move if you plan to stay up all night. Sugary foods increase your energy levels, which is great when you want to increase your work efficiency. However, remember that what goes up must come down.
Sugar is a carbohydrate, and carbohydrates increase tryptophan and serotonin levels, causing a sudden drop in energy called a “sugar crash.”
Instead of devouring a bunch of sweets, opt for protein-rich foods. “Sugar is short-lived; protein makes you leaner,” says Benjamin Caplan, MD, a family physician at the CED Clinic in Chestnut, Mass.
According to Caplan, protein-rich foods will not only boost your energy levels, but also prevent them from dipping for longer. These foods increase mental alertness and alertness, which is great when you’re catching up on books or working on a project in the A.M.
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It’s also important to remember that eating large meals can make you feel tired, so snacks and small portions are key to not going into a food coma!
I admit it: I prefer to finish my work and sleep as soon as possible than to interrupt my studies with a break. However, this is counterproductive because it overloads my brain, lowers my alertness and breaks my focus, making me more distracted.
I’ve learned the value of doing small activities that keep me moving and feeling refreshed, but won’t exhaust me. Walking for 10 minutes helps me retain information better, gives my eyes a break from the screen and helps me stay focused. Other activities you can do include jumping, stretching, dancing and even a quick cold shower.
This tip here is what all my fellow coffee lovers have been waiting for. It’s no secret that coffee increases alertness because it contains caffeine. The thing is, timing plays a big role in how effectively coffee will help you maintain your energy.
Habits For Better Sleep
The best way to use coffee to your advantage during an all-nighter is to take a coffee nap, explains Matthew Paxton, founder of gaming website Hypernia, who has done many an all-nighter himself. Paxton says he drinks a coffee just before taking a 20-minute nap when preparing for a long night work session.
This helps to increase his energy level. This is because a nap increases the brain’s ability to receive caffeine, which increases the body’s alertness. Although Paxton chooses to take a coffee nap before his work session, you can also do it when you start feeling tired at night.
At this point in the process, you know how to successfully stay up all night. What’s next? Make sure it doesn’t completely destroy your health.
As much as you want to “catch up” the next day, avoid long sleeps at all costs if you think you’ll get a full night’s sleep the next night. Instead, take shorter naps of less than 30 minutes.
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This will help give you enough energy to get through the day and make it through the night. This will also ensure that you can train your body to go back to sleep at its regular time.
Also. As your body tries to recover from lack of sleep, skip exercise for your own safety.
Instead, consider doing yoga to relax your tired brain and tense body. Yoga before bed can help relieve muscle tension, promote relaxation and prepare the body for deep sleep. Pamper your body with these yoga poses to help you rest well.
There are a few questions that pop up from time to time to keep you up all night. We answer your burning questions to help you finish off a safe night.
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Caffeine is a stimulant that increases alertness in some people. The Food and Drug Administration recommends no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. (The average cup of coffee, FYI, has about 96 milligrams of caffeine, according to the Mayo Clinic.)
Note that caffeine can cause unwanted feelings of jitters and anxiety for some people. If you want to learn more about how caffeine affects your body at night, here are all the ways it can disrupt your sleep.
If you plan to pull an all-nighter, get about seven to eight hours of sleep the night before to make sure your body is well rested. You can also eat protein-rich foods, as this will help you stay awake longer.
Foods with high protein levels keep you awake because they increase mental alertness and alertness. These include peanut butter, egg whites, beans and quinoa.
Learn How To Sleep All Night Naturally And Not Wake Up
Although it is not recommended to force yourself to stay awake, if necessary consider changing the environment in which you are working. Bright lights and warm temperatures can help your body not feel sleepy and tired. Avoid taking a long nap the next day so you can fall asleep at your usual bedtime.
It’s okay to smoke once a night, as long as you do your best to take care of yourself the next day. Otherwise, consistent all-nighters can damage cognitive function, affect your emotions, increase your appetite (which can lead to unwanted weight), and lead to a never-ending poor sleep schedule.
Staying up all night should be your last resort. if you
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