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10 Ways to Stay Awake After an All-Nighter

10 Ways to Stay Awake After an All-Nighter

It is never ideal to go without sleep, just as it’s not good to sleep too much. The benefits of regular sleep cycles have been consistently touted by doctors. Lack of sleep may contribute to low sperm counts and other attributes of unhealthy lifestyles, such as obesity and heavier smoking and drinking. There is also the threat of poorer decision making, and 24 hours of being awake can impact drivers in much the same way as though they had a blood alcohol level of .10%.

However, sometimes, we must grind out that overdue assignment or odd work demands. For when you are facing consistent issues, I wrote an article on changing schedules to maximize productivity. I could argue that with enough foresight an all-nighter is never necessary. However, I have found myself staying up all night more than a few times. For those instances, there are numerous things that can help you to push through the day.

1.Eat Well

Junk food, like chips and chocolate sound appealing in a state of weariness and help out initially, but the effects wear off quickly, leading to a major crash. Eating healthier foods, such as those with natural sugars, like bananas, will not come with a crash and will also help combat the multitude of other negative health consequences of staying up late. A high protein breakfast is the best start to any day, especially after being awake all night. High protein snacks at intervals throughout the day are indispensable.

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2.Exercise

Take frequent breaks and make sure they include sufficient body movement to keep blood flowing. Yoga breaks are also extremely beneficial for accessing more energy.

3.Take Aspirin

Lack of sleep typically comes with pain, particularly headaches and moodiness. Nip that in the bud right after breakfast and alleviate the pain that will inevitably come with aspirin or some other pain-killer to miss the distraction and lethargy that comes with the pain.

4.Drink Water

Dehydration leads to more fatigue. Staying hydrated is the best way to stay alert and maintain brain and body functions. Eating ice is also a great strategy to maintain hydration, and the chewing aspect keeps the body active. Splashing cold water on the face is hydrating as well.

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5.Dress For Success

Putting on a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie will only make you feel more like going to bed and will turn others away from wanting to interact with you. By dressing like the day is important, you set yourself up with the right mentality. Looking alive and feeling alive go hand in hand.

6.Caffeine and a Nap

Coffee or soda are common things used to combat weariness. However, they are only quick fixes that lead to dehydration and crashes after the effects wear off. When using caffeine, it takes 15-30 minutes for the effects to kick in. The best strategy is to take the caffeine and then nap for 30 minutes to wake up feeling refreshed.

7. Get Important Things Done Early 

There is only so long a person can hold out. Get the important things done while at your most alert stages and try to go home early.

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8.Take A Video Game Break

Video games keep the mind active, which is why it’s so easy to stay up all night playing them. They also take the mind off the mundane activities that can make it so easy to fall asleep. Even five minutes of a simple game can put your mind back into the right gear.

9.Listen To Music

Having headphone on with something catchy and fun can keep you bopping along with some zest. The music shouldn’t be too complex or too soothing or else it will just put you to sleep. Anything too thought provoking might cause you to lose focus and become more worn out.

10.Keep All-Nighters To A Minimum

The best tricks only work when used sparingly, so don’t overdo things. Pulling an all-nighter multiple times in the same week will be harder than once a year. Besides, if the reason for staying up all night is for school or work, there is more harm being done by staying up than by getting at least a few hours of sleep. It also helps to get more sleep in the days before pulling an all-nighter, if at all possible, to reduce the cumulative effects of weariness.

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Featured photo credit: At work/Mårten Vennelin via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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