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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 May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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